Leading by Example
Built to Thompson's specifications for future sale, the home features two major home theaters. A 5.1-channel theater with a 50-inch Sony high-def plasma and DVD changer resides in an upstairs family room. Downstairs, there's a 6.1-channel theater with another DVD changer and a 37-inch Sony plasma displayed over a fireplace in a sitting room. The latter theater resides within a 2,300-square-foot space designed for entertaining; also present are a bar, billiard tables, arcade games and a wine cellar. HiFi House hosted a "Guy's Night Out" in the space.
More Sony plasma and LCD HDTV displays are placed throughout the home. Three 23-inch LCD TVs are in the pool table area, a 26-inch LCD TV resides in the bar area and a 42-inch plasma is placed in an upstairs library.
A Crestron multi-room audio system with color-screen touchpads interfaces with a Lutron-driven lighting system. Five Crestron thermostats tie into the heating and air conditioning systems. Other products in the home include Yamaha A/V receivers and five-disc CD players, SpeakerCraft in-wall, in-ceiling and outdoor speakers, B&W subwoofers, Monster wiring and surge suppressors and Niles IR equipment. HiFi House also ran data wiring throughout the home, complete with a Monster Wireless Access Point; its Pro A/V division installed a teleconferencing system.
Building a design home presents unusual challenges. Everything is on a tight production deadline, and when it's finished, "the house has to look like it's been lived in for years, with furniture, lighting, candles, trinkets, the works," says Blanchard. The pressure to finish on time typically finds all of the trades working on top of each other simultaneously. As HiFi House was doing its finish work, lights might go off, painters would be painting, and walls, trim, furniture and paintings would be installed. The priority became making things look functional for the photo shoot. Fine tuning could be left until later, before the tours began.