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Integrating optimum sound and picture quality with architectural design means you can either relax or be entertained without leaving the comfort of home

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Family, work and entertainment – the fundamentals of a modern life. Each has different demands, and with today's busy lifestyles, it can be hard to find enough time for them all.

This is one of the reasons why houses today are no longer being designed as just places to rest our heads – instead, they incorporate space for all the things we love to do. So it's not surprising that home automation, sound systems, and home theater are increasingly being placed at the top of design wish-lists.

This home is a prime example of how good design and smart automation can exist cohesively. Alongside Italian leather furniture and marble surfaces sit the latest technologies. There's an LCD screen in the kitchen and a 50in plasma in the main living area on a rotating arm that makes it visible to all corners of the room. There's another plasma in the master suite and ‘rock' speakers outdoors.

However, it also shows how elements can be upgraded and re-arranged to suit without compromise. Thanks to architect John D'Anvers, fixed speakers and extensive cabling were part of the original design, allowing for automative flexibility. So, when the home was sold, the new homeowner could customize his own entertaining environment.

Audiovisual designer, Clayton Knowles, project-managed the system upgrade.

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"The homeowner places a high value on entertainment. Although he has a dedicated home theater room, he chose to have his main system in the living area, which is where he does the majority of his entertaining," he says.

As intended, the styling of the visual equipment complements the decor. But it's the behind-the-scenes components that make the picture and sound quality as good as it is, says Knowles.

"The flat screen televisions are basically all you see. Everything else is hidden away," he says. "This is the case in many new homes today, as homeowners seek to create sleek interiors."

He refers to the componentry like the DVD player, speakers, processors, amplifiers and sub-woofers – much of which is located in the cabinetry below. As well as room for equipment in the middle cupboards, this cabinetry accommodates built-in speakers, and drawers for DVDs and CDs.

There is also an in-wall speaker system that runs throughout the house.

The most recent addition is the Lutron lighting system, which replaced dozens of switches and dimmers with one easy-to-use control panel.

First published date: 24 May 2005

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Credit List

Architect John D'Anvers
Audiovisual designer Clayton Knowles
Control system Philips Pronto
Lighting system Lutron
Plasmas NEC LC
D Loewe DV
D player & processor Rotel
Power amplifier Rotel
In-wall speakers Speakercraft
In-ceiling rear speakers Triad
Sub-woofer and theater speakers Monitor Audio A
V cabinet Custom