IMG_3643After a chilling cold winter, Chicagoans count the days until they can shake off that cabin fever and go outside to enjoy some fun in the sun. That is why many homeowners turn their outdoor living areas into relaxing escapes. This family in particular installed a nearly 1,000 square foot gazebo to serve as a beautiful extension of their existing patio area and the perfect place to entertain family and friends. However, while the sounds of nature are pleasant and soothing, the homeowners wanted a little something extra to accommodate those warm summer evenings.

In an effort to create a respite from the outside world surrounded by greenery and fragrant flowers yet with a hi-tech flair, we turned this homeowner’s gazebo into what we call “tranquil technology”. From the integration point of view the goal was to be cost-efficient and extend recently installed home systems rather than create something new from the scratch. Additionally, because the homeowners were already comfortable using their existing home automation system, it made perfect sense to share audio and video sources.

With an outdoor fireplace as the focal point, we installed a 55” year-round SunBriteTV directly above it. The television receives its video signal from all the home sources via Sony HD component matrix switch and high-speed wiring planted underground as an added safety and aesthetic feature. We tastefully installed (4) in-ceiling speakers in the Gazebo and to round out the sound we added (2) decorative rock speakers as a separate zone for the Patio and BBQ area. The sound system is powered by a Control4 amplifier and routed via Control4 Audio Matrix switch.

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The video sources used were: (2) Dish Network HD DVR receivers, AppleTV, 400 Disks Sony Blu-Ray changer, Samsung Blu-ray player, (8) surveillance cameras. The homeowners can control (2) audio zones (patio, gazebo) and (1) video from the system remote or iPad. They can activate the zone, choose any audio or video source available from the rest of the house, and control volume independently for each zone.

At the end of the day, the homeowners are left with an outdoor escape that enhances both the overall appeal and detail of their home while extending the extraordinary feeling that comes with the ability to simply relax in the comfort of your own yard after a long day.

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