US Super Bowl hero Adam Vinatieri sure knows how to kick winning field goals for the New England Patriots – he also knows a lot about home entertainment systems.When Adam Vinatieri kicked the winning field goal to give the US New England Patriots their first Super Bowl championship last February, his life changed instantly. It brought a big contract, several commercial endorsements and a new house for him and his wife, Valerie.
And the new house had to be decorated. That meant the busy couple had to make quick decisions on flooring, countertops, wall colours, carpeting, you name it – all this while Adam and his teammates endured two-a-day practices at Training Camp. During their little spare time together, Adam and Valerie went through decorator Training Camp. Vinatieri also wanted his house to have a music system and a home theatre.
Adam was seeking a basic entertainment system with a couple of rooms of audio and a big-screen TV, but when he witnessed the possibilities at custom installation company Home Smart Home’s show house in North Attleboro, MA, US, the plans changed. The couple of rooms of audio turned into a wholehouse system, and the big-screen TV turned into a dedicated home theatre.
There was only one problem for Craig Cooley and the crew at Home Smart Home. With the exception of the basement, the walls and ceilings in the home had been finished, which meant routing speaker wires could get tricky. To preclude having to drill into the newly finished walls, closets and cubby spaces were used as routing points to reach speaker locations, and a 3-inch conduit was installed to route wire from the basement-level garage to the second-floor locations.
Entertaining at home
The Vinatieris’ home is now equipped for the couple’s relaxation and entertainment, with the bar and game room, a dedicated home theatre, and eight zones of whole-house audio, including outdoor speakers in a deck and hot tub area.
“We don’t do a ton of entertaining, but we thought having a bar and game room for small get-togethers and family functions would be a neat thing,” Adam says.
The L-shaped space in the basement contains a massive cherry bar custom-built by Casaccio, which sports a black granite countertop that nearly glitters under the overhead lights. Spotlights and recessed cans provide the lighting in the space. Adam and Valerie use a lighting control system manufactured by Powerline Control Systems to set these and other lights to suit their mood. One scene lights just the bar area and dims the rest of the room. Another lights up only the bar and Adam’s trophy cases, and when a game of pool or air hockey is on the agenda, a scene lights up the game room around the corner.
While shooting pool, playing air hockey, or just sitting at the bar, the couple and their guests can enjoy music courtesy of a Russound whole-house audio system and ceiling-mounted Sonance speakers. They select the music source and adjust the volume conveniently by pressing the buttons of an intuitive wall-mounted keypad. They never need to touch the stereo components.
The 14-by-20-foot space is acoustically isolated, thanks largely to the SoundWalls brand acoustical treatments that were attached to the walls of the room.
In the Vinatieris’ theatre, the SoundWalls system is a textured ruby-coloured fabric that appears to have some padding behind it. In addition, a recessed soffit in the ceiling helps to diffuse the sound.
Adam simply has to grab a wireless Lexicon touchpanel remote and press theatre, and the room goes into action, dimming the lights and firing up the projector, the DVD player and the audio system.
The clarity and deep colour of the video that’s presented by an InFocus ScreenPlay DLP video projector on the Stewart 96-inch Firehawk screen is striking. Monsters Inc. seems twice as colourful and engaging. Separate hairs on the monsters and other subtle nuances of the animation can even be detected. “I said I’d sit for five minutes here the other night and stayed for an hour,” says Home Smart Home CEO Artie Eaton. “That’s how good the picture and sound is.”
The SoundWalls treatments seem to bring the best out of some pretty good home theatre equipment, including a B&K 7.1 processor/ pre-amp and seven in-wall Sonance Virtuoso speakers concealed behind the fabric on the front, side and rear walls.
The sound is clear and evenly distributed, and when it’s time for a little rock-’em, sock- ’em action, the diminutive Sunfire subwoofer in the corner of the room delivers prodigious bass.
“U-571 was good in here with the submarine scenes,” Adam says. “And in one of the Jurassic Park movies, when the dinosaur stomps, it makes you flinch.”
He and Valerie also watch some regular TV in the theatre, but only when they’re going to be down there for some time.
“Thursday is my TV night, so I’ll watch it in the theatre, but if we’re just catching a sit-com, we’ll watch it on the TV upstairs,” he says.
The Lexicon remote control serves two purposes: as a device to pick and choose a favourite channel, and as a portal to the world outside the home theatre.
At the press of the security button, the TV video ceases and is replaced by scenes captured by video cameras mounted at the driveway and front door. That’s convenient if someone rings the doorbell – that is, if they can hear it in the theatre.
“I can’t even hear the phone ring in here, so sometimes I bring the telephone down with me,” Adam says.
When the movie finishes and Adam presses ‘theatre off’, the projector and audio equipment shut off, the lights come up for two minutes, and music plays from the radio.
Upstairs in this suburban Colonial, the couple displays a mix of modern design sensibilities and Adam’s passion for animals and nature. The dining-room set shows an ornate flair, but with a rustic wood finish also reflected in the kitchen cabinets and earth-toned tile floor. It all makes a down-to-earth, natural feel reflected in the couple’s modest nature. You have to look closely to notice the round speakers of the whole-house audio system flush-mounted in the kitchen ceiling, or the Sonance speakers planted in the walls of the dining room and living room.
One place where the Vinatieris spend a good deal of time is in the hot tub on the deck. Adam says it’s great after a long day of practice or even a morning dip. The couple can soak to some mellow sounds via two Sonance SoundHenge III speakers made to look like large rocks, and more Sonance Mariner speakers mounted nearby.
The couple’s musical tastes vary, from something mellow to hear in the cranberrycoloured bedroom to some earthy folk tunes suitable for the deck to something more upbeat or hip-hop while working out.
Wherever they are, finding what they want to hear is a breeze, thanks to several Russound keypads located throughout the house.
A second-floor exercise room receives music via two ceiling speakers, which automatically shut off if a DVD is placed in a concealed player for viewing on the Sony plasma screen.
When they want to control one of the concealed components, they simply press a button on a remote that sends the signal through a small infrared eye that’s built into the wall beneath the plasma screen.
No matter where they are in their home, though, Adam and Valerie can relax with some music, watch a movie in privacy and style, or entertain guests.
They’re relieved that their big home project is finally complete. There will be no more two-a-day decorating trips. And when the offseason comes, Adam can actually kick back and relax.