Looking to completely redevelop his house, a Hampshire property owner called in Cyberhomes to help realise his vision for a fully automated home.
“The beauty of this installation is that everything worked so simply from the off—the whole family can use the technology without any training. I’d expected a few teething problems, but Cyberhomes made sure everything worked perfectly, and the Savant Pro control system makes it all very simple to use.”
Quality materials, luxury finishing and close attention to detail have created a beautiful home. Throughout the project we worked closely with interior designer Lauren Matthews to ensure the technology integrated seamlessly into the amazing interiors she created. The property features three bedrooms, an open-plan living area, a stunning cinema, a separate guest house and its own wine cellar. The centrepiece of the living area is a unique fish tank, with custom lighting effects.
Cyberhomes worked closely with the owner, architect, interior designer and building contractor to integrate smart technology throughout the main house.
As a result, the home boasts sophisticated lighting, security, climate control and AV capabilities, plus automatic doors between the main rooms. The entire system is controlled by the Savant Pro smart home system.
We designed and installed the technology with discretion in mind, so as not to affect the striking interior design. All equipment is located away from the living spaces, or stows automatically when not in use.
The owner had already planned the next phase of the redevelopment, which includes a swimming-pool complex. So Cyberhomes future-proofed the automation system, pre-wiring it for new features to be added further down the line.
The impressive AV system features a cinema room and five TVs throughout the home, all connected to a 4K video matrix. The TVs can be simply controlled with a tap of the Savant Pro app, or from each room’s Lutron wall plates. Top-quality, multi-room audio throughout the property uses B&W in-ceiling speakers, with content streamed from an Autonomics media server.
One of the home’s most striking features is the open-plan kitchen, dining, bar and snug area. To maximise sound quality in this large space, we added four discreetly placed in-wall Triad subwoofers to the in-ceiling B&W loudspeakers.
The bar and snug share a TV, which rotates according to which wall plate turns it on. We used a similar motorised bracket in the master bedroom, to allow the homeowner to watch TV in bed, or from the room’s seating area.
We installed waterproof outdoor speakers close to the house, and infrastructure for more external audio zones, ready for when the garden landscaping is completed. We’ve also prewired all the TVs in the home with optical fibre cables, to allow quick and easy upgrades for future video distribution technologies.
The owner wanted his new cinema to have it all: the biggest screen possible, state-of-the-art audio-visual quality, beautiful materials and luxury finishings. Detail was everything, right down to sourcing leather upholstery from the tannery that supplies Aston Martin.
An exquisite space, the cinema provides the perfect atmosphere for any big-screen occasion.
“We have a beautiful living room, but I think we’ve only been in it once, because we love our cinema so much! Cyberhomes gave us the best of everything: the look, sound and picture quality. It still blows my mind every time I go in.”
We commissioned a special acoustically transparent, stretched-fabric wall to create a unique, undulating sawtooth visual effect in the room.
The fabric wall is striking and tactile, and conceals 15 speakers as well as the acoustic treatment panels. Dramatic LED strip-lighting helps emphasise its textures, and dispels the need for central lights. This gave us scope to commission a stunning star-field ceiling. Each star is precisely positioned to avoid the speakers and cabling above the ceiling, and prevent unwanted reflection on the screen.
The cinema’s Lutron lighting is integrated into the home’s Savant Pro control system. As soon as video content starts to play, the lights automatically dim, leaving low-level illumination from the stair lights (except during daytime viewing).
Achieving the perfect lighting conditions also meant removing an external window to block out natural daylight. We installed a fake window in its place—complete with double-glazing, a motorised Lutron blind and integral LED lighting—to preserve the aesthetic balance of the property’s exterior.
As the owner likes watching movies and sport with friends and family, the cinema needed to provide outstanding visuals for daytime and evening viewing. We achieved this by installing an acoustically-transparent Screen Research XLR3 screen, and a high-brightness Digital Projection 4K laser projector.
We commissioned Vizbox Enclosures to build a bespoke ventilated cabinet to house the projector, placing the fans outside the property to eliminate noise in the room. We also reinforced the ceiling to support the weight of the projector and its cabinet.
Motorised side-masking allows the screen area to automatically change with the video source’s aspect ratio; and to close entirely to protect the screen when not in use.
