A Great Getaway


Bedtime couldn’t be easier for the owners of this luxurious master suite. Photo by Santa Fabio.

Electronic systems inspire rest and relaxation in this home-based retreat.

May. 01, 2006 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Some people head to the beach when they want to get away. Others crave the solitude of a long car ride in the country. But for the owners of this fantastic master suite, relaxation is just down the hallway of their 5,000-square-foot Grand Rapids, MI, home. After a tough day at work and a long commute, the executive couple can dim the lights, start some music and sink into their whirlpool tub for some well-deserved downtime.

“The homeowners placed a huge emphasis on their master suite when they were building the home,” says Jason Jespersen, president of Premier Audio and Images, the Muskegon, MI, based firm hired to outfit the 320-square-foot master suite with a bevy of electronic components. “They really wanted their master suite to feel like a retreat.”

Music has a way of soothing tired souls, and the owners’ whole-house music system does the job beautifully. In-wall keypads and a portable touchpanel present all the audio options, which include an MP3 music server, a CD changer, an XM radio tuner and his and hers AM/FM tuners. Although all of the components are situated in an equipment rack in the walkout basement, the owners can activate and command everything from any of the control stations in the master suite. Music drifts into the bedroom, the bathroom and the walk-in closet through five SpeakerCraft in-ceiling speakers. Even though the speakers are tied to the same central music distribution system, that doesn’t mean they have to play the same song. Using the touchscreen or a keypad, the owners can direct music from their favorite classic radio station to play over the bedroom speakers, while tunes from their MP3 server pump through the bathroom and closet speakers, for example.

But the multifaceted speakers aren’t just about music. When the couple wants to watch something on the 42-inch Panasonic plasma TV above the gas fireplace, the speakers automatically switch from music to TV mode. From the comfort of their bed, the couple can enjoy a full stereo effect courtesy of the two speakers positioned over the bed. Like the audio components, the VCR, DVD player and cable box are located elsewhere in the home, but the video can be distributed to the master suite at the touch of a button. The couple can also view footage from an outdoor video camera on the screen. A 15-inch Sharp LCD TV built into a cabinet in the bathroom can access the video content as well.

While the master suite is definitely a room that both homeowners can enjoy, the electronic systems are able to provide each person with some alone time. For example, when one spouse would rather read a book than watch TV, the other spouse can plug in a pair of headphones and continue with the show without disturbing his or her partner. Separate his and her reading lights give her the light she needs and him the darkness he desires when viewing a movie.

A Vantage lighting control system creates many other effects for the room as well. For example, when the TV is turned on, the fixture above the fireplace shuts off automatically. The bathroom lights perform some magic, too. They gradually brighten to a very soft level the instant someone steps into the room. The effect—which only happens between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m.—is triggered by a pressure pad hidden underneath the carpeting at the entrance to the room. Other special lighting arrangements include good night, good morning, makeup, shower, bath and pathway, a particularly handy scene that illuminates a path from the suite to the kitchen.

With music, movies and spectacular lighting effects available, this master suite is a joy to come home to. Flat-panel TVs and built-in speakers make it entertaining, while dimmable lighting creates the perfect ambiance for total relaxation.


  • Panasonic TH-42PWD6UY 42-inch plasma TV
  • Sharp 15-inch LCD TV
  • Vantage lighting control system
  • Sony wireless headphones
  • AMX VTP-CP color touchscreen
  • AMX DMS keypads
  • SpeakerCraft CRS6 ONE speakers
  • SpeakerCraft 6.1 DT speaker
  • Leviton 8280 surge protector

Systems Design & Installation
Premier Audio & Images

Shurlow Custom Homes

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