Thanks to an influx of mainstream names and the rise of smart speakers and voice control, the “smart home” is more attainable and on the minds of more potential customers than ever.
The custom integration industry has been delivering smart homes for decades, of course, and CE Pro and sister publication Electronic House have been profiling some of the most innovative home technology installations over that time. Homeowners’ visions of their state-of-the-art tech home can run wild when pros show them what’s possible.
This year’s rebranded CE Pro BEST Projects Awards (formerly Projects of the Year and Homes of the Year) continues that tradition.
It’s another opportunity for integrators to show off their finest work and creative problem-solving designs to bring smart home convenience – and in many instances killer A/V performance – to clients.
When we reveal the winning projects during a gala reception at CEDIA Expo 2019, you can be sure the top projects will have provided some wow factors and impressively overcome installation challenges.
Need to hide a display to keep those spectacular window vistas? Check. Create a huge outdoor entertainment space that can shut down at the press of a button? Check. Completely re-orient and re-construct an outdated room into a modern home theater? Check.
For a sense of how custom integrators have exceeded customer expectations in their award-winning work, we’ve rounded up some snippets from last year’s Projects of the Year submissions to spark your inspiration for entering BEST Projects candidates (learn about this year’s categories here and enter here; deadline is July 26).
Click the descriptions to view images in the slideshow.
Hidden Screens, Automated Shades Work Wonders
—For a waterfront home, Atlantic Control Technologies used a floor-to-ceiling fireplace in the master suite as the perfect spot to mount not one, but two super-thin OLED TVs on opposing sides so the owners could watch comfortably from the bed or other side of the room – especially when the TVs are extended and swiveled from the wall.
—AHT Global came up with a massive outdoor A/V space (with JumboTron-size display) that the owners can enjoy anytime because of the installation of a retractable canopy, controllable via touchpanel as part of the Crestron control system. Each night as part of the system’s lockdown mode the home’s security system activates, landscape lights go off and the canopy automatically slides quietly back into its housing.
—Tym Smart Homes & Home Theaters worked with builder Tree Haven Homes to include a swing-out mounted 4K TV recessed into the stone fireplace of the master bedroom, collaborating with such precision so the stonework and screen virtually together seamlessly.
—This customer client wanted a great movie-watching experience without building a wall in front of his amazing view. Integrator DSI installed a dual system using an 85-inch Sony for daily viewing and a 135-inch projection screen that pops up out of the floor for movie night. There are a dozen motorized shades covering windows, doors, and skylights to darken the room for viewing and gaming activities. Meanwhile, audio includes custom-finished James speakers and a hidden James powerpipe subwoofer that ports out through what looks like an HVAC grill under the stairs.
—The owner of this Texas Longhorns-happy home entertainment room can tap a button labeled “Hook ‘em” that tunes each TV, with help from a Savant control system as part of Service Tech Audio Visual’s design and installation, to the owner’s five favorite sports channels.
—Along with addressing this lake home’s vast amount of windows with 60 Lutron automated shades, Spire Integrated Systems employed motorized lifts to keep a 65-inch display in the kitchen and 36-inch TV in the master bedroom out of the views’ way.
—Sony laser projectors and Chauvet lighting effects help transform this two-lane bowling alley from an already special spot to an extra-special destination in this residence, courtesy of Big Picture Solutions (BPS). Custom-built trusses, mounts, wall pockets and ceiling nooks keep hardware concealed.
—Lifestyle Solutions and Custom Works reframed a large square room to a smaller size and more ideal rectangle shape, and incorporated visual elements such as 3D panels and star ceiling for this home theater.
—Another master suite whose views are preserved, in this case by MAXICON, which installed a 75-inch ceiling-stowed TV as well as automated Lutron shades. It’s one of several spots where motorization brings displays and shades into place or out of the way.
—The owners of this home theater and “lobby” area from Gramophone particularly liked the color scheme for the walls, ceiling and carpet paired with the dark stain on rustic wood beams. The integrator designed a dry bar that included custom cabinetry, a granite countertop, and a lighted candy case (with key lock) — an extra touch to give the room a “real movie theater” feel, along with illuminated movie posters.