Smart home tours: This modern mews home is full of hidden connected tech

A lesson in keeping it subtle

Smart home tours: Hide and seek

Looks can be deceiving. Take this secluded Mews house in the heart of London’s Mayfair, which was built in the early 1900s. You’d be forgiven for thinking its interior is as stern and traditional as its listed exterior. But step inside and you’ll find sleek lines, contemporary finishes and a host of convenient and clever smart home technologies. Join us as we step inside and suss out the tech here…

Hidden home technology

This beautiful three bedroom, three bathroom city mews house has four reception rooms, including a sun room and roof terrace, which commands impressive views over London town. The home hadn’t been refurbished since the 1980s and it was Chelsea-based architectural interior design consultancy Juliette Byrne who was tasked with giving the home a complete revamp. Working closely alongside on the smart home side of things was building technology specialists Mosaic AV.

Smart home tours: This modern mews home is full of hidden connected tech

The company was given the challenge of integrating all the audio, visual, security and lighting gadgets into the design as subtly as possible. "We had to make sure we got the balance right," says James Tillyard of Mosaic AV.

"We were asked to install the technology discreetly and choose physical interfaces, such as keypads, to complement the rest of the interior. Having worked on over a dozen projects with the main contractor and partner, we were pretty much left to design and specify the project within a guideline budget."

Smart home tours: This modern mews home is full of hidden connected tech Smart home tours: This modern mews home is full of hidden connected tech

The brief from the owners was for Mosaic AV to fill the home with the very best heating and ventilation capabilities. They wanted minimal hardware on display and discreet or, where possible, invisible audio in the four main reception rooms. KNX hardware was chosen for this project, with GIRA keypads finished in a stylish aluminium brown to blend in well with the interior.

"Think of KNX as a method of communication for different products, rather than a brand," says James Tillyard. "It allows us to choose from thousands of items produced by hundreds of manufacturers to provide the best solution. In this home, KNX hardware from 10 different manufacturers – including Control4 – take full control of features such as the ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, security, curtains and motorised roof lights. Control4 and KNX are both Alexa capable too, so the owners can also control the system using their voice."

Smart home tours: This modern mews home is full of hidden connected tech

G1 touch screens

Black glass G1 touch screens on each floor give the owners overall building control, door entry and use of the intercom. At the front door an elegant stainless-steel panel has been inset into the stonework, giving visitors a nod to the subtly stylish technology that greets them inside.

"The G1 door entry and intercom communication is highly configurable," explains Tillyard. "Here we have set it up to be a master controller for each floor, with lighting, heating, cooling, shading and timer functions."

Smart home tours: This modern mews home is full of hidden connected tech

Motion sensors

One of the most interesting pieces of tech inside is the set of Auro sensors from Basalte, which are used to measure temperature and motion. The Auro detects someone entering the property and activates the ‘welcome home’ scene, switching on the hall, stair and reception lighting and putting the HVAC in comfort mode for the perfect temperature throughout the home.

Smart home tours: This modern mews home is full of hidden connected tech

Control4

The home’s audio and visual functions are taken care of via a Control4 system and multi-room audio can be enjoyed from room to room. So as not to disturb the serene décor, the tech has been cleverly integrated – invisible Amina speakers have been installed in the walls and ceilings on the ground and lower ground floor for example, while there’s a flush-mounted mirror TV in the en-suite bathroom and a compactly concealed AV hub on the top floor.

Smart home tours: This modern mews home is full of hidden connected tech

"Finding a location for the AV rack in limited services areas was a challenge," says Tillyard. "To solve this a bookcase with hidden access provides space."

Control4 features give the owners the ability to play music, turn up the heat, lock doors or set the security system, all available through an iOS/Android app, while key functions such as ‘start your favourite music playlist’ or ‘volume up and down’ can be accessed on the GIRA keypads.

Smart home tours: This modern mews home is full of hidden connected tech

Simple yet smart

The owners are no doubt impressed with their new home. "They particularly like the fact that they only need to interact with technology when absolutely necessary," explains Tillyard. "Clever touches include the temperature being automatically controlled throughout and the motorised roof lights closing automatically if it rains. My advice for anyone planning to upgrade their home in a similar way is to considered wired, over wireless, hardware where you can – it provides for a far more stable and reliable installation, and the possibilities are endless."

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