April 29, 2011 by Lisa Montgomery
He wants big, kick-### speakers. She wants the living room to look like a living room. Is there a workable compromise? There’s always the option of building the speakers flush into the ceiling or the walls, but as any audiophile will tell you, audio sounds better when it comes from speakers left out in the open. If you go this route, you can find a bevy of beautiful high-performance freestanding speakers from a host of manufacturers. Most of them are super expensive, unfortunately.
Professional artist and designer Jodi Topitz understands the frustrations of finding that pleasing balance of aesthetics and performance, and has made a business out of it. In a few weeks time she can render any plain-old speaker into a work of art that anyone—male or female—would be proud to display prominently in their home.
Armed with an arsenal of brushes and paint, Topitz design and executes a colorful mural of the owners’ choice onto all sides and top of the speaker. “To me, the speaker becomes a canvas, another art form that can enhance the aesthetics of a room,” says Topitz, who’s been providing homeowners with customized design and art services for more than 18 years.
Today, most of her clients are referred to her through audio dealers faced with the challenge of satisfying both the aesthetic and performance demands of homeowners. After agreeing to work with Topitz, the audio dealer will order from the speaker manufacturer and send to Topitz unfinished speaker cabinets. “It’s as if they are supplying me a canvas that just happens to be a three-dimensional rectangle,” Topitz says. After painting the mural, she sends the cabinets back to the dealer who then installs the speaker components into the finished cabinets. The entire process takes a few weeks, and “for a few thousand dollars, the homeowners get completely custom speakers that sound fabulous,” Topitz says.
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Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.
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