We live in a home that was built in 1901. Yes, it predates flight! It’s hard for me to wrap my head around living in a 114 year old home at times, especially when I think about how young it is on the inside.
Let me explain. Since we thoroughly investigate virtually all of the products we sell before we design them into our client’s projects our home is a virtual playground of technology. Most of the technology goes unseen by design. One of our strengths as a premier custom integration company is blending technology into the architectural environment of a residence or a historic building we are creating a design for. Sometimes technology is best left unseen to perform its magic in the background. We make high tech simple to use. Our favorite usability test is the Baby Sitter Test. If someone can walk into a room, like the baby sitter, and intuitively use whatever technology is available then we have been successful.
Our home wears many masks. On the outside what you see is a beautiful 114 year old home. On the inside you see a beautiful 114 year old home. So where is the high tech? It’s built into the environment. Like the Living Room Media Center that features a projection screen that drops down from the custom built bookcase upon command. The HD Video is provided by a Sony projector tucked into the corner of a nook. The 7.1 audio features speakers and subwoofers that blend into the environment. All of this technology is powered by equipment hidden in a rack in the basement, out of site and out of mind, designed to allow the user to experience the décor while enjoying the technology.
The plaster walls hide new wiring. All of the rooms are fitted with high speed category and coaxial cables home run to strategic areas where connections are make to all of the home’s vital systems. At most of the main floor areas we have retained the traditional push button light switches. The same areas contain lighting whereby scenes can be set by the homeowner to set the ambiance for an evening of revelry or a family meeting.
We have a room that wears many masks but also has two personalities! On the second floor we created a Media Room in an old Sun Porch destroyed by a tornado in 2004. The room features 18 windows on three walls, quarter sawn oak trim that has been died not stained to reveal its depth of grain, and a hidden door behind which is another HD Video Projector by JVC. The projection screen drops down from a wood cove that runs along the perimeter of the ceiling beam work. But how do you watch a movie during the day in a room with 18 windows? Just press a button and shades drop down over the windows to provide a controlled light environment. So one personality is a warm sunlit space perfect for curling up with a great book. The other personality is a high tech Media Room with THX Surround Sound and THX Video where all aspects of the system are hidden in a closet behind the room.
“Mirror mirror on the wall. Who’s the ….. there really IS someone in the mirror!” So we have a pub room that is great for enjoying your favorite beverage with friends. The room is decorated as a comfortable space. It is NOT a place we would place a TV. But the mirror is only a mirror until you ask for it to be a TV! Behind and built into the mirror is an HD Smart TV. It’s only a TV when you want it to be. Most of the time it’s an elegantly trimmed mirror that compliments the warm feel of a pub.
“HT phone home!” We communicate with our home no matter where we are on the planet. We can access environmental (heating, humidification and air conditioning) systems, lighting systems, security systems including video surveillance so we can look in at any time from anywhere.
We value historic preservation. We also value the latest in high tech systems that make our home more useable for us. Our home wears many masks. Enjoy Mardi Gras!