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1920s Lake Michigan Cottage Upgraded With ELAN

When grandchildren came into his life, one homeownerturned to Allegretti Architects and Buday's Home Electroonics Simplified to build a smart home around the ELAN Entertainment and Control system.

For many years, when a successful Chicago-based real estate entrepreneur needed an escape from the city, he would journey to his 1920s cottage on Lake Michigan. Then, when grandchildren came into his life, he wanted his second home to be a lot more family friendly. To do this, he turned to Allegretti Architects to build additional structures on the property. Not content with just the structural upgrade, the homeowner began contemplating technological additions to enhance the aesthetic. Allegretti turned to its AV partner, Buday’s Home Electronics Simplified, to build a smart home system based around the ELAN Entertainment and Control System, creating a one-of-a-kind family oasis. 

“Allegretti Architects did a walkthrough of one of our homes where they were introduced to the ELAN control system,” Buday’s Home Electronics Simplified owner Ed Buday explained. “For this project, I knew that we were going to do something similar, and after speaking with the homeowner about his goals for the technology, we decided to tie everything together through the ELAN system.”

“Ed has completed a number of our projects, said president and founder of Allegretti Architects, John Allegretti. “We are a small firm, so we really rely on our subcontractors to be experts at what they do. When it comes to technology, it’s great to have products installed by people who really understand the total system and how it interfaces with all of the other aspects of the owner’s life. With Ed, it always starts as a little project, and then it grows and grows into something great.”

On Lake Michigan, what started as an outdoor kitchen, security, and speaker system, turned into a full ecosystem, including media and entertainment, lighting control, smart thermostats, a power management system, doorbell integration, and more.

Beginning with a wireless network that touches every inch of the property, from the beach to the street, Buday and his team built a strong structure for ELAN, the “brain” of the system. From anywhere on the property, or in the world, the homeowner and his family can operate the lighting and thermostats, security system, and entertainment system.

With beautiful summer weather, the new pool designed by Natures Way Landscaping and built by Canton Pools is the perfect place to entertain or relax with the family. Allegretti and Buday worked harmoniously to create an oasis around the pool that includes a new outdoor kitchen and an outdoor media system with weatherproof TV and speakers connected through ELAN.

“The music system is definitely a highlight of the AV equipment,” Buday added. “Through a music server connected to ELAN, we were able to provide the family with Spotify, Pandora, and iTunes at the touch of a button. And, with the homeowner being a big Chicago Cubs fan, we installed a dedicated AM tuner so he can listen to the baseball games, even when he’s at the lake. With a special button on the ELAN interface, we were able to do some advanced programming, so no one can change that channel.”

To operate the system, the homeowner and his family can use ELAN hard-button remotes, their smartphones or tablets, as well as ELAN touchpanels strategically placed in each of the three buildings.

“Buday and his team think about the whole picture, and don’t just cut a hole in the wall,” Allegretti said. “They reference the plan, have open conversations and sincerely communicate with everyone involved, making the technology seamlessly integrate with the structures being built. When you walk through this home, you can tell that there are no misplaced speakers or awkward boxes visible. Everything is perfect.”

Since this project continued to incorporate addition after addition, it took almost two years to complete. Buday and his team installed a Panamax 4351-PRO power conditioner with BlueBOLT remote power management technology to easily monitor the power and technology that was installed. “We chose to install Panamax because the construction process was completed in various stages,” Buday said. “Once the first new building was complete, the family wanted to entertain friends at the lake, but when construction began on the other structures, the contractors would regularly turn the power on and off.” To ensure the system was always running smoothly when the family arrived at the home, Buday used Panamax to reboot the AV system remotely.

“The homeowner wasn’t too keen on technology, and mainly installed the system for his children and grandchildren to enjoy,” Buday said, “but now, he loves it!”