May 26, 2012

Redefining the Modern Vacation Home Series Article #4 – The Lake House!

Redefining the Modern Vacation Home Series Article #4 – Lake Homes

This week’s article in the redefining the modern vacation home series is going to focus on the Lake House style home. If you remember from our initial post, a Lake House style vacation home is defined as follows:

The Lake House is a home that is normally anywhere from 1,100 square feet to as large as 6,500 square feet and is traditionally located on either an inland lake or main coastline for one of the great lakes or oceans. This style of vacation home is normally utilized as an entertainment property to bring family and friends together for events, parties, and weekend getaways! The goal of this type of vacation home is all about fun and everything in the home is typically designed to support these initiatives!

Now, as you can see from the description above, electronics are often incorporated into these lake homes due to the fact that the clients are entertaining family and friends on a regular basis while always trying to make their home a fun and exciting place to be. House music systems are vitally important for these homes as they really set the mood for fun inside and outside the home as these systems allow the client to easily set the house to play the latest rock or dance hits or travel back in time to share their love for classic rock or smooth jazz. Additionally, Home theaters become havens for those rainy days and times when everyone wants to watch the latest movie or enjoy the big game! Game rooms are also a key part of these homes as they offer the client and their visitors the opportunity to play cards, dance to the latest DDR video game or simply play some pool while listening to some tunes!

These style of homes also benefit from a great security system to help protect the home before, during and after their parties. Additionally, many clients enjoy integrating these systems with a smart home management system such as the Home Automation Inc. system or Elan g! system. These systems not only provide a great security system but also integrate with cameras, thermostats, lighting, pools and spas as well as music and irrigation.

These fully integrated home automation systems offer all of the features above and even remote door lock integration to allow you to easily and affordably integrate your lake style home with a smart device such as an iphone, ipad or android device that allows you to control and monitor these vital subsystems no matter where you might be. It’s cool, affordable and most importantly extremely easy to use. Check out the video in this link for more details:

Elan g! System: http://youtu.be/mFUMiOmJBnk

HAI: http://youtu.be/Kxka4yrRx3Q

Next week, the Luxury Style Vacation Home…stay tuned for more articles and recommendations for today’s modern vacation home clients!

May 8, 2012

Redefining the Modern Vacation Home Series Article #3 – Retreat Style Homes

This week’s article in the redefining the modern vacation home series is going to focus on the Retreat style home.  If you remember from our initial post, a retreat style vacation home is defined as follows:

The Retreat vacation home style is a home that is normally anywhere from 900 to 3,200 square feet and is traditionally nestled within a remote destination or beautiful scenic habitat.  This style of vacation home is normally utilized specifically for rest and relaxation.  The goal of this type of vacation home is primarily for quiet reflection, cozy comfort, and a soothing atmosphere to simply relax the mind, body and spirit and forget the hustle and bustle of corporate life.

Now, as you can see from the description above, technology is often hidden in these retreat style homes in order to support the clients desire to get a way and unplug for a little while.  This decision is also impacted by their remote location and the lack of high speed internet access that is often an important prerequisite for remote connection, monitoring, etc…  That doesn’t mean that this style of home is completely void of electronic technology.  Often times, an easy to use house music system is a great addition to these types of homes as they can really help create a relaxing ambiance that sets a soothing atmosphere for an entire week or even weekend get a way!   A couple of systems that fit this bill is a basic single zone volume control based system in the more traditional vein of things or the ZR-4 system from Niles Audio for a more modern approach.  The Niles ZR-4 system is an easy to use and affordable four source audio system that provides a cost effective way to bring music to the smaller retreat style homes with easy to use keypads and quality sound in four and up to eight zones. 

This client could also benefit from an easy to use security system to help protect their home when not in use as well as for temperature and environmental monitoring during those rough winters or the extended times when the homeowner is away from their vacation home. 

Fortunately today, with the advancement of cellular data connections, there are more and more options available that can help you secure, monitor and control your vacation home via a cellular connection and can offer you remote arm/disarm, HVAC monitoring and control, lighting control and even remote door locks that can text you when someone arrives or leaves …  One such system is the Honeywell Total Connect System and in particular the Honeywell Lynx Touch wireless system.

This all in one security system offers wireless security, HVAC, lighting and even remote door lock integration to allow you to easily and affordably integrate your cottage style home with a smart device such as an iphone, ipad or android device that allows you to control and monitor these vital subsystems no matter where you might be.  It’s affordable, easy to install due to its wireless backbone and most importantly extremely easy to use.  Check out the video in this link for more details:  http://www.lynxtouch.com/video.html

Next week, the Lake House…stay tuned for more articles and recommendations for today’s modern vacation home clients!

