Audrey Gray

When compiling and organizing the content of any issue of CustomRetailer, the No. 1 priority is relevance to the reader. “What is the reader benefit?” is a question I demand the answer to for every feature, column and case study before it runs.

I am incredibly proud of this issue. On every page there is remarkably useful subject matter for you to retain and implement—no matter what aspect of the consumer electronics/custom integration community you belong to.


A West Coast developer sits down at his office desk with the intent of vetting the day’s deluge of e-mails, but a few minutes into the chore, his mind begins to wander to his second home, the one in Breckenridge. 

In the over 10 years since Josh Christian has been teaching architects and interior designers the basics of low-voltage technology, he’s learned some critical lessons: First, say “drapery,” never “drapes.” Second, make sure you have something touchy-feely on hand, like acoustically transparent fabric samples. Third, and most importantly, watch your tongue when referring to the profession of your students. “Never ever call them decorators!,” said Christian. “That’s a slap in the face to interior designers. They’ll hate you for that.” As vice president of marketing for DSI Entertainment Systems, a custom retailer based in West Hollywood, Calif., Christian’s primary responsibility is to

The Empress Joséphine, one of history’s master seductresses, once ordered her decorators to fashion a bedroom in the manner of a luxurious military tent so that Napoleon might feel the excitement of his many field campaigns right at home. The ploy got rave reviews from her general, earning Joséphine love letters full of phrases like, “the memory of last night’s intoxicating pleasures has left no rest to my senses.” Flash-forward 200 years to the floor of the Philadelphia Home Show, where Dave Gilbert, Vice President of custom retail operation, Hi-Fi Sales, and his staff recently spent an entire day constructing a luxurious royal blue

Though it is deliciously tempting to embrace a French proverb as luscious as “Il est impossible de trope de luxe” (It is impossible to overdo luxury), a quick survey of real estate marketing these days might persuade you otherwise. The words luxury, luxurious and the hipper “luxe” have become as common as the words “For Sale” on signs, regardless of a condo or loft’s actual attributes. And in what’s increasingly becoming the buyer’s market of 2008, developers are being forced to come up with substantial specs to back up their exuberant claims of luxury living. Enter “technomenities,” pre-wired A/V and smart-home applications

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