February 01, 2013
| by Lisa Montgomery
When the walls of your home are as much of a design element as the artwork or the furniture, it hurts to carve into them for the sake of a switch or a keypad. Faced with this dilemma, the owners of this Mahogany-paneled den, along with their builder and custom electronics (CE) professional, devised a clever plan. Building code mandated that some type of light switch or keypad be installed in the room, but instead of mounting a Lutron keypad to the wall, why not put it on the bookshelf instead? Better yet, why not conceal it within the spine of a book?
Installed there by Performance Imaging, Stamford, Conn., the Lutron Architrave keypad goes virtually undetected. But it’s affect on the room is meant to be noticed. Each custom-engraved button launches a specific lighting scene where individual fixtures brighten and dim to preset levels to create a unique ambiance for the room. There are also buttons on the “book pad” that command the Lutron motorized window shades to open and close.
Also cleverly hidden in this lustrous space is a 46-inch Samsung LED TV. Again, in an attempt to preserve the woodwork and architecture as the showpiece of the room, the display was installed into a niche above the fireplace and covered with a panel that fits seamlessly with the rest of the wall. The owners simply open dual-hinged panels to reveal the TV.
A Crestron MTX-3 Mini LCD Wireless Remote controls the TV, a Samsung Blu-ray Disc player and a satellite receiver, both of which are hidden away in a nearby storage room.
In addition to the Architrave keypad, the bookshelf also provides a good spot for the two Snell Acoustics speakers that deliver music to the room.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.