Wednesday, August 5, 2020
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 Shape-Shifting Speakers

Nestled in a 50-acre wooded property in the Indianapolis metropolitan area, the owners of this Colorado-inspired dream home had a clear design vision for their space — and a long list of technology to integrate into multiple rooms throughout. As is often the case, the tech-savvy husband and his interior designer wife had to find a middle ground that would accommodate everything on their technology wishlist while not interfering with the design of the space. Wanting their home to feel like a mountain lodge getaway, it was important to keep technology as unobtrusive as possible to maintain a sense of serenity in the space.

The couple enlisted local AV integration firm TRIPhase Technologies of Zionsville, Ind., to help design a whole-home AV system that would deliver on both sound and style. While off-the-shelf products made sense for many of the rooms, there were a couple of areas that called for a custom solution to better blend in with some of the home’s signature design features.

One of those spaces was the “Mom’s Office,” off of the kitchen. A smaller area located within an expansive room with sweeping 30-foot ceilings, the focal point of the office is undoubtedly the custom turquoise desk unit with built-in shelving. Integrating audio into this work area was important, but specifying an in-ceiling speaker didn’t feel appropriate in a space with two-story ceilings that opened up to the guest quarters. Using a bookshelf speaker at listening level made the most sense, but finding a product that complemented such a bold piece of furniture proved to be a challenge.

Rocky Settecasi, the lead design consultant on the job from TRIPhase, reached out to Michigan custom speaker manufacturer Leon Speakers to explore the possibilities.

“We love to work with the team at TRIPhase because they always challenge us to push our creative boundaries,” said Noah Kaplan, Leon’s founder and president.

Custom octagon-shaped Leon Detail Ultima speakers designed to perfectly fit into the homeowner’s custom desk & bookshelf

“When Rocky approached us about this project, we looked at a number of different options, but ultimately decided to create something that would fit perfectly into the octagon-shaped nooks in the bookshelf, because why not turn the speakers into a statement piece? Audio doesn’t always have to be hidden away.”

Leon and TRIPhase worked together to design an octagon-shaped variation of Leon’s Detail Ultima reference-grade speakers with a half-inch reveal around all edges that was then painted to match the exact paint code of the bookshelf. Drawing inspiration from vintage Atwater Kent speakers, the finishing touch was the handcrafted braided brass lattice grilles that were designed to complement the highly curated décor throughout the room.

The homeowners were thrilled with how the final product turned out, remarking, “What a beautiful looking and sounding product that looks more like an accessory or a piece of jewelry than a speaker. It perfectly complements the overall design vision of our space and we are very happy clients. Leon nailed it.”

Another space in need of a more customized AV approach was the family room. TRIPhase was tasked with installing an 85” Sony TV with a custom-width Leon Horizon Ultima soundbar and a pair of Leon’s Aaros ultra-thin subwoofers, but felt that the clean lines and plain black finish of the TV and speakers would look out of place with the room’s rustic Colorado vibe.

Leon Edge Media Frame handcrafted out of Knotty Alder Wood to match the wood finishing in the room with a custom-width Leon Horizon Ultima soundbar

Pulling inspiration from the surrounding design finishes, Leon created an Edge Media Frame to accent the TV and soundbar that was crafted from Knotty Alder Wood—the same wood that cascades down from the dramatic vaulted ceiling onto the wall above the display.

To ensure a perfect color match between the frame and the existing woodwork, the Edge Media Frame and Aaros subwoofers were shipped to the client’s home unfinished, and the TRIPhase team stained them on-site.

“Working with a homeowner who was also a design professional meant that we had to get every detail right,” said Rocky Settecasi. “With such a specific wood tone to replicate, we decided that matching the finish on-site would give us the best results — and it definitely paid off.”

The entire home was hooked up with an Elan Home Automation System and also featured Lutron HomeWorks shades, a Future Automation pop-up TV lift in the kitchen, an in-wall tiled waterproof Séura TV in the bathroom, and an outdoor Séura TV.

Investing in custom isn’t always a possibility, but in luxury homes where every design detail is carefully considered, it’s important to make technology one of those considerations, too.