For the 12th year in a row, Electronic House magazine hosted its popular Home of the Year contest. Home systems professionals across the country submitted some of their best, most innovative smart home projects to date. You can find all of the winners in this special digital edition, but here’s we’ve highlight some of our favorite features. Custom-designed specifically for the needs of their respective homeowners, these creative applications of technology are truly genius.
Vinyl & Sonos Synch Up with Art Deco Speakers
With high-quality audio a high priority, white Bowers & Wilkins 804 Diamond speakers were specially procured for the living room. The geometry and finish echo the design of the internal pillars, providing an attractive and intentional look from both the interior and exterior. “Given vinyl is a must for any good Brooklynite, a turntable with tube phono stage is integrated into the Sonos system, enabling the analog source to play through any speaker in the home,” says Jacqueline Pompei, of Brooklyn-based OneButton.
Rollaway Equipment Rack
It’s often difficult to reach behind a rack of equipment to reach the cabling and connections. The creative minds and the Vail Valley, Colo., division of Texas-based Futurian Systems eliminated “back-of-the-rack” issues by placing the 1,000-pound equipment rack on a track to roll out from the wall at the touch of a button. This unique twist, as well as other features, earned this home honors as the Silver winner of the Electronic House, Smart Traditional Home more than $150,000 category.
Headboard Hides Video Projector
Presented with no other placement options, the team at Progressive Home Automation in Calgary, working with builder Triangle Enterprises, tucked an Epson 6030 projector behind a custom headboard and cut away a peephole so images can pass across the room onto the 96-inch Screen Innovations Slate screen—which stays hidden in the ceiling until showtime.
Watching the “Soaps”
The owners of this magnificent master bathroom can suds up and never miss a minute of the news, a sitcom, or whatever. Atlanta Audio & Automation installed embedded a 19-inch Séura waterproof TV into the tile wall of the shower.
Digging Deep for Higher Home Theater Ceiling
Although structurally sound, the basement where the theater would reside needed some TLC. A portion of the existing slab was removed and contractors trench into the earth to create a higher ceiling of 10 feet. With that extra height, the homeowners were able to get the stadium-style seating layout they wanted and Nantucket Media Systems could mount the projector high enough to preclude anyone from hitting their head on it. Check out the illuminated onyx pillars and countertop!
Bubble Lamps Bring Light and Better Acoustics
One of the most interesting and innovative applications of acoustical products in this theater designed by Piscataway, N.J.-based EDG are Nelson Bubble Lamps. Hung from the ceiling, these lamps provide light and their soft material helps reduce audio reverberation and improve intelligibility of movie dialogue and music lyrics. They also complement the room’s mid-century modern vibe.
Virtual Valet Parking
When a vehicle pulls through the motorized gate of this Gold-winning smart home (design and installed by Your Tech of Naples) sensors planted along the driveway signal an Elan home automation system. Each time a car enters or exits, the sensor signals the Elan system, which adjusts its running tally of the number of cars on premises. When the tally reaches six cars, the Elan system broadcasts over nearby outdoor speakers a verbal command, “The lot is full, please park on the street.”
Desk Job: Built-in Screen Displays Camera Images
Real-time footage from all 26 cameras located on the property of our Gold-winning smart home is displayed continuously on a special 32-inch screen mounted beneath the glass top of a desk in the home office. Design and installation by Your Tech of Naples
Over the Bed TV
Per the homeowners’ request, Your Tech of Naples mounted a 65-inch curved Samsung TV directly on the ceiling above the bed. “The above-the-bed TV started out as a joke,” says Clayton Varner, company manager. “But after thinking about it, and hearing that the homeowner had a similar setup in other homes, we attached heavy-duty cable to the unit and bolted those to the rafters in the attic. This TV isn’t going anywhere.”
Back to Back TVs
In the main living area of our Modern Gold-winning smart home, two 65-inch Samsung TVs pressed back to back lift together out of custom-built cabinet when commanded from the Crestron home control app. The screen of one TV faces the fireplace and sitting area while the other screen looks out to the kitchen. Design and installation by Service Tech Audio Visual, of Cedar Park, Texas.
Mysterious Fingerprint Scanner
Stationed at the end of the bar of our Gold-winning unique space, a statue of Beethoven sits atop a pedestal. Pivoting the bust backwards slightly reveals a biometric button that when touched signals an electronic lock to unlock and a door to a safe room to swing open. Design and installation by Futurian Systems, Southlake, Texas (Vail, Colo., division).