HGTV Smart Home 2015: High-Tech Highlights

From entertainment systems to home automation, learn about high-tech features that makes life easier.
HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

From: Behind the Build: HGTV Smart Home

Photo by: Rachel Kay

Rachel Kay

By: Peter Walsh

The magic of the entertainment systems at HGTV Smart Home 2015 happens by simply pulling into the driveway. “From the car visor, you can turn on the lights and adjust the thermostat so you are not coming home to a hot, dark house,” says Brian Schaffer, director of sales, Audio Visual Consultations, the firm that designed and installed the home entertainment system in the house.

Floor Plan Pictures

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HGTV Smart Home 2015 Under Construction

HGTV Smart Home 2015 is a two-level, high-tech home, built with an open floor plan and modern farmhouse design in mind.  

Photo By: Rachel Kay

Finished Front Yard

With a contemporary Austin farmhouse style, this simple home is as stylish as it is efficient. “It’s intended to be a very contemporary landscape,” explains the house planner Jack Thomasson. “It feels very contemporary, clean and simple.”

Kitchen

Upon entering, visitors are led directly into the open living room and kitchen area.

Kitchen Under Construction

To make this charming kitchen completely functional, the design and build team opted for a triangle-style workspace.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

Finished Kitchen

While the kitchen island’s counter matches the white kitchen cabinets, the base of the island is painted in a soft gray that complements the room’s neutral color palette. 

Dining Room

The dining room is positioned between the kitchen and living area for easy entertaining and traffic flow.  

Dining Room Under Construction

Open to the kitchen, entryway and living room, the dining room sets the scene with streaming natural light and an open floor plan.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

Finished Dining Room

“We have really great designer lighting around the house. All of the decorative fixtures throughout the house use LED bulbs, including the candelabra bulbs above the dining table and all the lamps so we have a complete LED story here,” says Jack.

Living Room

The living room is positioned on the side of the house and feature three walls of windows. Wide, sliding low E-glass doors on the far wall lead to a floating deck on the side yard, thus flooding the room with natural light.

Living Room Under Construction

In the living area, there's the perfect spot for hanging a large, wall-mounted flat screen television.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

Finished Living Room

As beautiful as it is practical, this stylish living room can also double as a guest room in a house that is sure to have plenty of visitors.

Finished Living Room

A great mix of patterns and textures comes together to create one cohesive, stylish space. “The living room is very subtle,” explains interior designer Linda Woodrum. “It’s more about the textures and the subtle variations that wrap all around the room.”

Screened Porch

Behind the house is a private porch, perfect for outdoor entertaining and afternoon lounging.  

Screened Porch Under Construction

Large insulated low E-glass casement style windows look directly into the screened porch off the back of the house.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

Finished Screened Porch

“We like the sense that we’ve kept it quiet. The chairs are all very sculptural and beautiful and because all of the wood tones are the same it keeps it interesting but it isn’t too much. It’s very much about being tied in to what’s outside,” says Linda. 

Upstairs Loft

Upstairs a carpeted media loft with a large, 84-inch television lend a movie theatre experience. The room is spacious enough to accommodate a billiard table as well.

Upstairs Loft Under Construction

For a theatre experience, a 7.1 system is installed with speakers mounted in the center of the wall, to the left and to the right, an in-wall subwoofer, and ceiling-mounted side and rear speakers, which are controlled by a tablet.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

Finished Upstairs Loft

With plenty of seating and a vibrant color palette, the loft is the perfect place for a slumber party or family movie night. “This is kind of the great big blue room,” says Linda. “I think 20 people could be up here watching TV.”

Master Suite

The master bedroom is accessed via a transition area a few more steps up. “It has a cottage scale,” says lead architect Don Harris.

Master Suite Under Construction

The master bedroom features sloping ceilings that measure 5 feet on the sides and just over 10 feet at the peak.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

Finished Master Suite

The open entrance to the master bedroom from the hall keeps the room from feeling closed off, while providing easy access to the master closet. 

Photo By: Eric Perry

Master Bathroom

The master bathroom has a water closet for the toilet, double sink vanity, fully tiled shower with multiple shower sprays and a separate tub with a window overlooking the backyard.

Master Bathroom Under Construction

“There are digital controls in the master shower, as well as a remote and a television that is visible from the shower,” says Jack.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

Finished Master Bathroom

With smart technology, a relaxing color scheme and exceptional storage options, this master bathroom is quite possibly the best room in the house.

Schaffer explains that a remote control device, similar to one used for a typical garage door opener, controls the landscape lighting, interior lighting and thermostats in the home. Once inside, a tablet or smart phone really gets the party started.

The main floor of the house features wall and ceiling mounted speakers in the open living room and kitchen as well as the outside in the front of the house, on the deck off the living room and on the screened porch so the homeowner can hear their favorite tunes while washing the car or relaxing with family and friends.

Anywhere you have Internet access, you can listen to whatever you want, where ever you want in the house.
Brian Schaffer, director of sales, Audio Visual Consultations

In the living area, a large, wall-mounted flat screen television is controlled by a smart phone or tablet where the homeowner can change channels, raise or lower the volume or access streaming videos.

In the kitchen, a television mounted on a motorized lift near the range hood lowers from the ceiling at the press of a button. Even the main floor guest room and office has a wall-mounted television.

Construction Diary

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HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

Upstairs, an expansive wall-sized television dominates the media loft. For a theatre experience, a 7.1 system was installed with speakers mounted in the center of the wall, to the left and to the right, an in-wall subwoofer, and ceiling-mounted side and rear speakers, which are all controlled by a tablet.

The master bedroom boasts a large, wall-mounted flat screen television along with ceiling-mounted speakers.  Also, a coffee machine rises up from a cabinet at the push of a button so there’s no need to run to the kitchen for that first cup in the morning.

Home Control Planning Guide

Discover innovative ways to control your home with these tips for planning a whole house AV systems, customizing climate control and shopping the latest in modern technology.

The master bath has ceiling-mounted speakers and a wall-mounted television that can be viewed from the shower, tub and double sink vanity. The upstairs guest room is also wired for a television and speakers.

The whole system links back to a mainframe computer housed in a closet near the entryway. “It has the receiver for the surround sound system, six cable boxes and a DVD player,” says Schaffer. The 8x8 matrix system, as it’s called, mounted on wheeled racks for ease of movement if it needs to be serviced, also controls all the computer networks and lighting controls for the house.

Time-Lapse Photos

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HGTV Smart Home 2015, Austin, TX, July 25th, 11:15 a.m.

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A duct system draws out the heat generated from the computer. With this kind of system, there are no wires dangling from the televisions to boxes so everything has a clean, custom look.

While operating the televisions, sound system and lighting might seem daunting, Schaffer assures that it was designed to “make it easy for everyone to use. When grandma comes to visit,” he explains, “she presses a light switch and the lights still come on."

Schaffer adds, to get the most from the home entertainment system, a bit of guidance helps. “It’s like buying a new car,” he says. “You need someone to walk you through it," adding that with any system he installs, “I’m usually married to the house and have become a very integral part of it.”

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