October 31, 2012
| by EH Staff
by Josh Christian, Marketing VP of DSI Entertainment Systems
Southern California is famous for its excellent weather. When you have a large enough backyard and add a talented landscape architect, amazing outdoor living spaces happen. A growing trend is “outdoor living”...using your backyard as another gathering space, not just for parties, but for casual day-to-day living, too. The backyard featured here, located in Pacific Palisades, California, is a great example of a very luxurious outdoor living environment. It’s complete with the following:
• outdoor theater
• landscape lighting
• a pool that looks like it was excavated from rock
• a grotto complete with spa and hidden loudspeakers
• a second hot tub at the end of the yard (for the canyon views)
• landscape audio system
• underwater speakers in pool
• a water slide (yes, a real water slide!)
• outdoor fireplace
• Crestron control system
• Extra audio hookups for DJ to connect to
As you can see from the pictures (see attached slideshow), this is both a fun and relaxing place to spend time. Want to relax? Sit in one of the two hot tubs and queue up some ambient or mood music. The grotto hot tub resembles a cave, complete with real quartz crystals jutting out of the walls, and they are LED backlit so you can enjoy them at night. Conventional outdoor speakers were cast flush into the special concrete and are faux painted…you have to make an effort to find them as they blend in so well. Two hidden in-wall Crestron touchscreens and Crestron-connected iPads control all of the action. One of the in-wall touchscreens is near the grotto hot tub and the other hidden behind a stone door.
The second spa sits at the southern tip of the yard. The owners have views over lush foliage and canyon views. The entire outdoor area features the latest trend in landscape music—multiple small speakers that resemble Malibu lights and multiple buried subwoofers that have a small exposed vent. The speakers and subwoofers are hidden in the greenscape. Using multiple smaller speakers and powerful subwoofers creates a much more consistent sound volume throughout more of the yard without ‘hot spots’ of sound. Hot spots happen when you get near conventional pairs of speakers that are cranked up loud enough to be heard throughout a large space.
Another inviting space here is the backyard theater which features a 55-inch weatherized HDTV and a full 5.1 speaker surround sound system. We installed the same small speakers mounted on the overhead trellis beams so as to not detract from the beautiful stacked stone wall. The bulk of the audio/video components are located inside the house, with just a couple of source components located in a specially sealed cabinet space to keep moisture and critters out. The clients enjoy using their video game console outdoors, gaming under the stars with the warm glow of the fireplace nearby.
The water element of the backyard includes waterfalls at various points along the pool’s edge and a true water slide. These too are controlled by the two in-wall touchpanels and the Crestron-connected iPads. The water slide starts at the top edge of the hillside which rises behind the pool. Solid rock was excavated at certain points to get the perfect amount of speed and twist and turns. Of course, the landscape audio can be heard along the stairwell up to the top of the slide. Once you slide into the pool, you’ll hear the music underwater with special underwater pool speakers. No detail was left out.
Credit must be given to the combined vision of the client and Mark Tessier of Mark Tessier Landscape Design, Inc.
Here’s another amazing backyard system created by DSI Entertainment Systems.
Follow Josh Christian’s DSI Entertainment Systems’ blog here for more examples of the company’s work.