There is often a struggle when trying to balance the technologies that a client wants in their home with overall look they want to achieve. For many contemporary spaces a black TV or elegant speakers are somewhat suited to the design. But in most cases we have to come up with creative ways of hiding these devices.
Mirror Mirror On the Wall…
A recent project of ours in Atlanta was exactly such a case. The homeowners wanted a great deal of technology throughout the space, but they didn’t want to see it when it wasn’t in use. This involved more than just a television set. They had touch panel controls in just about every room as well as LED TV’s, and in-wall/in-ceiling speakers throughout the entire condo. They wanted an extremely clean look with very few sharp edges. This, of course, made it necessary to hide every TV behind custom artwork, mirrors, and false walls.
It was certainly an interesting challenge, but with the help of a local Atlanta audio video company (Atlanta Home Theater) we were able to come up with some very creative solutions. One of the manufacturers they recommended was Seura. They have a line of products that allow you to hide a TV behind a mirror. Now there’s nothing new about doing that. But Seura’s technology allows more than 95% of the light from the TV to pass through the mirror. This means that you notice very little difference between a standard TV and one that is completely hidden when not in use.
One of our favorite techniques to create the appearance of more space is to utilize decorative mirrors. This strategy was complimented beautifully by the fact that the homeowners wanted TV in practically every room.
We also managed to find some completely invisible speakers that can be installed in either the ceiling or the walls. They are installed when the drywall is going in and are mudded over and painted just like part of the wall. Care needs to be taken when selecting where to hang artwork however, you don’t want to drive nail into one of these speakers.
The touch panels for the home automation system represented a particularly unique challenge. Since there was to be one in every room, we ended up having to come up with some creative ways of hiding them. Some are in closets or on walls that don’t draw your attention. Others were turned into small pieces of art since they can display images of anything you like when they’re not in use.
While I personally don’t prefer this much technology in a home, it is rewarding to be able to supply a customer with exactly what they want from an aesthetic point of view as well technologically.