May 3, 2012

Redefining the Modern Vacation Home Series Article #2 – Cottage Style Homes

This week’s article in the redefining the modern vacation home series is going to focus on the Cottage style home. If you remember from our initial post, a cottage style vacation home is defined as follows:

The cottage vacation home style is a home that is normally 1,500 square feet or smaller and is traditionally located on a small inland lake or in a remote area nestled within some beautiful natural landscape and far away from every day society. This style of vacation home is normally utilized for specific functions such as fishing, hunting, hiking, skiing, etc… The goal of this type of vacation home is primarily to support outdoor sports and recreation adventures but can sometimes be a way to simply get away from the normal everyday life.

Now, as you can see from the description above, technology is often not incorporated into these cottage style homes simply due to their remote location and the lack of high speed internet access that is often an important prerequisite for remote connection, monitoring, etc… That doesn’t mean that these style of homes couldn’t benefit from a solid security system to help protect the home when not in use as well as for temperature and environmental protection during those rough winters or the extended times when the homeowner is away from the cottage.

Fortunately today, with the advancement of cellular data connections, there are more and more options available that can help you secure, monitor and control your cottage style home via a cellular connection and can offer you remote arm/disarm, HVAC monitoring and control, lighting control and even remote door locks that can text you when someone arrives or leaves… One such system is the Honeywell Total Connect System and in particular the Honeywell Lynx Touch wireless system.

This all in one security system offers wireless security, HVAC, lighting and even remote door lock integration to allow you to easily and affordably integrate your cottage style home with a smart device such as an iphone, ipad or android device that allows you to control and monitor these vital subsystems no matter where you might be. It’s affordable, easy to install due to its wireless backbone and most importantly extremely easy to use. Check out the video in this link for more details: http://www.lynxtouch.com/video.html

Next week, the Retreat…stay tuned for more articles and recommendations for today’s modern vacation home clients!

April 18, 2012

Redefining the Modern Vacation Home! – Article #1

Welcome to the first article in our series on “Redefining the modern vacation home!” In this first article, we would like to discuss the various types of vacation homes and then begin in subsequent posts to talk about how technology can be implemented to assist homeowners with connecting, monitoring and controlling these vacation homes no matter where they might be. So, let’s get started:

The first vacation home style is the cottage. This type of home is normally 1,500 square feet or smaller and is traditionally located on a small inland lake or in a remote area nestled within some beautiful natural landscape and far away from every day society. This style of vacation home is normally utilized for specific functions such as fishing, hunting, hiking, skiing, etc… The goal of this type of vacation home is primarily to support their outdoor sports and recreation adventures but can sometimes be a way to simply get away from the normal everyday life.

The second vacation home style is the Retreat. This type of home can be anywhere from 900 square feet to 3,200 square feet and is traditionally nestled within a remote destination or beautiful scenic habitat. This style of vacation home is normally utilized specifically for rest and relaxation. The goal of this type of vacation home is primarily for quiet reflection, cozy comfort, and a soothing atmosphere to simply relax the mind, body and spirit and forget the hustle and bustle of corporate life.

The third vacation home style is the Lake House. This type of home can be anywhere from 1,100 square feet to as large as 6,500 square feet and is traditionally located on either an inland lake or main coastline for one of the great lakes or oceans. This style of vacation home is normally utilized as an entertainment property to bring family and friends together for events, parties, and weekend getaways! The goal of this type of vacation home is all about fun and everything in the home is typically designed to support these initiatives!

The fourth vacation home style is the Luxury Home. This type of home can be anywhere from 2,500 square feet to as large as 15,000 square feet and is traditionally located on a golf course, on an inland lake or main coastline of one of the great lakes or oceans. This style of vacation home is normally utilized by an affluent client as a luxury home located within a beautiful part of the country. The goal of this type of vacation home is simply about allowing the affluent family or families to move to a unique part of the country for a period of time to enjoy the beautiful local food, arts, sports or culture.

The fifth vacation home style is the Lodge. This type of property can be anywhere from 3,500 square feet to as large as 20,000 square feet and is traditionally located in a destination location and is all about supporting a specific sport such as a hunting lodge or ski lodge to name a few. This vacation property will normally be surrounded by smaller sleeping cottages or condos and the lodge is the place where everyone gathers for food, fun and games!

Now I realize that this list is not all encompassing and that many vacation homes will incorporate several aspects of each of these different styles. However, we wanted to at least break down the various types of vacation home styles most commonly found in the marketplace and segment them into something purposeful and helpful for modernization! Check out our subsequent posts for articles on how each of these various home styles can successfully implement home entertainment, security and remote management features into something that blends with their overall design while making their home accessible, functional and cool!

December 16, 2011

Innovative New Product – LaunchPort

Check out this new product from Sonance, the makers of iPort, called LaunchPort!  It’s an innovative way to use, mount and recharge an iPad2 in order that your smart device is always charged, quickly accessible and tremendously flexible to use the millions of apps that are available today.  For control or monitoring, recipes or how to videos, home or office, this unique product has some great uses and applications.  It can be installed in new construction or existing homes and allows you to replace a traditional inwall touchpanel with a portable tablet like device for reading emails, checking calendars, finding sports scores or controlling your home or music system all from an intuitive device that you’re already familiar with.  Call or email the experts at Automation Design and see how this product could benefit your home or business in the future!

