Turning a barebones condo into a stunningly elegant showpiece isn’t always easy when there’s a firm budget in place. Add to the renovation plans a few modern technologies like a whole-house audio system, motorized draperies and a complete home automation system, and frugality becomes even more futile. The owners of this 2,500-square-foot condo weren’t about to let their dreams of creating a modern, sophisticated home environment become a financial nightmare, though, and wisely contacted the home systems integrators at Serious Audio Video, of Union City, N.J., to guide them through their high-tech options. As they learned about the various latest, exciting products and systems available, their plans evolved from a simple request for a flat-panel TV mounted to a wall in the family room to include an assortment of technologies that would automate nearly every room of the residence. Remarkably, with the help of Serious Audio Video they also discovered that high style and elegance doesn’t have to come at a high cost.
The URC Solution
“For this project, we let the owners’ minimalist design goals dictate much of our high-tech plans for the condo,” explains Serious Audio Video president Casey S. Johnston. “We knew the systems we chose had to be as uncomplicated and uncluttered as the condo’s aesthetic and would need to be installed in a way that wouldn’t dominate the decor and design. The URC® Total Control system met both of these goals, and fit well within the owners’ modest budget.”
The system would also provide the wow factor that the homeowners were searching for in a dream home. Being able to alter the environment of the condo with just a tap of a finger on the screen of a smartphone would be sure to impress their friends and family, they thought, not to mention add convenience to their lifestyle. “In seconds, the URC MobileTM for iOS App would let them get condo ready for a night of entertaining guests, and without having to interact with keypads or a pile of remotes cluttering up the walls and the coffee table,” says Johnston.
The Cleanest Controls
To streamline preparation for every party, as well as other activities like reading, arriving home, and sleeping, Serious Audio Video integrated several products into the Total Control platform. A bank of eight QMotion® motorized roller shades, a Sonos® whole-house music system, various video components and a clever motorized lift from Future Automation that slides away a piece of artwork from the wall to reveal a 55-inch Samsung® TV, would all be accessible and controllable through the URC Mobile for iOS App. By touching a lifestyle button labeled “Home” on the mobile app, for example, the URC system signals the Sonos system to play music through the family room’s invisible speakers and the QMotion shades to lift. Once the owners are settled, they can engage Entertain for a completely different scene where the motorized arm moves the artwork away from the front of the TV screen, activates the TV and lowers the shades. Of course, Serious Audio Video configured the system so that the owners could tweak the settings on a whim, like quickly turning on the 32-inch weatherproof SunBriteTV® and the music on the roof deck as party guests make their way outside.
The Finest Finishing Touch
Now that the homeowners understand the power, simplicity and elegance behind their system, it shouldn’t be long before they weave other products into their home’s high-tech ecosystem. “Light switches are definitely in discussion,” says Johnston. With a few simple tweaks to the Total Control operating system and swapping out the condo’s existing light switches with smart, network-friendly models, the homeowners will be able to easily turn on the lights from a smartphone as they stroll into the condo, turn them off as they get ready for bed and alter the intensity to accentuate the decorative features and modern design of their intelligent, elegant home environment.
Photos Courtesy of Anthony Torsiello
- QMotion Motorized Roller Shades
- Sonos Music System Zone Player 90
- Stealth Acoustics In-Wall Invisible Speakers
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- Stealth Acoustics In-Wall Invisible Subwoofers
- Stealth Acoustics Monaural Subwoofer Amplifier
- Stealth Acoustics Reverberation Sound Control Back Boxes
- Cool Components Dual Fan Cooling Unit
- WattBox IP+ Controllable 8-Outlet Power Conditioner
- Future Automation Art Lift Mechanism
- Samsung 55″ TVs
- SunBrite 32″ Weatherproof TVbed