Malibu Mornings

Wake to a warm sea breeze, motorized shades and a TV that rises from under the bed.


Silver Winner: Master Suite

With a glorious view of the Pacific Ocean outside of their floor-to-ceiling bedroom windows, it’s no wonder these homeowners insisted that nothing obstruct the scene.

But they also wanted a big TV and high-quality audio in their 1,200-square-foot bedroom suite, which takes up the entire third floor of their Malibu beach house.

In a situation such as this, Chris Montreuil, system designer with DSI Entertainment Systems in West Hollywood, Calif., usually recommends a cabinet with a TV lift be installed at the foot of the bed. But this homeowner had a much more minimalist aesthetic and didn’t want anything there. So DSI came up with a unique two-stage hydraulic lift system from Activated Designs. At the press of a button on the AMX remote, the 52-inch Sony LCD TV first slides out from under the bed, then swings up into viewing position.

The extreme doesn’t stop there. The bedroom suite also includes his-and-her baths and closets. The homeowners told Montreuil that whole-house music was an important feature to them, so DSI gave them the works. In the bedroom, top-shelf Sonance architectural speakers with 8-inch drivers were installed in the ceiling to match the size and shape of the lighting cans. More Sonance speakers were installed in the bathrooms, including a speaker in each shower, and there are even speakers in the couple’s walk-in closets. The suite boasts a total of 14 speakers, all powered by Sonance 875D 75-watt digital amps.

“The couple told me this was the area they spend the most time, so they were willing to put the most money into it,” says Montreuil.

Through this army of speakers, the couple likes to listen to satellite radio, their iPods (through an iPort docking station) or the music channels on their Verizon FiOS service. All of that is integrated by the AMX control system and accessed via an 8-inch color touchscreen.

In addition to the audio system, the wife wanted a TV in her bathroom, so DSI mounted a Samsung LCD TV that she can watch while reclining in her whirlpool tub.

Most of the front wall of the bedroom consists of sliding glass doors that lead to a balcony. On the balcony are more Sonance speakers, including a separate audio zone for the outside Jacuzzi, so tub soakers can enjoy different music from the people on the main deck.

System Design & Installation

DSI Entertainment Systems,
West Hollywood, Calif.


Thomas Calloway & Associates
Santa Monica, Calif.


Scott Halley & Associates,
Malibu, Calif.

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While audio and video take precedence in this installation, the couple also wanted control over more practical systems, including lighting and security. A Lutron HomeWorks lighting system and Lutron Sivoia motorized shades were already installed, so DSI integrated those systems into the AMX controller. A security system was also installed, giving the homeowners the ability to view the feeds from their security cameras on their bedroom TV. “A few simple button presses allows them to control all the lighting, arm the security system and operate all the shades,” says Montreuil. When they’re not in the house, they can access the security system from any web browser.

One of the most interesting challenges for DSI was matching the homeowners’ control interface to the one they have in another condo on the east coast. Since the primary home’s system was being done by another electronics installation company, the husband told each to come up with a template, and he chose the one he liked best. “It was really important that the systems look the same, so when he comes out here he doesn’t have to change gears,” explains Montreuil. EH


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