Turning a 1960s pebble-dash bungalow into a luxury family holiday home was an exciting challenge for designer Martin Nealon of Angel Martin Interiors.
"This place is unrecognisable to what it once was," says Martin. "The existing bungalow was in a poor state of repair so we replaced it with a modern three-bedroom pad complete with security, audio, visual and lighting that can all be controlled via an app. The property has three en-suite bedrooms and a large open-plan central area comprising a kitchen, dining room and lounge too."
Due to strict planning policies in the Lake District, the property‚Äôs height could not be increased, and it was only extendable by four feet at the rear. As a result every square inch of the property works hard, with lighting, mirrors and bright surfaces adding style.
Step inside here as we take a closer look at the furnishings and technology and steal inspiration for your own smart homes‚Ä¶
A design for life
The home‚Äôs new contemporary glass fixtures, sleek surfaces and cool monochrome colour scheme are a vast change from the dark rooms, wood-chip wallpaper and basic gadgets that previously stood on the site.
"The owners were keen to include full home automation to match the home‚Äôs sophisticated new interior," explains Martin, who offers a full design service including garden and architectural detailing through to interior design, electricals and lighting. "We got a local architect and structural engineer at Day Cummings to handle the technical drawings and legislative issues based on our design and we worked closely alongside smart home installation company Majik House to make sure the tech fitted seamlessly."
Once the rooms were correctly laid out on plan, Angel Martin Interiors produced mood boards and 3D visuals of all areas so the owners could fully understand the proposed scheme. Majik House were given design drawings to indicate the positions for lighting, speakers, TV and controls, together with a written brief on what was required gadget wise.
"Before everything was fitted we wanted the owners to imagine themselves living there and mentally walk through their daily routines to see how technology could help them," explains Martin.
With regards to tech capabilities, the owners gave Martin a list of requests. As a result, the home is now fitted with a Control4 automation system that allows full control of the gadgets throughout the home via a single app.
Security was paramount so the property is fitted with a Texecom alarm system, Hikvision CCTV and a Ring Video Doorbell with built-in camera.
"One switch on the way out of the building will turn all the lights and Samsung TVs off," explains Martin. "The owners wanted everything controlled from Lutron wall switches, but also from their phones and iPads. If the alarm system goes off, the garden lights and interior lights now flash on and off. The doorbell has a camera and connects to the owner‚Äôs iPhone so they can see who is at the door and speak to visitors remotely at all times."
The Lutron blinds are also controlled from a central processor, which now memorises the owner‚Äôs usage and plays it back when they are not there to give the impression they are home. Security cameras can also be accessed from the owner‚Äôs smartphone at any time.
A place to relax
As the home is mainly used for holidays, the owners wanted the very best entertainment equipment included, so it‚Äôs ideal for big get-togethers. The main living room has surround sound created with a Artison LCR soundbar and Monitor Audio ceiling speakers and subwoofer, which are all driven by a Yamaha AV amplifier.
Monitor Audio provides multi-room audio throughout the home and garden too, zoned in such a way that different media can be accessed in each area. All rear rooms open up to the back garden, which has an outside kitchen, dining area, fireplace, lounge space and hot tub.
"Lighting, music, heating and the hot tub can be switched on remotely when the owners are on the way to the house, so it's ready and inviting when they arrive," explains Martin. "We also included a 42-inch waterproof TV ‚Äď mounted in a wall in the rear garden ‚Äď and an Aquavision flush TV in the kitchen. The rest of the house has HD Samsung TVs."
Colour changing smart lighting was added to the dining, kitchen and bathrooms throughout the home and the dining table is even lit from underneath to create an eye-catching feature at night.
All the bedrooms have been designed with maximum comfort and style in mind. "Every room has four light settings, which was personalised for the owners so a touch of one button adjusts all the lights to a pre-set level such as ‚Äėwatching TV‚Äô, ‚Äėromantic evening‚Äô, ‚Äėcleaning‚Äô or ‚Äėparty‚Äô‚Äô explains Martin.
"Every panel has the bottom two buttons as a manual override to adjust all lights up and down if required. Some buttons are even set for specific purposes. For example, one of the buttons next to the bed has been set as a ‚ÄėCup of Tea' button, so if the owners want a cuppa in the middle of the night they can press this button and low level lights illuminate a path to the kitchen." But can the home‚Äôs gadgets actually bring that brew to the owners without them having to move an inch, we ask? "Not yet, but it‚Äôs only a matter of time!"