Refurbished Family Home – Barnes, London
The brief for this traditional house in Barnes was to give the client the advantages of a smart home without anyone being able to really tell.
As with any property, one of the major requirements for this installation was access to fast and reliable internet and WiFi. We utilised the high quality Unifi by Ubiquiti systems to offer fast, safe and secure networks with parental controls.
Each system we install runs telephone and broadband cables from one central location which is known as the ‘hub’. We bring the main telecoms and broadband service from the street into the location with a cabling layout that ensures there is a full network, allowing for easy distribution around the premises.
As a managed WiFi system, the Unifi platform allows you to use multiple access points and enjoy high speed connectivity through the property. Through the managed WiFi you can simply authorise the network once and then all of your mobile and smart devices will automatically connect through the correct access points. This eliminates the possibility of dropouts in the service.
Although this house has many different smart services, we have used the excellent Control4 platform to bring everything together, from easy-to-use all-in-one remotes, to the award-winning smartphone and tablet app, any aspect of the house system can be intuitively controlled from this excellent system.
There are four TVs in the property with Sky boxes and Apple TV situated in a rack in the basement. In the TV room there is also a small movie system, consisting of a sound bar, and hidden subwoofer, giving the immersive TV experience. In the kitchen, audio is also reproduced through ceiling speakers in the cooking area, so the viewer does not need to have the volume high to be able to hear what is going on, even with the loudest cooking.
In this house, we specified the excellent Heos by Denon multi-room music system. Heos is a similar product to Sonos having many different components to fir the user’s needs. The two main reasons we chose Heos over Sonos, are sound quality and integration. The Heos system is slightly more powerful than Sonos and benefits from Denon’s many years of music reproduction. Unlike Sonos, Heos was designed from the ground up for home integration and offers many more useful features, including Bluetooth playback.
This house is a great example of making sure we the perfect product to give the customer exactly what they like. This client was not a big fan of ceiling speakers, for example, and wanted to avoid them if possible. However, in the kitchen, it was agreed that they were the right solution. For the TV room the obvious choice was a soundbar and subwoofer, in the drawing room traditional speakers on floor stands, linked back to an amplifier in the rack, for the bedroom, standalone Heos 1 units, allow flexibility and ease of installation.
Next, we move on to smart heating and lighting, one of the key features here is the reduction of ugly light switches and thermostats. The elegant and simple-to-use Philips Antumbra keypads offer control of the heating and lighting in each room from a single keypad. In key areas custom features have also been integrated, such as all off, evening mode and holiday mode.
As you would expect there are also lighting scenes that trigger automatically, following dusk and dawn through the year, making sure the house is always at the desired temperature and at the correct light level. Offering security, ease of use and energy saving, not to mention great aesthetics, these smart heating and lighting controls, were an obvious choice. Control from any smartphone or tablet is also possible.
Another useful feature the client was keen to integrate was video door entry. This great C4 system allows users to see who is at the door, whether they are at the top of the house, in the studio at the bottom of the garden or in another country. They can even open the door to let in the dog walker.
Another great feature of the C4 system is that it integrates with phone systems. Rather than having a separate video entry panel and phone system simple, easy-to-use phones support video entry, intercom as well as good phone calls.