Home of the Year
Apple of Their Eye
Apple-based control system and an electronic British butler.
Gold Winner: Whole Home $50,000 +

May 23, 2011 by EH Staff

Lights that switch on automatically at dusk: Been there. Thermostats that set back when the security system is armed: Done that. But a shower that’s preset to the perfect temperature and water velocity, an iron that warms up in preparation for the morning rush, and a chandelier that flashes to indicate that the powder room is out of toilet paper?

Completely uncommon automation scenarios, says Drew Balsman of HD Media Systems in Jackson, Mo., “yet they make perfect sense for the family that lives in this house.”

Take the iron scenario. As Mom Angie explains, with school uniforms, husband Shannon’s work shirts and other items to press almost daily, it streamlines the morning rush to have the iron good and hot the second she hits the laundry room. That’s all Angie had to tell Balsman and partner Scott Starzinger. The HD Media Systems team programmed the Davis’ Savant automation system to make that magic happen. As Angie gets dressed, she taps a button on a Vantage wall-mounted keypad in her walk-in closet and the Savant system turns on the iron. It’s a simple implementation of technology, but little control tricks like this are making a huge difference in the efficiency of their household, Angie and Shannon agree.

The family-friendly, tasteful and clean interior design contributes to the nice, easy flow of the home, too. Fashioned by Jeff Lewis, star of the Bravo TV series Flipping Out (read about Lewis’ take on technology on page 15), the rooms provide a calm, soothing backdrop for some truly incredible applications of technology.

Automation Mastermind

Although HD Media Systems was instrumental in designing, installing and programming the Savant system that runs Angie and Shannon’s 5,500-square foot “contemporary craftsman” home, Balsman credits Shannon as the mastermind behind many of its unique and clever automation features. “He’s an extreme early adopter who is always looking for new ways to utilize technology.” Often, being on the “bloody cutting edge,” can be painful, admits Shannon, but not when it came to learning to use and live with the Savant automation system.

The fact that it runs on an Apple-based operating system had a lot to do with the pain-free adoption of automation. “We are Apple fiends,” says Shannon. “We own eight iPads, eight iPhones and four [iPod] touches, and use Mac computers exclusively.” Balsman and Starzinger transformed these mobile devices into home control interfaces by downloading Savant’s app onto them. After that, they customized the onscreen layouts by adding special buttons, icons and sliders to simplify the navigation of the home control menus and commands. The screen looks the same on every device, be it a wall-mounted iPad in the kitchen or the iPhone in Shannon’s pocket. Several TVs can display the Savant control menu, too, with navigation performed via a handheld remote control. The addition of the Savant home control app affected none of the iPads’ or iPhones’ functionality. The Davises still use them to download and store music from iTunes, check the weather forecast and log on to their favorite websites.

Prepped to Party

Quick and easy access to music and video has made the Davis residence a favorite hangout of family and friends. “We had at least 400 people here for an open house around Christmas,” says Angie. “We had a playlist of music playing through the entire house and pictures of our house being built displayed on every TV.” Fifteen zones of virtually undetectable Sonance in-ceiling speakers delivered the audio; and 10 displays, including a 110-inch Vutec screen in the media room (see photo, page 13), presented the video.

System Design & Installation
HD Media Systems, Jackson, Mo.
Prestige Development, Cape Girardeau, Mo.
Interior Design
Jeff Lewis Design, Los Angeles, Calif.
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For this and any gathering they host, the Davises welcome visitors to mix things up by popping their own iPhones into the in-wall docking stations. Partygoers are encouraged to make special requests, too. Say a group wants to catch a football game. “Right from the kitchen iPad I can turn off the music in the media room, lower the motorized screen from the ceiling and call up the game,” says Angie. The kids, meanwhile, can congregate on the upper level of the house—dubbed the kids’ zone—where they can listen to their own music courtesy of a docking station in the hallway, or play video games on the 50-inch TV in the playroom.

The deck off the back side of the house is a party-pleaser, too. Music is directed to the 13 Sonance weatherproof speakers that line the perimeter, and video is cued up on a custom-designed 55-inch weatherproof LED TV that’s recessed into the brickwork of an outdoor fireplace. HD Media Systems installed the three front speakers within the hearth and placed the subwoofer under the deck to create a full 5.1 surround-sound effect.

