May 01, 2008
by Steven Castle
How could you not want to wake up here? Not only does this bedroom suite have a panoramic view of Long Island Sound, but it also has a 42-inch plasma TV that descends from a hiding spot in the ceiling, touchscreen control over the whole house, music through a whole-house audio system, an adjoining sitting room/office and a bath to die for.
The owners of this Connecticut coastal home wanted to maintain their view of the outdoors with shades that silhouetted the water when closed. They also wanted a TV setup that would not get in the way of the view. The solution to the shading issue, as devised by systems contractor Innerspace Electronics, was 11 separate Lutron Sivoia QED motorized solar shades that would block the morning glare but not the light. The shades are controlled by a Crestron home automation system that is used throughout the house, and each shade can be controlled separately.
Finding a place for a TV that wouldn’t obscure the relaxing vista meant even more motorization. According to Barry Reiner, Innerspace president, the homeowners envisioned the TV going up into a special housing in the ceiling when it was not being used. When it is TV time, a 42-inch Pioneer 1080p plasma TV rolls down on the side rails of an Electro-Kinetics lift. The bar in the middle is really a housing for the audio/video and power cables.
Sound in the spacious 30-by-26-foot bedroom comes from two Sonance in-ceiling speakers, for either the TV audio or music through the Crestron home control system. Two more Sonance speakers were placed in the large, elegant bath.
There’s a 25-by-28-foot office off the bedroom that features a 37-inch Sharp HDTV. A built-in seat by the window affords a great place to cuddle up with a good book or watch a show on the TV between chapters, while the sitting room contains a 20-inch Sharp EDTV (for enhanced definition of 480p). Reiner says that the 20-inch EDTV is quite popular in areas where you really shouldn’t need high definition.
In-wall Crestron touchscreens are handy in each of the three spaces for easy control options, and a Universal Remote Control MX-3000 is used for the TV. Each room also has its own HD cable box, and the “local” components, including a Sony combo DVD/VHS player, are stored in a closet in the suite. Though who wants to look at audio/video equipment when you’ve got soothing water views out the windows.
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates