September 06, 2007
| by Lisa Montgomery
Most of the master suite’s lighting scenes are engaged by pressing a button; however, Safe & Sound set up a few that happen automatically. At the homeowner’s preferred wake-up time, for instance, the Control4 system gently raises the lights, softly plays a favorite piece of music, sets the TVs to the correct news channel, and adjusts the thermostats.
Scenes like these occur in every area of the house at all times of the day. When the homeowner opens the garage door at night, for example, the Control4 system instantly illuminates a pathway to the entryway, down the hallway and into the kitchen. Another popular scene sets up the home theater, by lowering the lights and activating all the necessary equipment including a Seleco video projector and Integra 7.4 THX surround-sound receiver.
Aside from the master bedroom, the dedicated basement-based theater is the homeowner’s favorite spot to sink into the plot of a movie. As in the master suite, hundreds of video choices are available through the Sony mega DVD changer, local DVD player, VCR and high-def satellite receiver. The Control4 system presents the choices on an eye-popping 110-inch Da-Lite screen, which is accompanied by a 7.4 surround-sound system including five Triad in-wall speakers, two SpeakerCraft in-ceiling speakers and four in-wall Triad subwoofers.
Not one to sit in one spot for very long, the homeowner incorporated an exercise area into the theater. Situated between the seats and screen, a rowing machine and stationary bike allow the homeowner to work up a sweat while watching an interactive exercise video on the big screen. “The videos actually put you in the middle of a race against other bikers or on a skiff rowing against another team,” explains the homeowner. Although the videos are engaging, he says they’re no substitute for old-fashioned willpower.
Together, the TVs in the bedroom, bath and theater account for nearly 200 inches of movie-viewing real estate. But that’s just brushing the surface of this home’s viewing capacity. “One thing I wanted to be able to do in this house was to watch any movie I wanted from any room,” he says.
Safe & Sound granted his wish by installing an assortment of good-size flat-panel TVs in the great room, home office, kitchen, hearth room and the kids’ bedrooms. While hardly a room is without a TV, the displays never overpower the home’s unique style the homeowner calls “Nouveau West.” Every set was attached to some type of mount that precluded the need for large, bulky pieces of furniture. Instead, the TVs skim the walls, becoming a natural element of a room’s architecture and design. And the best part is they all have access to any and all video component on the property, including four color surveillance cameras.
A Different Tone
Plasma TVs, metal swivel mounts and home control touchpanels have given this mountain-style home the touch of modernity it needed to stand out from its rugged, rough-hewn neighbors, while affording the owner the conveniences and comforts of living with some of the smartest home technologies available. The Control4 system succinctly manages every electronic feature of the home, giving the owner more time to soak in the distinctive elegance of Nouveau West.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.