When a New Jersey homeowner began renovating his Edgewater penthouse, he dreamed of an easy-to-use automation system that was free of cluttered switches and unsightly wires to fit seamlessly into his picturesque residence.
After little deliberation, he turned to Union City-based integration firm Serious Audio Video to install a completely invisible automation system into the penthouse powered by the ELAN Entertainment and Control platform. This smart home automation system subtly manages several components of the penthouse, including lighting, HVAC, audio, video, security, cameras, fireplace, and even the piano.
“The owner likes to build and has had other automation systems in former homes,” said Serious Audio Video operations manager Rick Truocchio. “However, he never used the systems because they weren’t user friendly or reliable. Although he liked technology, he hated seeing it all over his other homes.”
Honoring the owner’s minimalistic style, in-wall ELAN touch panels were incorporated into each room of the penthouse, eliminating excess wall clutter. Everything from the light switches to the thermostats were hidden in touch panel controls, with pre-programmed scene settings to turn everything on or off with one tap.
“When the owner comes home, he uses a pre-set button to turn on the Lutron lighting, raise the motorized window shades, and start playing his music,” Truocchio added.
For music, the ELAN system controles iTunes, Spotify, and Pandora. The owner can listen to his favorite tunes through the 16 speakers and subwoofers hidden throughout the home. With multiple zones of audio connected through an ELAN M86A multi-room audio controller, music can be played everywhere—through the custom-made chrome-plated speakers in the steam shower ceiling and even through the Bösendorfer piano, which was specially integrated in the ELAN system so the music library can be played back by the piano itself.
Outfitted with one-of-a-kind Giorgio Armani furniture and custom mahogany, the penthouse is sleek and stunning. “Aesthetics and functionality were two of the main requests from the homeowner,” Truocchio stated. “He insisted on not seeing any technology, but having the latest and greatest of everything.”
Through the ELAN platform, the Serious Audio Video team found a way to do it all. Concealed behind a 75-inch mirror, a secret 65-inch Seura TV hangs above the fireplace. Utilizing a Future Automation articulating wall mount, the angle of the mirror TV can be adjusted with the push of a button. With different settings, the TV can be easily seen from the kitchen or dining room, and then effortlessly hidden when not in use. Additionally, there are no computer monitors in the owner’s home office. With just a few clicks on an Apple wireless keyboard, the Samsung 55-inch HDTV changes displays and turns into a computer monitor ready for use.
When it comes to smart home automation, many people are turned off by the complex, finicky nature of some systems. “After the customized construction process took over two years, the owner was concerned that the technology would be another big problem,” Truocchio said. “Luckily, the integration and installation was the smoothest part of the entire process, which made him very happy.”