SoundVision

The Advantages to Partnering with a Technologist for Your Home Automation

The Advantages to Partnering with a Technologist for Your Home Automation

Working with a pro ensures the best design, reliability, performance and service

With the countless, innovative smart home technology devices on the market today, how do you know not only which the best is, but which is the best for you? Connected doorbells, smart door locks and security devices are wonderful to have, but they’re much more valuable if they’re fully integrated into your home’s control system. Lighting control, motorized window treatments and automated garage control are not only convenient, but also a great way to mimic that someone is home while you’re away…particularly if you can access them remotely via your mobile device. So, of all the must-have technologies out there, how do you determine the right solution for you – for today, for tomorrow and beyond?

Tech “Talk”, tools and know-how

Your devices and systems need to talk to one another, and we speak their language. As a CEDIA Professional and Technologist, we have an extensive depth and breadth of knowledge in home technologies and stay current on emerging trends. We know what’s available, what’s on the horizon and, based on your requirements and desires, can design a system that will work seamlessly together and be easily controlled. We’ll make sure you’ve got the infrastructure to support it and that we’ve taken future demands into consideration.

Connectivity, Compatibility, Scalability

So, what makes a smart home so smart? It’s a system that works together with simple control. It’s an orchestration of elegant, convenient features that control music and lighting throughout your home, secure your entryways, control your climate, access your pool pump and outdoor water features, watch over your wine cellar, open your shades and light up the fireplace. It’s a scalable system that anticipates growth and an increasing number of devices on your internet of things. It’s a maintenance plan that offers peace of mind. It’s an everyday luxury that puts safety, comfort and entertainment at your fingertips.

Leave the worry and wondering up to us. Give us a call and let’s work together to discover the right solution for you.

How Acoustical Treatments Enhance the Design and Experience of Any Space

How Acoustical Treatments Enhance the Design and Experience of Any Space

Custom panels absorb unwanted noise while complementing the room’s decor

Listen! Can you hear that? If you’re at home enjoying a movie in your media room, are you experiencing the audio as it was intended with clear, crisp speech and striking, directional sound? Or, if you’re seated in a cozy lakeside café for an intimate, fine-dining experience, are you able to comfortably enjoy a conversation, or is the space vibrating with chatter, scooting chairs and clanking plates? Sound is a critical factor in how we experience a space, yet it is often completely overlooked in the room’s design.

Lively conversation and laughter create a fun, bustling atmosphere but, if the space is designed with only hard, reflective surfaces, the noise level in the room can quickly escalate, reaching uncomfortable levels. In fact, according to a ZAGAT survey, when restaurant-goers were asked what irritated them most about dining out, 25% responded “noise”. The Action on Hearing Loss found similar results from a campaign; 91% of respondents said that they would not return to a venue where noise levels were too high.

Soft, background music and normal speaking levels are desirable sounds, but noises that bounce off the hard surfaces and high ceilings need to be controlled. That’s the job of acoustical treatment, a thoughtfully engineered and aesthetically designed series of ceiling, wall and floor treatments to absorb unwanted noise and improve sound.

Like Newton’s theory

A sound wave will bounce around a room, reflecting off surfaces until it hits an object that either diffuses or absorbs it. Made of sound-absorbing material like foam and fiberglass, sound absorption products are intended to absorb unwanted noise, like echo, within a space. Acoustic panels, tiles, ceiling clouds and ceiling baffles are all sound absorption products that are designed to dampen sound in a properly treated space. An acoustical analysis will determine the treatments required to improve the room’s acoustical properties. Once determined, the design choices are endless with custom fabrics, materials, shapes and placement options that will complement the architecture and décor.

Comforts of home

Uncomfortable noise & distractions aren’t limited to just public spaces. Today’s trending remote workforce has more and more people working from home, creating a shift in focus to controlling sound levels not just in our home cinemas, but throughout our homes. Actually, many newly constructed homes and multi-unit buildings now have noise blocking requirements. However, for homes without these initial treatments, noise control can be combatted with carpeting, rugs or floating hardwoods, luxurious draperies, upholstered furnishings, and, of course, elegant acoustic panels. Panels created for the home can mimic art, featuring works from a favorite artist or perhaps your favorite movie or musician. To open a space, panels can even create faux windows with tranquil Lake Norman scenery and exquisite city skylines.

Now what do you hear?

So, listen. Are you able to have a conversation with the clerk behind the counter or with your waiter, without leaning in and asking them to repeat what was asked? Can you conduct a comfortable video conferencing call from your office without raising your voice above the office chatter and HVAC? Sound is an essential element in the overall experience of a space and the treatments to overcome unwanted noise are extensive and elegant. Are you ready to have a “conversation” about how to address the acoustics in your spaces? Call us today – we’re “listening”!