Check out the Video below…LaunchPort Video

May 19, 2011

What is a Media Room?

What is a Media Room?

Today’s article is part 2 in our series on Redefining the Home Theater Experience!  Let’s look at Media Rooms:

A Media Room is the term that most often describes a multi-purpose space in a home that is utilized for many different family functions and so it is much more than a home theater….it’s a hybrid family room!  A Media Room is a version of a home theater that is typically installed in a great room or family room area on the main floor of a home.  This places it in close proximity to the kitchen where all of the entertaining and family activity takes place.  These rooms are typically well lit and filled with lots of natural light as they have walls of windows as well as patio or french doors in order to maximize the view to a lake, a pool or patio area or a scenic back yard landscape. 

Aesthetics and elegance are most often strong contributing factors to the overall design of this area.

A large flat panel LCD or LED display is most commonly installed in these applications as they offer a bright, high quality image while being elegantly blended with the design and décor of the space.

Typical sources for a media room are satellite or cable TV, a BluRay player, and some sort of media streaming device such as an Apple TV to view photo slide shows, watch youtube videos, stream movies from Netflix, Blockbuster and other online movie services as well as sharing your own custom home movie creations. 

These sources are most often installed in hidden locations such as a cabinet, closet or equipment rack in order to keep a clean and elegant look to the space while still providing you with all of today’s modern conveniences.

A 5.1 speaker configuration is typically used in these environments to provide the best sound for the money while not taking away from the beauty and elegance of the space.   Many times these speakers are built into the walls, ceilings or cabinets in order to keep a clean and elegant look to the space.

Finally, a simple and easy to use remote control is vital in bringing the entire package together.  An RF base station is often paired with this remote control in order that you can control the source equipment even though it may be out of sight in a cabinet, closet or equipment rack.

Acoustics, window treatments, furniture layouts and viewing angles are just a few of the many additional elements that bring a high quality, media room experience to your home.

Trust the Certified Experts at Automation Design + Entertainment to design, provide, install, train and support your next Media Room project.  Their professional team of certified designers and installers will help you put together a media room that you’ll be proud of for many years to come!

May 16, 2011

What is a Home Theater (or Home Theatre)?

Series Article #1 – What is a Home Theater (or Home Theatre)? 

Home theater (or theatre) is the term that most often describes a dedicated space in a home that is set aside for a high quality movie experience.  This room is normally in an area with no outside light and is typically installed in a room in the basement or above the garage.  However, we have installed home theaters in all kinds of spaces such as spare bedrooms, rooms on the main floor, in pole barns or in man caves.   The ideal dimensions acoustically for a dedicated home theater space is 16’ wide by 21’ long with 9’ ceilings according to THX standards.

A front projector and a large projection screen are generally used for these spaces as they provide a high quality image, the largest size for the money while also providing a cinematic experience similar to or better than a commercial theater!

In times past, a home theater was dedicated primarily to the movie watching experience.  However, these days a home theater is often used for sporting events, birthday parties, gaming parties and special events to name a few.

Typical sources for a dedicated home theater are satellite or cable TV, a BluRay player, and some sort of gaming system such as an Xbox 360, Playstation 3 or Nintendo Wii.  An additional source that has gained in popularity is a media streaming device such as an Apple TV or Roku or to simply utilize this feature on the gaming system to allow clients to stream movies from Netflix, Blockbuster and other online movie services. 

A 7.1 or 7.2 speaker configuration is typically used in these environments to provide the best sound for the money.  One thing to note here is that sound is the movement of air and so a properly configured home theater room will be designed with the appropriate number and size of speakers to accommodate the air volume within the space.  This way, a speaker system can provide the owner with a smooth, efficient and high quality experience without over driving the speakers or over working the amplifier or receiver.  Intelligibility of speech should be a high priority as this accounts for over 80% of a movie’s experience while overall balance within the rest of the speakers will provide you with a consistent experience for the life of your home theater.

A simple and easy to use remote control is vital in bringing the entire package together.  Try to stay away from fancy and look more for functional and intuitive as this can make or break a system.  This is one area that you don’t want to skimp on.  From our experience…If it’s easy to use, you and your family will use it and get a lot of enjoyment from your home theater investment!  If it’s not, it will be an adventure that will bring you frustration and stress and this is not what Home Entertainment is supposed to be about!

Acoustics, room treatments, seating configurations and sight lines are just a few of the many additional elements that bring a high quality, dedicated home theater experience to your home.

Trust the Certified Experts at Automation Design + Entertainment to help you design, select, provide, install, train and support your next Home Theater project.  Their professional team of certified designers and installers will help you put together a home theater that you’ll be proud of for many years to come!