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Lots of people think that owners of fully integrated homes are young, upwardly mobile and tech-savvy.

Situated in one of Melbourne’s wealthiest suburbs, this property was designed to be a sanctuary for its owners. Designed to emulate the feel of a holiday resort, nature and relaxation formed part of the architect’s creative brief.

This makes for interesting contrast to the high level of integrated technology featured in the home. Take the outdoor spa area as an example of how the two have been blended to great success: it’s small feature pond/spa is matched by an impressive set of outdoor speakers. While the speakers are rather modest in appearance (the emphasis was on making them inconspicuous), the technology brains behind the project, custom installer Chalard Sairat of Melbourne’s Interactive Living, is happy to educate people on the wide variety of speakers available in this country.

For instance, he says that you can get outdoor speakers shaped like a rock (yes, a rock) and underwater speakers for your pool, which allow you to listen to music while you’re swimming or diving. In this way, the technology can really help create a sanctuary-like atmosphere.
But how did this all come together? Why did the owners want so much technology in the home? Are we dealing with a bunch of computer engineers or plain geeks?

Again, this is where the contrast kicks in and stereotypes (no pun intended) are dismantled. The owners of this sanctuary of nature and technology are in their late 60s and early 70s. If this show of funky “young” things’ interest in technology surprises you, don’t be. The couple got their inspiration for getting techno-friendly from a friend, an 80-plus-year-old gentleman who loves to kick it up with a bit of Crestron. He also recommended Interactive Living as the custom installers for the job, to which Sairat says: “We get most of our business from word-of-mouth recommendations.”

The owner of this beautiful Melbourne residence says the main benefit of having the technology is “because it just makes everything so much easier.” “I was starting from scratch,” she says. “It’s a brand new home, and today people are looking for all the bells and whistles, should I ever decide to sell it.”
“I also really did not want to learn how to use all the different things and have all kinds of remotes for everything.”

Indeed, the one thing she likes the most about having had the technology custom-installed is that she can “now do everything from just one keypad.” “I can pull the blinds; switch off the lights, the stereo, or the TV; and control the alarm system. It also keeps the place looking neater as you don’t have different controls lying around,” she says.

But back to the original concept behind the home, which was to create a sanctuary. One of the ways this was achieved with the help of technology, was by having a user-friendly central entertainment suite from which, via speakers, you can fill just about every room with the music of your choice. The installation of a sophisticated, integrated lighting system also helped.
For instance, the owners can set the mood to fit a party atmosphere or a dinner setting. The party atmosphere lights up the front of the house and in the garage, while the rest of the house’s lights are lowered. The “dinner” light setting works in a similar fashion – at the touch of a button, the lights are adjusted to a level the host prefers.
Again, just like the speakers, a lot of the electronic goodies can be picked to match the interior design of the house, making them an attractive feature rather than a somewhat ugly looking necessity.


THE HOME GOODIES:

What Interactive Living installed in the home

Controls – AMX Control System
NI-3000 Netlinx integrated controller
VPT-CP-433 Wireless touch screen (433MHz)
AXR-RF-433 Radio frequency receiver

 

Audio Visual (AV) – Living area
Fujitsu 50-inch high resolution plasma monitor with wall-mount bracket
AMC 2 channel power amplifier
Marantz Dolby digital surround sound receiver
Marantz DVD/VCD/CD player
Marantz disc changer
Parasound tuner
Panasonic six-head hi-fi VCR
DGTEC high-definition digital TV set-top box
3 x Boston Acoustic rectangular dual  in-wall speakers
1 x Boston Acoustic in-wall subwoofer
2 x Boston Acoustic round in-ceiling speaker

 

Master bedroom
Sharp 30-inch LCD TV with wall-mount bracket with tilt able
Share AV resource with the living area
Control by AMX wireless touch screen

 

Audio Distribution
Family Area
4 x Tutondo Folio 2-way speaker with built in amplifier 8w
Control by AMX wireless touch screen

 

Dining Area
4 x Tutondo Ozio 2-way speaker with built-in amplifier, white colour
Control by AMX wireless touch screen

 

Master bedroom and ensuite
3 x Tutondo Ozio 2-way speaker with built-in amplifier, white colour
Control by AMX wireless touch screen and Tutondo Audio control unit wall-mounted

 

Study Area
1 x Tutondo Ozio 2-way speaker with built-in amplifier, white colour
Control by AMX wireless touch screen and Tutondo Audio control unit wall mounted

 

Garden Area
2 x Tutondo Sydney outdoor active speaker 2-way
Control by AMX wireless touch screen and Tutondo Audio control unit wall-mounted

 

Decking Area
2 x Tutondo Sydney outdoor active speaker 2-way
Control by AMX wireless touch screen and Tutondo Audio control unit wall-mounted

 

Pond/Spa Area
2 x Tutondo Sydney outdoor active speaker 2-way
Control by AMX wireless touch screen and Tutondo Audio control unit wall-mounted

 

Intercom System
NOVA COLOUR two-inch LCD monitor module
Hands-free module, video system, grey, NOVA series
Video entry panel TARGHA series, steel look
Audio/video unit with 1/3-inch colour CCD camera, audio unit, infrared LED,
TARGHA series.

 

Lighting Automation
C-Bus lighting system
 Dimmers
 Relays
 Movement sensors (PIR)
 Stainless steel switches
 Stainless steel wall-mount touch screen

 

Security System
Concept 4000 alarm system with remote control
Fully integrated with lighting and central control systems

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