Additional Resources:

Rules for Placement of Acoustic Panels in a Theater Room: Technology in Education, Mark Valenti

Soundproofing, ExplainThatStuff, Chris Woodford

10 buildings with extraordinary acoustics: Where to find a sonic surprise, The Spaces

Eating Out Loud: Why Restaurants are Getting Noisier, New Statesmen,Caroline Crampton

Introduction to Acoustic Treatment, Home toys, Ethan Winer

How Home Automation Increases a Home’s Resale Value

Are you part of the 25 percent of people who own some kind of smart home product? If you’re not, you’ve probably at least heard about Amazon’s Alexa, if not seen its latest Super Bowl commercial.

What you might not have heard is that smart home technology is taking the real estate industry by storm. In fact, artificial intelligence and other smart home technology can actually increase the resale value of most homes – an important factor to consider now that more and more Millennials are buying homes (especially in the Lake Norman area in cities like Mooresville, Huntersville and Denver!) and interested in smart, connected devices.

It makes sense that this trend comes at a time of peak interest in “green” technology and endless connectivity. Smart home technology can increase energy efficiency, saving homeowners money on utility bills, while also providing eco-friendly perks. Combine money-saving with the added convenience of controlling everything from your thermostat to all of your media, to the safety and security of keyless entry, video doorbells and 24/7 monitoring, and it’s no wonder why so many homeowners are investing in this tech.

Houzz also reported an increase in the desire for smart technology integration amongst home buyers, especially first-time buyers, in their 2017 Houzz and Home renovation overview. This came along with an increase in “green” energy trends, as well as improving the overall functionality of a home and alleviating health concerns, which can also all be addressed with the right combination of technology.

Controlling every aspect of a home is such a priority to some home buyers that integrating these systems can not only increase the overall market value of your home by up to 7 percent, but also speed up the time it takes to sell it. If you need help deciding which tech to implement before you sell, A Lot Living says “the [automation systems] that can add the most value include whole house lighting control, automated door locks, temperature control that works from a phone, and security cameras, as well as home alarm systems.”

In a culture of busy and constantly-connected people, more home buyers are prioritizing the connectivity and convenience offered by smart home technology systems. So whether you’re looking to buy your first home or sell one you’ve lived in for years, consider the benefits of a fully-automated home.

Weaving an Integrated Lifestyle

 

The choices in color, weave and design of window shades are anything but beige!

We’ve been talking up the benefits of automated window shades for years. They’re an elegant choice in window treatment and offer a variety of unique shading solutions across your home. They filter glaring sunlight, adding comfort while protecting your furniture from fading. They save energy. They can be programmed to simulate that your home is occupied, acting as a deterrent for would-be burglars. And the list goes on. But, as extensive as their features and attributes, are their exquisite array of color and fabric choices.

Motorized window coverings can provide minimal to complete window coverage. If you’re in need of multiple shading solutions, such as a sunny living room that transitions into a cozy, dark TV viewing area, dual roller systems are available, providing an option between the two. The level of sheerness is referred to as the “openness factor”, a ratio of the open space in the fabric. The denser the weave, the higher the light filtering properties. Sheer shades are typically measured in the 1% to 10% range while a blackout shade is at 100% for total blocking of light. A sheer shade filters glare while still allowing clear visibility to the outside. A translucent or “dim-out” fabric, on the other hand, can range from a very low openness factor up to 95%, but creates privacy by limiting the amount of detail seen through the weave, allowing only shadows to be visible. Blackout shades completely block all light; perfect for home theaters and master bedrooms.

The weave, or pattern, is also a consideration for both design detail and design requirements. Roller fabrics are commonly offered in basketweave, twill and jacquard weaves, each with a unique, directional pattern and manufactured in limited widths. For expansive window openings, the fabric can be turned horizontally and seamed together, a process called railroading. Factoring weight and pattern, certain fabrics lend themselves better to achieving these widths. We’ll guide you through your options.

One of the best features about custom motorized shades is that they can be programmed to stop at select intervals, lowering and raising them throughout the day. Not only does this allow you to take advantage of capturing or filtering daylight, but aesthetically, it enables the shades to rest at desired design features such as mullions or chair rails.

Customization doesn’t stop there. Your shades can be programmed in harmony with your lights, music, security and more to create custom “scenes”. “Good Morning” may lower the shades 50% and brightly light the kitchen while “Good Night” closes the shades, softly illuminates your nighttime paths and secures your doors. For specialized windows, wirelessly controlled shades are the ideal custom solution. Skylights, French doors and dramatic, impossible-to-reach, feature windows all benefit from the energy savings and privacy that motorized shades provide.

The selections and solutions are endless, so how do you determine the right openness factor, color, weave and control solution? Let’s set up an in-home consultation. If you’re working with an interior design professional, we’re happy to work together to design window coverings that will complement your décor, add value to your home and weave elegance into your automated lifestyle.

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