May 03, 2010
by Tom LeBlanc
Each TV has its own dedicated pair of Niles Audio in-ceiling speakers. Or if it’s music the family wants, they can use the Control4 on-screen menu to select from a docked iPod, music server, AM/FM/XM tuner or Rhapsody Internet radio service to play through either or both pairs of speakers.
Cleverly mounted TVs, multifunctional speakers and tons of entertainment choices make this kitchen fun, but technology also has a huge impact on the room’s functionality. For example, a motion sensor activates the lights in the pantry when somebody steps inside. “This feature is particularly helpful when they’re carrying in the groceries,” says Koppin.
And when the owners want to prepare for a quiet family evening, a party or some other event, all they do is touch a button on the Control4 keypad that’s mounted to the wall in the connected mud room. The command sets the lights and pipes the appropriate type of music into the space. For example, a party button sets the mood by turning off the task lighting near the stove, bringing up the lights by the island and calling up a playlist of dinner music.
So have all the amenities converted the home-owners into tech enthusiasts? “Now that they have it,” says Koppin, “they don’t know how they ever lived without it.”
Cutting into Countertop
Having a TV pop up from the countertop is super cool, but it can also be super difficult to design and afford. Here’s what the crew at Architectural Audio and Video went through to get the homeowners’ 26-inch LCD TV to perform the trick:
- Spent hours trying to find a motorized lift small enough to fit into the confined space yet large enough to support the TV weight and raise it 25 inches.
- Reinforced the lift so it could bear the weight of the granite slab that pulls away from the countertop as the TV rises.
- Carefully cut a slab from the solid piece of granite — any mistake could have cost the homeowners thousands of dollars.
- Trimmed the removable slab to keep the gap between it and the rest of the countertop as small as possible.
- Pulled wire from audio and video sources to the inside of the cabinet.
- Built protective shelves to hold the controllers for the TV and lift.
- Painted the inside of the cabinet black to make the equipment and interior of the cabinet less noticeable when the TV is up.