​Smart home tours: A lakeside home with a year-round holiday feel

Life goals achieved with a remote controlled hot tub

Smart home tours: A lakeside home
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Overlooking Lake Windermere, UK, this newly renovated, detached three-bedroom home has views as stunning as the tech it features inside.

"Although we renovated this 1960s home so its semi-retired owners could use it as a holiday home, they were so pleased with the results that they now spend the majority of their time there," explains Martin Nealon of Angel Martin Interiors – the designer tasked with transforming this house.

Inside, the three en-suite bedrooms, kitchen, dining room, family room and living room are all kitted out with connected and AV tech. Meanwhile in the gardens that overlook the lake, an outside kitchen, dining area, spa, roof hot tub and boat marina create an all-year-round holiday feel.

Smart home tours: A lakeside home with a year round holiday feel

"The owners wanted complete control of the lighting, audio and visual features, curtains and blinds and CCTV so they could monitor and control the property remotely," explains Martin. ‘This is all linked up to a Control4 system so they can access it from a single app."

Interestingly, the house is 'Alexa ready' but the family hasn't made the switch to the voice assistant yet, a decision Martin says is down to slow broadband connections in the local area.

Smart home tours: A lakeside home with a year round holiday feel

Outside, the hot tub and steam room can even be turned on when the owners are away from home, so it's all ready for when they arrive – be that via boat or car..

"It’s all about lifestyle and I spend a lot of time talking to my clients about how they want to use the home," says Martin. "Based on their everyday needs, I designed the lighting schemes, TV and audio positions and added electric curtains and blinds throughout. I then brought in AV specialists Majik House to design the system to make it work."

Smart home tours: A lakeside home with a year round holiday feel Smart home tours: A lakeside home with a year round holiday feel

007 Style Statement

In the main living area, the technology is discreetly hidden. "The owners didn’t want to see the TV in this room so we hid it behind a modern sliding wall panel by Future Automation," explains Martin. "At the touch of a button, one of the panels automatically retracts, then the TV raises up and forward into position. It’s like a scene from James Bond!"

The audio system here has a Monitor Audio ceiling speaker and subwoofer, which is driven by a Yamaha AV amplifier. To complete the sleek feel, the ‘silent’ curtains are controlled via a Lutron system.

Smart home tours: A lakeside home with a year round holiday feel

Bedroom Bliss

With an inverted TV lift in the ceiling by Future Automation, the master bedroom is equally impressive: "Designing a beautiful interior is relatively easy, but getting every room to function according to the clients' requirements and hiding the complexity of a modern AV system so it becomes a simple function of the space takes time and effort."

Smart home tours: A lakeside home with a year round holiday feel

Al Fresco Entertaining

Due to the slope of the hill, the hot tub in the garden had to be designed on a platform. "The way the house opens up to the garden is fabulous," says Martin. "During summer, the garden becomes part of the interior layout effectively. There is an outside kitchen, lounge, dining and spa. The lighting and sound system from the house also extends into the garden.

"As we were drawing this space up, it occurred to us that we could actually design a room that went below the hot tub, which would give the owners a rooftop hot tub area with seating. The room below could then be a spa with shower and steam room."

The hot tub is actually mounted on a lift, so it can be raised when needed and the outdoor kitchen and BBQ are both from Viking's Professional Outdoor range.

Smart home tours: A lakeside home with a year round holiday feel

Martin's Top Designer Tips

So what advice can Martin give to any of us wanting to add similar connected tech into our homes?

"Use one designer as the central point to co-ordinate the scheme," he says. "Make sure they understand the complexities of a modern AV system as not all designers do! Get a good team together to work with the designer – these schemes are a team effort, and while all contractors will be good at their chosen specialty, it is vital they all work together."

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