Contemporary Santa Barbara Home Brings Indoor & Outdoor Automation Together

In order to bring two home automation zones together without compromising space, integration firm Mission Audio Video worked closely with the home’s interior designer to selectively hide the technology at play.


When a Santa Barbara homeowner began remodeling his 1500-square foot home, he sought to create a harmonious space that seamlessly transitions from indoors to outdoors without missing a beat.

With a new stunning outdoor patio that opens directly into the living room, kitchen, office and master bath, the homeowner turned to his old friend, Dennis Deakin of Mission Audio Video, to integrate a cutting-edge A/V system that would provide the final touch of unity to the space. To guarantee cohesive, all-encompassing home automation, Deakin chose the ELAN Entertainment & Control System.

“In order to bring the outdoor and indoor spaces together as one, I based the installation around a central hub that would control all home automation components,” says Deakin. “By integrating all A/V elements together, we successfully created one open, airy space that is truly stunning.”  

Deakin had to use space efficiently given the small size of the home. In order to pack an advanced and fully functional A/V system in a tight space, Deakin installed one ELAN System Controller and one ELAN S1616A Integrated Multi-Room Audio Controller, both of which can be controlled from two wall-mounted ELAN In-Wall Touchpanels, two ELAN remotes and an Apple iPad.

These two controllers are responsible for the home’s lighting, shading, audio, video, climate, security/surveillance and irrigation control.

“The homeowner previously used a local audio control system where he got a taste of what it’s like to control technology with the touch of a button,” says Deakin. “He wanted to extend that functionality to his whole home, and truly create a seamless experience from room to room, indoor to outdoor. We were able to do just that with two ELAN controllers.”

In order to unify the area with technology without compromising space, Deakin worked closely with the home’s interior designer to selectively hide, or emphasize, the technology at play.

“Together, we made decisions based on where the technology should be placed to maximize unity and minimize clutter,” says Deakin.


Look Inside This Contemporary Santa Barbara Space

In the living room, Deakin developed a hidden TV within the mirror above the fireplace, creating an object with dual functionality. Additionally, since free-standing speakers take up precious floor space, Deakin installed flush-mounted speakers and subwoofers in the walls. Additional in-ceiling speakers were also painted to match the décor.

“We were able to hide the outdoor speakers behind bushes and trees, and subtly tuck the speakers into the walls,” says Deakin. “Thus, we created a powerful and seamless audio system that did not take up space or disturb the design in any way.”

One of the home’s most customized technological elements involved ELAN-controlled Lutron Shades in the living room. Deakin designed a custom system in which, when not in use, the Lutron shades retreat into the ceiling so as not to disturb the living room’s design.

“In order to create the open, airy and functional entertainment space that the homeowner was looking for, we certainly had to get creative,” says Deakin. “We completely hid the shades within the ceiling so that – when the glass doors opened, and the outdoor and indoor space became one – the transition was completely natural and was not interrupted by shades. And by integrating this Lutron system with ELAN, the homeowner is able to control his shades from the same app or remote that he controls his home’s lighting, audio, video, surveillance, and more.”

Creating indoor and outdoor unity in a small space was not without its challenges.

“The biggest challenge I faced during the installation was integrating nine different disciplines in one rack, within one closet,” says Deakin. “Since the house is relatively small for an A/V installation of this magnitude, the lighting, shading, surveillance, irrigation, climate, and audio components all live in one location. But we made it work!”

According to the homeowner, he has already become so accustomed to his fully integrated home that he can’t imagine life without it.

“I absolutely love the automated functionality that unifies every room of the home,” the homeowner explains. “Every morning, I begin my day by using the ELAN app to open the motorized shades, and letting the morning light stream in.”