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On Ctv: Renovating With Home Automation in Mind

Posted April 5, 2018

Home automation is nothing new, but a recent boom in accessible smart home tech is bringing it into the spotlight and driving renovations. In his latest appearance on CTV News at Noon with Leanne Cusack, Amsted President Steve Barkhouse shares ways to make your home smart.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to home automation:

  1. I want an autonomous house.
  2. I want to be able to easily access things in my house using my voice or my phone.

In a related blog, Steve explores how you can incorporate either in your home, depending on your personality. In this blog, he shares one of our recent projects in which the homeowners incorporated a highly personalized, smart home during their renovation.

These homeowners came to us originally as many do, with the intent to update their older suburban home to meet their tastes. They knew they wanted to add home automation features, but weren’t sure what they were looking for.

Like many houses in older suburban subdivisions, their home was characterized by many divided rooms. The footprint provided ample space, but there was the semblance of a landing strip with the kitchen and adjacent eating area down the centre and various rooms off either side. There was poor functionality with dated fixtures and finishes and an ineffective use of space.

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We opened the entire rear of the home, moving the kitchen to what had been the dining room and greatly improving traffic flow throughout while updating the esthetics. The old oak cabinetry gave way to white shaker cabinets with sleek hardware and flush-mount appliances.

Bringing on our friends at Eastech, the homeowners were able to incorporate an extensive array of home automation features. The kitchen allow features a coffee bar timed with their “morning” setting, which turns on at the press of a button in the bedroom upon waking, and lighting controlled by a central system that coordinates with specific activities, times of day, or can be changed as needed.

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A multi-purpose living room was created next to the kitchen and eating area, updated in style and perfect for guests or quality family time. Automation features here include remote-controlled, layered shades for either privacy or “movie time”. The lighter shades are set to lower at specific times of the day to enhance privacy while the movie time setting draws the blackout shades for effective movie watching at any time of day. The movie time setting also dims the lighting and selects the speakers that will be used to offer seamless surround sound.

To make the space more aesthetically pleasing, all of the wiring and devices required to run the TV and speakers are kept hidden in a control room.

Timed privacy screens have also been included in the husband’s home office and both privacy screens and blackout screens are used in the master bedroom, along with control panel access for various systems in the home. The “morning” code, for instance, that turns on the coffee machine also changes the blackout curtains to the privacy sheers, turns off the alarm and turns on lights in the bathroom. Similarly, a “night” code provides the peace of mind that the house is locked up, doors are closed and shades are drawn.

Overall, the homeowners now have a cohesive main floor, an updated home throughout and true automation that makes their lives infinitely easier.

Related: Home automation options