Designing The Ultimate ‘Smart Home’

by Jamie Mitchell in Designer style at home

West London AV Solutions worked alongside interior designer Living in Space to create a bespoke audiovisual system for a discerning client.

These days, all but the most technophobic of us owns a smart phone. But if you want the same level of fingertip control over the audio visual media in your house, you might want to consider making it a ‘smart-home’, like this one in Kensington, London.

If you want everything to work in perfect harmony, to have technology that’s bang up to date, and for it all to be seamlessly integrated into the design of your home (and why wouldn’t you?) it helps to get an experienced AV designer on board.

On this project, West London AV Solutions worked alongside interior designer Living in Space to redesign a mid-terrace townhouse, equipping it with the latest technology, including a bespoke TV, by French company Agath, which cleverly becomes a mirror when it’s not switched on.

 

‘We had good relationships with both the designers at Living in Space and the builder Kieran Lonergan at Adlon, and we maintained strong communication to ensure everyone was happy with the results, especially the client.’

While the owner of this house wanted excellent sound and visual quality, he didn’t want his home to look like it was stuffed full of technology, so Living in Space and West London AV Solutions worked together to make sure speakers, control units and screens were unobtrusive.

Katie Sparrevohn, managing director of West London AV Solutions, explains: ‘The main screens in the living rooms required a speaker bar to provide the front left, centre and right channels of audio. We specified custom-made Leon speaker bars, which were then wall mounted within the joinery and covered with acoustically transparent fabric to conceal them.’

Sparrevohn continues: ‘Subwoofers are always a problem in terms of ideal locations and visibility. Designers are always keen to have them hidden and concealed from view. In this property we achieved this in two ways. In one of the living rooms we used a Velodyne in-wall subwoofer which had a very small visible “designer” grille. In the other room we used a Leon Ultra-Thin Aaros subwoofer which was discreetly disguised as a table upon which the client placed his own artwork.’

Powerful speakers and crystal clear visuals are obviously vital to creating a good audiovisual scheme, but being able to control your appliances easily – and preferably through a single system – is also hugely important.

In this case, West London AV Solutions installed a Crestron control system, which is integrated with the home’s Crestron lighting control, intercom, heating, air conditioning and CCTV.

The owner of this home was no technophobe, says Sparrevohn: ‘The client is had an IT background and a great interest in control systems and the infrastructure required. He was heavily involved throughout the project which was great as this meant we could give him exactly what he wanted.’

Sparrevohn says the client asked specifically for a Crestron control system as he was aware that Crestron are the market leaders in creating control systems for the home. ‘This enabled us to design a whole house Crestron system with decentralised placement of all video and audio sources,’ says Sparrevohn.

The client was also very fond of the media streamer brand Sonos and requested that it was used throughout the house to stream audio via services such as Napster, which makes it possible to listen to audio from the client’s own iTunes library.

West London AV Solutions had worked with interior designer Living in Space before, and in fact it Living in Space that encouraged West London AV Solutions to tender for the project.

Says Sparrevohn: ‘We had good relationships with both the designers at Living in Space and the builder Kieran Lonergan at Adlon, and we maintained strong communication to ensure everyone was happy with the results, especially the client.’

A good relationship between AV specialist, interior designed builder and client, meant this project went off without a hitch, and Sparrevohn is clearly pleased with how things went. In fact she describes this as ‘the ultimate smart home’.

West London AV Solutions  – londonavsolutions.co.uk


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