Look Good, Sound Good, Live Good
In his 16-plus years in the custom installation business, Dave Tovissi too often found himself competing with interior designers, both for clients’ budgets and for space on the living room wall.
So when he joined Criteria of Naples, a Florida-based integration company specializing in home theater, whole-house audio, lighting control and home automation, he embraced the company’s mission of bringing interior design and electronics integration together under one roof.
“Criteria had just purchased an interior design firm called the Home of Fine Decorators, and they hired me to bring the two companies together to bring interior design and electronics into one palette of selling,” says Tovissi, president of Criteria. “Instead of trying to compete with the design side, we were going to have our own interior designers and electronics people and teach them how to work together.”
Criteria opened its first design center this fall, renting a 2,500-square-foot space in a showroom center in Naples, where the company will display electronics as part of lifestyle settings. “Through interior designers and cabinet makers, we’re showing how electronics can live harmoniously with the design community,” Tovissi says. “It’s all about design.”
The center is geared toward the design community rather than consumers. Criteria hosts meetings there for local chapters of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA). “They come to us for education and ideas and we show them what’s possible via our lifestyle vignettes,” Tovissi says.
Those vignettes include a home office with a Media Center PC and Exceptional Innovation home control software, a home theater with a JBL Synthesis sound system, a cappuccino/wine bar with TVs mounted in two-way mirrors, a living room setting with a Vutec ArtScreen covering a plasma TV on the wall, and a conference room with Crestron touchpanels that demonstrates the benefits of whole-house music and lighting control.