Explore our tech-savvy home

Take a photo tour of our House of Innovation

One smart house

Thomas J. Story

One smart house

The Sunset-Popular Science House of Innovation helps you wake up, reminds you to lock the door, and adjusts the shower to individual preferences. It also delights the eye and offers the best of the West’s flexible, indoor-outdoor living.

A digital wine vault tells you the optimum time to serve each bottle. A mini robot mows the grass. Windows capture stunning views. For more privacy, flip a switch, and the glass becomes opaque.

Click ahead to see more ways this home in Alamo, Calif., points to a future where design and technology create comfort, ease housework, save energy, and entertain. 

One smart house

Thomas J. Story

Airy great room

Innovations: Tall glass pocket doors by Roder (through Heartwood Window & Door) open the living room to a courtyard and a shimmering pool. Inside, an air quality system filters particles down to one micron. Lighting levels adjust to the time of day.

Takeaway idea: Simple lighting and a light palette add to the room's spaciousness.

One smart house

Thomas J. Story

Connected kitchen

Innovations: A sculptural stainless steel GE hood over the concrete-topped island keeps the room open. The counter is a natural place for Sony's VDC-LS1 tabletop, which has a built-in keyboard cover designed for kitchen use. A web-based security video system from iControl monitors the entrance path, pool, and patio.

Takeaway idea: One side of the red-accented island functions as a breakfast bar or buffet. Stainless steel stools tuck under the counter.

One smart house

Help with the cleaning

The tech: When the floor gets dirty, don't reach for the mop. The iRobot Scooba gently scrubs hard surfaces, using infrared sensors to find its way around a room. Scooba can assess how dirty a floor is and adjust its scrubbing mechanism accordingly.

One smart house

E. Spencer Toy

Design with color

Innovations: A wall painted with Benjamin Moore Chambourd (AF-645) anchors the dining area. Chrome and leather Brno chairs ― modern classics from Room & Board ― contrast with the simple, deeply grained wood table and bench by Mebel Furniture.

Takeaway idea: Group small art pieces for impact. Here, six square works coated with epoxy resin from the Lola Gallery hang in a single row, echoing the horizontal niches built into the corners of the room.

One smart house

Thomas J. Story

Just off the kitchen

Innovation: Between the informal entry and the kitchen proper, this space is used for messages, dining, homework, and meal planning. The outdoor grill is just outside, making this room a perfect staging area for entertaining.

Takeaway idea: Counters are for more than chopping and holding appliances. This granite-topped surface from DuPont contains a built-in trough for icing bottled drinks.

 

One smart house

Thomas J. Story

Cooking al fresco

Innovation: An abstract mural of Claymonde ceramic tiles from Fireclay Tile in energetic ochres, reds, and greens complements sleek outdoor appliances by Viking Range Corporation. The bisque Corian counter is long enough to function as a buffet.

Takeaway idea: Most countertops have a backsplash of some kind. Extend it higher, and you have an accent wall.

One smart house

E. Spencer Toy

Weather station

The tech: This panel from Oregon Scientific displays local weather info, including four-day forecasts via MSN Direct's FM broadcast service.

One smart house

Thomas J. Story

Smooth transition

Innovations: Concrete floor tiles in tans and gray-greens echo the colors of the landscape. A slide-and-fold door system from NanaWall also links the house to its surroundings.

Takeaway idea: Extend floor tiles outside for your own indoor-outdoor connection.

One smart house

E. Spencer Toy

Sculptural lighting

Innovation: The curvy fixture from Artemide bathes walls and ceiling with soft light.

Takeaway idea: Lighting can do more than illuminate. These sculptural sconces add elegance and character, too.

One smart house

Thomas J. Story

The ultimate wine vault

Innovation: The wine room contains the new Big Kahuna wine vault by GE. Its computerized, bar-coded inventory system lists the optimum time to drink each wine.

Takeaway idea: Add interest to a room by using contrasting materials ― like this table of reclaimed redwood and concrete (by Holmes Wilson Tables) and smooth stainless steel pendant lamp.

One smart house

Thomas J. Story

Dream home theater

The tech: Pro Home Systems provided the state-of-the-art media center:

Screen Innovations' Theater Reference high-definition projection screen (sizes range from 80" to 300").

SIM2's Grand Cinema C3X projector, delivering three-chip quality in a small (17"x7½"x17") unit.

One smart house

E. Spencer Toy

Clutter-busting media closet

Innovation: Running lights from the home theater equipment glow behind textured glass.

Takeaway idea: Design a space for your stack of electronics, turning them into a visual statement of their own.

One smart house

Thomas J. Story

Sleek home office

Innovation: A desk on casters keeps the room flexible.

Takeaway idea: Love technology? Embrace the look with stainless furnishings and glass-fronted cabinets.

One smart house

E. Spencer Toy

Soothing master bedroom

The tech: A remote control switch makes it possible to close or open the shades (by Budget Blinds) from the bed. The bedside panel also controls home security, lighting, and audio.

One smart house

E. Spencer Toy

Master bath at your service

Innovations: A computerized shower system by Kohler lets you set individual water temperatures and spray actions. Phase-change windows from Glass Paradigm change from clear to cloudy at the touch of a switch.

Takeaway idea: The warm cafe au lait color of the concrete tiles (by Sonoma Cast Stone) warms the space. Understated stainless steel fixtures add to the calm.

One smart house

E. Spencer Toy

Spa bath

Innovations: The medicine cabinet mirror houses the faucet for the Kohler vanity, creating a minimalist look. The 12-inch square groups of tiles, new from Heath Ceramics, create an argyle pattern on walls and floor.

Takeaway idea: A very simple color scheme helps a small space feel larger.

One smart house

Thomas J. Story

Toasty towels

The tech: The heated glass and metal rack from Thermique Technologies keeps towels warm while preserving a view of the tile wall.

One smart house

E. Spencer Toy

Bionic scale

The tech: Tanita's BC549 Ironman InnerScan Monitor looks like a bathroom scale, but it also analyzes your percentage of body fat and water, muscle mass, and basal metabolic rate ― and stores results to help you monitor progress.

One smart house

E. Spencer Toy

Energy from the sun

The tech: Rooftop solar panels from SunTechnics can generate most or all of a home's electricity.

One smart house

E. Spencer Toy

Robotic lawnmower

The tech: The Kyodo America Lawnbott mows up to ¾ acre using sensors and transmitters to find thicker or taller grass. The Lawnbott returns to its docking station for recharging when batteries run low.

One smart house

Thomas J. Story

Contemporary design with roots in history

Design: The house wraps around a pool courtyard and climbs a hill to capture beautiful hill views. Herbs and vegetables mix with ornamental plants in the front yard. The two-story veranda off the master suite was inspired by a similar feature at playwright Eugene O'Neill's Tao House in nearby Danville, Calif.

Printed from:
http://www.sunset.com/home/idea-houses/one-smart-house-00400000014746/