The cinema’s Lumagen Radiance Pro video processor delivers high dynamic range (HDR). It also allowed accurate ISF colour calibration for each video source.
As with the lighting, all equipment is integrated into the intuitive Savant Pro system. With one touch of the Savant Pro app, the family can set the perfect conditions for the occasion—whether it’s everyday TV, a big match, playing the games console, or watching a film from one of the cinema’s dedicated movie sources.
The tiered seating Cyberhomes designed and built gives everybody in the room an unrestricted view. People in the front row get an extra level of luxury as they can stretch out and relax in the comfy loungers.
We installed a Dolby® Atmos® 7.1.6 system, consisting of 15 James in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, and four James subwoofers.
Optimising the cinema’s acoustic performance meant calculating the required amount of reflection and absorption, and the right number of bass traps. We then brought in acoustic treatment specialists Desmond and Sons to implement our specifications. Given the sound pressure levels such a powerful system can create, we advised the building contractor on how to achieve
sound isolation from the rest of the house. This included an acoustic isolating door, made to recording-studio standards—and designed to match the other doors in the home.
Working to a design by Hampshire Lighting, we created a Lutron lighting system. This comprises 72 dimming circuits, 32 switched-lighting circuits and 26 wall plates. Each wall plate has uniquely engraved buttons to allow the family to easily switch on their preferred lighting scenes and functions for the room they’re in.
Lighting automation is based on internal and external motion detection, daylight sensors and an astronomical clock. We also automated the motorised blinds and curtains for more than 30 windows.
Built-in fingerprint readers do away with the need for keys, and can provide lock status updates. And the family never need miss a delivery or visitor again, as the doorbell is integrated into the home’s audio system. The bell chimes throughout the house, and any audio playing anywhere in the house temporarily pauses. The family can instantly see who’s calling on the gate’s video intercom, which is integrated into the Savant Pro system.
A Texecom intruder and fire alarm was installed by our security partner, then integrated into Savant Pro by Cyberhomes. This allows easy arming and disarming, and provides push notifications to the homeowner’s Apple Watch.
Motion detectors turn on external lights, depending on the status of the intruder alarm. The alarm can protect just the perimeter of the property, or the whole house when the family are away. As a CCTV system forms part of the next phase of the development, we made the security system ready for the installation of a network video recorder and pre-wired it for CCTV cameras.
Underfloor heating throughout the property is managed by the Heatmiser system via Savant Pro, providing zone-by-zone control. There is also an air-circulation and heat-exchanger system to prevent energy waste, which allows the family to keep heating costs down.
The cinema’s air conditioning and circulation system—required to overcome the lack of natural ventilation—has a purge cycle that automatically refreshes the room after use. It is powerful enough to get rid of the smell of visitors’ cigarette smoke. The vents are hidden within the coffered ceiling to avoid spoiling the look of the room.
We also installed a Wi-Fi connected air-conditioning unit in the rack room, with temperature probes inside the racks. Should the rack room exceed the desired temperature, the Savant Pro app alerts Cyberhomes. We’ll quickly step in to prevent the home’s equipment from overheating and shutting down.
A unique feature of the property, the wine cellar benefits from some innovative automation programming. A ‘secret’ screen-tap sequence in Savant Pro operates the motorised glass door, so that only the homeowner can access the wine collection.
The AV racks feature an automatic safe-shutdown capability (using Riello UPS) in case of a mains power failure. Domotz network monitoring software notifies Cyberhomes if any devices aren’t responding, and thanks to IP-controlled power distribution units (by Pakedge), we can reboot them remotely if necessary. The homeowner can also remotely reboot devices using the Domotz Violet app.
A dedicated air-conditioning unit in the rack room, along with temperature probes inside the racks, continually maintains a suitable temperature. The AC unit is Wi-Fi connected, so can push notifications to Savant Pro if the rack temperature gets too high.
“It was a great experience working with Cyberhomes. I dealt with the people who own and run the business from start to finish, and felt I could pick up the phone at any time. They listened to what I wanted, and were very pragmatic about where I could get best value. They were also extremely flexible as the project evolved.”
See our other award-winning home cinema design and installations:
CEDIA 'Best Home Cinema over £120,000' 2016
Control4 'Best Home Cinema 2012
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