If anyone needed proof that modern technology has a use in every home, a recently renovated colonial-era Pennsylvania farmhouse with iPad-controlled audio and lighting in every room through the ELAN g! Entertainment and Control System puts the issue to rest once and for all.
The installation presented a unique opportunity for Pennsylvania-based custom integrator World Wide Stereo, which was able to maintain the historic integrity and rustic charm of the 269-year-old dwelling while transforming the property into a modern media wonderland.
According to homeowner and interior designer Victoria Graves, her and her husband’s relationship with World Wide Stereo stemmed from his love for music, as witnessed by his CD collection that numbers in the thousands. When they first moved into the home in 2005 they met with World Wide to install the audio gear they already owned and to help convert their entire CD collection to digital files on an Escient music server. Shortly thereafter, Graves and her husband met with World Wide again to discuss a new multi-zone audio system.
As World Wide Stereo owner Bob Cole recalls, “The Graves’ gave us an opportunity to showcase new technology in an extraordinary setting. With Victoria’s guidance on design aspects, we were able to minimize the appearance of electronics through the home with the use of in-ceiling and in-wall speakers. The original ELAN Via system had in-wall touch panels, but with the upgrade to ELAN g!, most of those have been removed in favor of several iPads that can be carried anywhere in the home and provide complete control of every light and speaker. The Graves wanted to maintain the historical essence of the home, and ELAN g! helped them do it.”
The home has seen a lot of renovations and upgrades since being built more than two and a half centuries ago, and according to Graves, this most recent update was never intended to be a start-and-finish project. In fact it’s been an ongoing project for seven years.
“The house is always a work in progress,” she explained, “and the guys at World Wide found that out when they showed up one day and the kitchen was gone! Luckily our renovation afforded us the opportunity to create a crawlspace in the home, which greatly simplified the electrical and wiring and provides easier access for future enhancement and upgrades. We have a home that’s older than America itself, but it comes with music and lights that we control from our iPhones. It’s definitely the best of both worlds.”
In addition to providing 13 zones of audio, with several outdoor zones, the home’s ELAN g! system integrates a Lutron lighting system that allows the Graves to set lighting scenes to match their current location, such as the “Dining” Scene which lowers the kitchen lights and brings up the dining room. It also makes bedtime a lot simpler, enabling them to shut off every light on the property with a single button when it’s time to turn in. The Graves use iPads for daily system control, and have only a single 7-inch in-wall touchscreen remaining in the home, located just outside the office study.