The Buzz: Installation Spotlight: Reynolds Home, Dawnsonville, Ga.
Aug 1, 2007 12:00 PM, By Trevor Boyer
Artful Home Integration
In late 2005, an interior designer decided to build a new house for herself and her husband, and unsurprisingly, became heavily involved in the design. Kathy Reynolds had specific ideas for her new home in Dawsonville, Ga., in terms of the audio, video, and most importantly for her, the lighting systems. Early in the design stage for the house, Reynolds hired HomeWaves of Cumming, Ga., as the electronic architects that would design and integrate those systems, which include sophisticated lighting, state-of-the-art home control, a subtle audio infrastructure, and video technology delicately built into walls or strategically mounted throughout the home.
Adam Weart, manager for design and engineering at the residential integration firm, says that's how HomeWaves likes to work on all its jobs. But, for this one, the client made it easier to conceptualize the systems.
“Obviously, we had our expertise in the design, and so it was very easy to work with her because she knew what she wanted,” he says. “So we would make suggestions like, ‘This would be a great wall for artwork.’ And she would say, ‘Oh, that's great, I think I'm going to have art in this exact location,’ so it was very good interaction with the client.”
Art lighting was therefore an important consideration for the client, and she also was open to sophisticated overhead lighting. The ceiling of the terrace-level living room is coffered, which means beams divide it into nine squares. The foyer, the dining room, and the master bedroom all feature ceiling trays — an octagonal one in the foyer, an octagonal double tray in the dining room, and a vaulted tray in the bedroom. HomeWaves suggested and implemented xenon uplighting for the coffers and for the rings on the trays.
For art lighting, Weart says, “We typically use a 4in. low-voltage can, which has an adjustable down trim.” Those lights can be pulled down and rotated so the residents can re-aim them if they decide to move their artwork.
With all this architectural and decorative lighting (the house also has ceiling fans and two chandeliers), it was necessary to implement a control system, which is one of HomeWaves' strengths.
“The reason we do lighting design is because we sell lighting control,” Weart says. “And that lighting control incorporates our lighting design to create scenes.”
He adds that HomeWaves mainly sells Vantage control systems for lighting. “Vantage allows you to pre-wire a house differently from an electrical standpoint,” he says, suggesting such an approach allows a cleaner design. “You're just putting single-gang keypads in key areas of the house. And they're very attractive keypads.”
Programmed by HomeWaves, these keypads also allow the Reynolds family to create their own house-wide scenes — for example, they can push a button and recall a custom scene upon returning home at night.
Completely separate from the lighting control is the audio/video/HVAC control system. HomeWaves selected and installed a Control 4 system, including a 4in. wired miniature touchscreen (TSE-3.8C1-W), a 10.5in. wireless touchscreen (TSM-10.51-B) with table dock, and a Wireless T-Stat for controlling HVAC. There's also an AVN-MC1-B media controller with an 80GB hard drive for music storage.
A Control 4 amp, an AVM16S1-B 16-channel model (100W per channel), powers the audio system, and there are also amps from Earthquake (a 1000W XJ-600R to power an Earthquake IW-SUB10 in-wall subwoofer) and Sonance (a 275 2-channel, 75W-per-channel model). HomeWaves also turned to Sonance for the speakers throughout the house. The house has four 6.5in. in-wall speakers and close to 20 6.5in. in-ceiling models, as well as four “in-rock” speakers outside on the patio.
Of course, no modern home is complete without a video system, even if it's not the central focus. To that end, the HomeWaves integrators hid the home's three flatscreens as best they could by working with the builders to create recesses in the walls, and by choosing low-profile Peerless mounts for the screens.
The master bedroom features a 32in. LCD from LG (32LCD) built into a box in the wall with a Peerless articulating arm (a Peerless SA740P).
“There's a sitting room attached to the master, and they wanted to be able to pull that TV out and turn it, so if you're sitting in the master sitting room you can actually see that,” Weart says. “It recesses back so you can't see the guts behind it.”
A recessed 55in. Hitachi 55HDM71 plasma in the living room got the same treatment from a Peerless ST650 tilt mount, which HomeWaves also chose for mounting another LG 32LCD screen in the billiards room. Weart says that Peerless mounts combine material strength with a slim enough profile to keep screens from sticking out from their 6in. recesses.
Video sources include two satellite receivers and a Marantz DV4600 DVD player. There's also a wireless LG 15LW1R 15in. LCD TV that acts as a satellite receiver. A Channel Vision unit switches these sources, and the Control 4 touchpanels control everything AV. HomeWaves installed the trim elements (lights, speakers, panels, etc.) early this year.
“It turned out really clean,” Weart says.
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