You certainly won’t find snow-capped mountains anywhere close to Georgia peach country, but Mike and Lynn Briggs’ home gracefully evokes all the warmth and coziness of a Colorado ski lodge. Make that a four-star Colorado ski lodge. Coexisting peacefully with enormous stone fireplaces, open-beamed ceilings and impressive log construction is a bevy of sophisticated electronic systems that operate 24-hours a day to ensure the efficiency and comfort of the 6,000-square-foot residence. Working like the dedicated staff of a luxury hotel, the systems set the lights, security sensors, thermostats and music for the empty nesters.
“Ease of control was Mike and Lynn’s top priority,” says Kirby Wright, vice president at HomeWaves, a home systems installation firm in Cumming, GA. “They’re both retired now, so we designed the systems so that they could really relax while they were at home.”
So what makes life at the Briggs’ home so simple? Mike and Lynn credit the ATM-like touchscreens scattered throughout the house.
“When I get up in the morning, I can turn on the TV, turn off the outside lights and bump up the heat by pressing one button on our bedroom touchscreen,” Mike explains. “It’s a lot easier than having to go to three or four locations to do it all.””
HomeWaves programmed the home’s AMX NetLinx control system to handle several other routines as well. Another of Mike and Lynn’s favorites is the ENTERTAIN mode which sets the lights, music and climate for a weekend get-togethers with friends.
The versatile touchscreens do more than shoot commands around the house, however. In addition to showing standard control menus, they can present high-definition TV and DVD video, images captured by security cameras, album covers from the homeowners’ digital music library and content from the Internet.
“Lynn can swivel the screen toward the stove while she’s cooking and call up a piece of music, see who’s at the front door, watch a TV program and answer an email,” Wright explains.
Even when the touchscreens are idle they continue to serve the home by displaying beautiful photos and graphics chosen by the homeowners. While movies are always a good form of entertainment, the homeowners didn’t want a bunch of big-screen TVs overtaking their home’s open floor plan. Since the touchscreens could also display movies and TV programs, the home really didn’t need any more than two additional TVs, anyway. Plasmas were chosen for their ability to blend in with the decor.
Most people leave their abodes when they crave a little R&R. But thanks to innovative technologies and skilled designers and installers, Mike and Lynn Briggs have discovered a way to get pampered in their own home.