Since the release of Back to the Future II in 1989, Doc and Marty’s alternate reality version of 2015 seemed like a fantastical long shot. However, they weren’t too far off! It’s 2018 and we have self-driving cars, drones, instant pots and digital assistants like Alexa and Siri all working to (supposedly) make our lives easier. While Smartphones are celebrating their ‘X’-anniversary, smart homes have just begun their new sovereignty.
Livable tech has seamlessly made its way into luxury interiors. A 2018 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends study claims there is a new hunger for technology with many homeowners electing to integrate wireless speakers, voice-controlled sinks, and antibacterial countertops into their kitchens. CDC showrooms like Crestron, Lutron, and CinemaTech can bring a space to life with the touch of a button. However, living rooms can lean into the future of livable tech, thanks to a detailed past.
Meet Jennifer Yosowitz, co-owner and equal partner with founder David Frangioni, of Audio One, Inc., of Dania Beach, Florida. As one of the very few women at the top of the Tech Industry, let alone the multi-billion dollar home automation and control sector, Yosowitz’s passion and proficiency are unmatched. Her business is in high-demand for the most high-end clientele.
Yesterday, Audio One presented a “Lunch and Learn” event at Crestron within DCOTA, where she and Frangioni shared with interior designers the best practices for integrating smart home technology into projects, and strategies for partnering with Home Automation experts.
GDG wanted to spread the wealth of tech knowledge and chatted with Yosowitz about everything ‘Smart House.’ Even top interior designers, the home-experts, can learn something new in this every advancing industry!
First, a brief history. The fancy smart tech we see such as the televisions that appear from seemingly out of nowhere, or the light settings for every mood, all began with another sense: sound. According to Yosowitz, surround sound, especially when it came to ‘home theaters,’ was the first step to home automation and Yosowitz’s role in its evolution.
“My passion was always music. I went from graduating college to opening an office for designing and building professional recording studios on Music Row in Nashville in 2000,” Yosowitz said. There, she and Frangioni helped guide Audio One’s focus from a recording and pro-audio outlet for music talent ranging from Aerosmith to Olivia Newton-John, to the future – luxury residential technology and commercial control.
Home automation has become the ultimate luxury, though some designers shy away from it according to Yosowitz, if they do not quite understand it or the procedures needed for it. Designers are bubbling with the ideas, but may miss out on implementing them if the following, proper steps are not being taken:
Ask For Help Before You Need It
Yosowitz suggests designers involve a home automation company from the very beginning of the project, before the building or construction process begins. We’re talking when the architects are drawing the blueprint, not building the bedroom! Though retrofitting older homes are done on a regular basis for home automation, it is more expensive to have to un-do construction to accommodate structural and electrical changes.
Don’t Build Without Brainstorming
If you skimmed suggestion one, don’t skip this one! Think about tech within your design before it presents a problem. You may think you can squeeze the home automation software into that spare closet, but does it have the proper ventilation?
Understand Your Client’s Budget
Of course, designers are very wary of their client’s budgets, but if the client wants high-tech, there may need to be a larger conversation about where that budget is going.
Along with the conversation of budget, talk preferences! Is this your client’s summer home, or permanent home? What is more important to them, a security system that can be accessed abroad or home temperature control? Get to know your client’s tech needs and distinguish them from those eccentric wants.
“Use the relationship with the home automation company, so they can tell you what to ask the client in terms of tech budget,” Yosowitz said. “If the project is a million dollar house, then we can’t have the client wanting appliances for a half-a-million home automation system.”
Luxury home automation trends for designers to consider include: motorized shades, access control, security, network, entertainment, controlled lighting and cooling, and most importantly, the art of hiding it all!
Audio One offers free consulting services for interior designers to review their client’s floor plans, lighting plans, etc to provide various home automation ideas and realistic budgets. “We can’t expect a designer to make decisions in areas that they are not experts in!! Audio One walks the designer and client through the process from beginning to end.”
Even though there is nothing in the past about Audio One’s innovative projects, there are still difficulties in this ever-evolving industry.
The men of the house who like the gadgets, Yosowitz said, have always been thought of as the target audience for home automation as a luxury purchase. But the reality is, the women, children, and housekeepers are the ones using it more often. You have to make the front end simple enough that even your four year old can use it!
In the end, collaboration is always the name of the interiors game. Home automation and design must work tirelessly together for a seamless smart home.
“Everything that goes into the house a designer has an impact on. Everything from the lighting ambiance to the elements of entertainment and the weight of the fabric of the motorized shades,” Yosowitz said. “Everything they want to integrate affects what we can do – we need to work together for the best possible project!”
Explore livable tech options within Lutron in the DDB Suite 138; and within Crestron in DCOTA Suite B-108, DDB Suite 407, PDC Suite G288, and the DCH Suite 119.
To Contact Audio One for Smart Home Automation:
Ph: 305-945-1230 / Toll-free 866-200-5850
35 SW 12th Ave Suite 101; Dania Beach, FL 33004