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Savant Control System
Savant Rosie System 12
Savant analog input module
Savant 16-channel stereo preamp output
Savant 7.1 surround-sound and audio processors (2)
Savant digital video input modules (2)
Savant digital video output modules (3)
Savant Rosie OSD control systems (3)
Savant integrated touchpanel controller
Savant RF receivers (3)
Savant contemporary remote control
Savant 7-inch in-wall touchpanel
Savant Rosie media dock receivers (2)
Savant Rosie system controller
Savant Rosie in-wall media blocks (2)
Savant traditional remote controls (2)
Savant HDMI over Cat5/6 solution sets (8)
Savant in-wall charging stations for iPads (3)
Savant USB over Cat5e digital extender sets (2)
1) Pioneer PDP-6020 Plasma
4) Sanus VLL10 flat panel mounts
1) Binary B5HDMI10M
1) Vutec 110” letric 2
1) JVC DLA-HD990 projector
2) Strong SM-PROJ-M-BLK mount
1) Binary B5HDMI15M
3) Sonance Cinema LCR1
2) Pr Sonance VP85R SUR
1pr Sonance VP61R in ceiling speakers
1pr Sonance VP61S garage
1) Sonance Sub 12
7) Sonance VP63R Speakers for surround
2) Sonance VP61R Speakers sitting room
2) Sonance VP61R Speakers Dining Room
2) Sonance VP61R Speakers Kitchen
1) pr Sonance VP61R Bed
1) pr Sonance VP61S Bath
9) Sonance Mariner 63 outdoor speakers
2) Pr Sonance mariner 63
5pr Sonance VP61R
500 ft Episode 16/2
750 ft Episode 16/2
1) Episode ES-SUB-IW-DUAL8 in wall sub
1) Strong SM-CS-ART-L
1) Strong SM SWIVEL S
2) Strong SM-SK-Rack-42U
1) Pioneer PDP-5020 Plasma
1) Samsung UN46C6500 kitchen TV
1) Samsung UN55c6500 Bedroom
1) Samsung UN26C4000
1) Samsung UN55C6500
1) Samsung UN32C6500
3) Samsung BDP-6500
1) Custom fabricated TV Enclosure
1) Kicker L7 15” Subwoofer
1) Beringer Europower EP400
1) Custom weatherproof sub enclosure
1) Pioneer PDP-5020
1) Pentair Pool Spa Controller
1) EP-400-UPS-8HTR-1000
3) EP-300-9HTR
3) Direct TV HR24
1) Apple TV
7) Apple iPads
5) Apple iPhones
1) Integra DHC-40.2
1) Integra DTA-70.1
1) xbox
1) wii
7) Axis P3344 IP cameras
3) Axis M3014 IP cameras
4) Aprilare APR8870
DSC Alarm panel
1) Episode E-2100 amp
4) Episode E1230-A amps
2) Bora Gear Sirocco fans
1) Bora Gear Chinook Closet fan
Estimated 20,000 Ft Binary cat 5e
Estimated 10,000 Ft Binary 16/2
1) Vantage:MPER4IC36 Main Pwr Encl Recessed 4Module
3) Vantage:SPER4IC Secondary Pwr Encl Rec 4 Mod Re
1) Vantage:IC36I Infusion Controller 36V blk and Silver
2) Vantage:Fanmod Fan Control Module 120
14) Vantage:MDS8RW101 Vantage Standard Dimming Module
16) Vantage:FP1DTEAWNP Easytouch II G DEC TL2PL.
16) Vantage:KS13TEAWNA Easytouch II3 BTN w/trm
20) Vantage:KA13S Bticino Axolute Keypad Station
5) Vantage:Ha4803Rmc Bticino Axolute Rectangular
6) Vantage:HA4803LWE Bticino Axolute Rectangular 1 gang
1) Vantage:HA4803RLV Bticino Axolute Rect 1 gang- Slate
8) Vantage:HA4803BG Bticino Axolute Rectangular
25) Vantage:EMMotionsensor15 Small Pir Motion Sensor15 radius hands free auto and energy mgmt
5) Vantage:FL MSMini 360 Mini Flushmount Motion Sensor
2) Vantage:VDA0015L Wire ACI68 Auxilliary Pigtail
1) Vantage:QRemotelsWP Sensor Weather Proof Light

Installation Info
Systems Design & Installation:
HD Media Systems, Jackson, Mo.,
Prestige Development, Cape Girardeau, Mo.
Interior Design:
Jeff Lewis Design, Los Angeles, Calif., http://www.jefflewisdesign.com

Project Details
Home Size: 5,500 square feet
Cost: $150,000+ (includes installation and labor)
Project Duration: 16 months
Construction: New

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