Thursday, September 24, 2020
 Modesty Meets Modern 

When the client of this Virginia-based home approached Eric Davidson and his team at American Automation, he knew from the start that the house had to accomplish two goals - stay on the leading edge of technology but keep a traditional aesthetic to fit in with the neighborhood.

“The exterior of the house is slightly modern, more traditional, while the inside is very contemporary,” Davidson said. “They brought their designer who had done the Florida house to keep the same type of look and feel as you might get in an area where contemporary is more accepted.”

That relationship between the client and the designer led to a few interesting scenarios for American Automation. Firstly, he notes that it is very rare for a designer to agree on mounting a TV to marble slabs, especially when it happens in three different locations. That relationship also led to close work with the interior designer, who was able to drive an aesthetic that matched the technology that went into the house, something that Davidson holds in high regard for the work produced by his company.

“The whole project was pretty unique right from the start,” Davidson said. “Usually the first time you meet a designer you have to convince them of your capabilities. And for us, aesthetics are super-important; it’s something we pride ourselves on. We left a lot of choices for the designer, and the technology we put in the house looked great.”

For this particular home, Savant anchors the many bedrooms’ and media rooms’ lighting and AV needs. 4K Sony TVs perch elegantly against the earth-colored marble, with another dozen are beaded around the house. To accompany that, Sony’s 7.2 STR ZA3100ES handles the two media rooms needs. A custom-built James Loudspeaker outdoor system helps bring the party outside, while Monitor Audio produces the soundstage in the home theater with a combination of in-ceiling speakers and in-wall subwoofers.

The client was also very open to the idea of more technology in the house. Davidson notes that the client was not shy about the speakers, TVs, lighting and everything needed to control it. And for a good reason. It was evident that the client wanted to have an inviting home for guests, and managing the TV sources would have been a significant problem if Davidson didn’t have a working relationship with the builder.

“Our company is 26-years-old, and I’ve known this particular builder even longer,” Davidson said. “When you have those long-term relationships, you know you have a builder that understands the technology and knows what to look out for. One of the bigger issues is just trying to convince the builder that it doesn’t always have to be high end. Different levels of products can deliver similar solutions, and you can make your life easier be knowing those benefits.

“Having a long standing relationship with the builder made this job much easier for us,” he added.

Taking just over a year to complete the project, he is ecstatic that he was able to make a house that not only looked beautiful but functioned as a smart home of the future.

“We are just really happy with the end product,” Davidson said. “It was definitely the hard work of everyone’s cooperation. From the wood finishes to the Venetian plaster and the huge marble slabs - there were just so many moving pieces that only came together because we were on the same page.”

  • Equipment List
  • Savant Smart Host
  • Savant ProAudio 4
  • Purelink 4K HDMI Switcher
  • TiVO Bolts & Minis
  • Monitor In-ceiling Speakers & In-wall subwoofers
  • James Loudspeaker outdoor systems
  • Sony Televisions (55" - 85")
  • Sony STR ZA3100ES AVR - 5
  • Sony 4K Blu Ray Players
  • Kordz 4K HDMI Cables
  • Audio Quest Audio Cables
  • TPS Surge Protection
  • Arraknis Network