By Linda Hayes | January 19, 2016 | Home & Real Estate
New smart homes perfectly balance form and function, from iPad controls, whole-house music systems, and HDTVs hidden by art work.
Get smart! Despite Aspen’s rugged, old-timey charm, you won’t find anything anachronistic in its new homes, where the use of smart tech and automation is on the up and up.
“We’ve had people who spent six-figures-plus for a system but were not utilizing it because they didn’t know how it worked,” says Damon Roth, a partner with Xssentials (109 Aspen Airport Business Center, 970-925-1700), a Denver-based company with an Aspen branch that has driven innovative home and office automation for more than 30 years. “It’s a much simpler situation right now, with systems that embrace the iPad [for controls]. Every house that had technology as a part of it before that is a legacy system, old and outdated.”
Xssentials recently completed a pair of projects that exemplify how the inclusion of the latest home technology is easily available for both new construction and home refits. For a newly constructed home designed by Poss Architecture+ Planning (605 E. Main St., 970-925-4755), Double Bar X Ranch, behind the Maroon Creek Club, the tech team installed a dedicated Savant system that “talks to the iPad” to control not only the mechanical and security systems but the electronics for a custom home theater with seating for 20.
“Some people want a theater with all the bells and whistles, and that puts the speakers and other elements on display,” says Poss Architecture partner Kim Weil. “This is a very traditional home for a multi-generational family. It’s set up with sound-absorbing walls, an iPad-controlled, 17-foot-diagonal screen that retracts to expose a stage where the grandkids put on plays, and a game center where old and young can play together. Everything else is ‘behind the curtain.’”
Lighting, heating, cooling, security, TVs, and speakers: In this McLain Flats home, everything is automated—even the shades!
Partnering with Rowland+Broughton Architecture & Urban Design (234 E. Hopkins Ave., 970-544-9006), Xssentials did an interior remodel and tech update on a luxury home in town known as the Mother Lode. The owners, who often rent the home out, wanted all the latest and greatest technology available. New television cavities were designed to house high-resolution 4K Ultra HDTVs, some of which were tastefully hidden by artwork placed on framed Vision Art panels that roll up for viewing. An update to a current Savant media server allowed for simple streaming of music throughout the house, and a new Sonance landscape speaker system was installed to bring music to outdoor areas.
When Kim Coates, broker associate at Coldwell Banker Mason Morse Real Estate (514 E. Hyman Ave., 970-948-5310), custom-designed Waterstone, an 8,100-square-foot home along the Roaring Fork River that’s currently on the market, she made sure it was wired for everything a potential homeowner could want—from remotely operated window shades to a music system with whole-house and by-room controls to temperature and security systems. Campbell Audio Video (218 E. Valley Road, Ste. 100, Carbondale, 970-510-5489) in Carbondale handled the technology work for the home.
Another new residence, a 9,524-square-foot home located a few minutes from town on McLain Flats and overlooking the Roaring Fork Valley, features a Lutron Control System for interior and exterior lighting as well as a Savant system for audiovisual, security, heating, air-conditioning, and motorized shade integration capabilities. Jill Shore, the broker representing the home for Douglas Elliman Real Estate (630 E. Hyman Ave., 970-925-8810), notes that today’s home automation technology lets homeowners be more hands-on, in-home or remotely. “People can look and see what’s going on with the weather, turn the heat up or down, put the lights on,” she says. “It gives them control over their environment and takes the worry [out of] managing [their home]. Plus, it’s a fun tool. People enjoy showing off what they are able to do these days.”
photography by Michael hefferon