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Home Design
The Sound of Living
Connecticut Luxury Home

Background:

Twenty minutes from downtown Manhattan rests luxurious 15,000 square foot home that shows all the signs of being a modern day Camelot. King Arthur himself would be enchanted with the technological creature comforts that adorn this castle. A local custom builder designed the home without a specific homeowner in mind, so he wanted easy-to-use technology integrated into the home that would blend seamlessly into the room décor and be easily adaptable to the future buyer’s needs. John Spies of Absolute Media Systems was selected for this task for his years of home automation experience specializing in high-end homes.

The project was a large undertaking that encompassed nine months of work. The 6 bedroom, 8 full and 3 half bath home was to equipped with: a controllable energy efficient lighting system; an 8 seat home theatre with 11 foot screen and surround sound; two large built-in plasma TVs, plus a small LCD TV in a bathroom; 48 internet/network connections; a 24 line phone system with intercom; and a whole home audio system covering 14 zones.

Project Components:

The builder’s top priority was that the melodic tones be heard throughout the house before being seen. As one would stroll through this exquisite home with its high ceilings and paneled walls, the control pads were discreetly placed on the entrance walls and the speakers were placed in each room as inconspicuously as possible. Ideally, as you walked into the room, all of the control pads would be behind you and speakers would be installed on the entrance or adjacent walls, reducing their visibility.

John selected Nuvo’s 6-source/8 zone Concerto with its 16-zone expansion capability for its quality of sound and the ease of use. The Concerto Control Pad’s non-obtrusive appearance is sleek and classy, yet offers high level control in an easy to use interface. The system was complemented by Nuvo’s high efficiency P2100 auxiliary amplifier for the pool area. The extra 200 watts of output was perfect for this space with its open air patio and stone fireplace for entertaining. In place of medieval minstrels, John elected to use the musical compositions of present day sources such as Nuvo’s AM/FM dual tuner, a CD player, and a MP3 player, leaving two additional sources to be added as the homeowner’s needs grow.

Nuvo AccentPLUS® 6 ½” in-wall speakers were installed in rooms with 14-foot ceilings to ensure a clean, crisp sound. The speakers were placed on the bottom half of the entrance walls with the pivoting tweeters directed up toward the center of the room to define the listening area. This method may seem somewhat unconventional but John found that cavernous rooms with speakers installed in this manner deliver superior sound at slightly below ear level while sitting. Most of the low profile grills were painted the wall color letting them seamlessly blend into the room’s décor.

A plasma TV was placed over the great room fireplace using a recessed plug, which allowed the TV to lay flush against the wall. The TV was centered on the paneled walls with two decorative scones on either side creating the illusion of framed art rather than the latest technology. Nuvo speakers were placed on the lower quadrant of the entrance wall for the ultimate listening experience while snuggling in front of the fireplace.

Soon after completion, the home was sold and the enchanted new owners were eager to make it their own. They requested a small LCD be installed next to the tub overlooking the beautiful English garden setting. A true custom installer, John catered to their desires and insured equipment was understood and user friendly. He set a date and time with the homeowners to go over all the modern amenities hidden within their castle and to customize the energy saving lighting system with pathway lighting and timing setup.

Summary:

The homeowners were pleasantly surprised to simply step in and use the Concerto without formal instructions. They informed John that the system was easier to use and sounded much better than their former home’s more expensive system.

To realize the importance of technology for today’s active homeowner, both the builder and integrator can be proud of the successful project that combines state-of-the art technology without sacrificing the style and beauty of such a magnificent home. Technology will always require a balance between satisfying the homeowner’s thirst for its latest advancements and working within their lifestyle and desired aesthetics. To truly create a Camelot means the builder and integrator must foresee the need for future customization and design a flexible system that can become the homeowner’s definition of perfection and not their own.