Live and Learn, New Home Technology
Springboro home uses technology to its advantage
By Julie Thompson | Photos by Daniel Feldkamp
Sometimes you just have to live with something before you know if you really like it. That’s what a Springboro couple learned when they embarked on the amazing journey to build their dream home after spending 25 years in another house. Traditional spaces like a formal living room and conventional two-story designs weren’t part of the planning process for this couple’s new home. They wanted each room to have a practical purpose and use for nearly every day of the week.
“In our first home we wanted a formal living room. It was important to us,” the homeowner says. “But then we realized after 25 years that that is not how we live. We wanted open plans that could be used every day versus just on the holidays.”
Developing a plan
The couple had spent three years considering ideas for the construction of their new home. They gradually tucked away design ideas as they toured area home shows, such as Homearama®, where they were exposed to the open floor plan as well as the builder they would eventually choose. That builder—Dan DeVol, owner of Daniel DeVol Custom Builder Inc.—was brought on after the couple purchased two lots that gave them exactly what they wanted: complete privacy when they walk out the back door, but instant access to community when they drive out the front.
“The best part (about building a home) is having the opportunity to be a part of a chain that helps the homeowner pull together the dream for their home. It’s an outstanding feeling,” says DeVol, who was chosen by the homeowners because of his experience as a finish carpenter and his appreciation for detail. “When we build a home, it is a team of people who work in conjunction with the homeowner, exchanging ideas and making it come together.”
While some of its elements pull from the Craftsman model, DeVol considers the home a transitional design. The homeowners liked the Craftsman style but didn’t care for the linear lines that it’s known for. So, they added a variety of styles including rounded windows and sidelights made of bubble glass. The exterior uses multiple materials including two different types of siding, stone and brick. The lush landscaping, created by Grandma’s Gardens, includes paths that lead up to the custom-made front door that beckons visitors inside and to the home’s back yard and inviting pool.
Light and Open
The home’s open design, light color and expansive use of windows are the first elements to catch the eye when entering the home. The use of natural light was very important to the homeowners so they made sure they added the largest windows they could find and positioned the home so that the entire back, where they spend most of the their time, would get the best exposure.
The ranch home flows in one seamless design from its great room, kitchen, sunroom and outdoor porch. Soft blue, red, cream and yellow hues are used throughout the interior design. Aside from sunlight, color was the next important element for the homeowners. “We like it to feel soft when you walk into a room,” the homeowner says.
The materials used throughout the home are displayed in custom-made pieces. Large columns surround the dining room and stretch up to the first floor’s ten foot ceilings while Santos Mahogany hardwood floors run throughout each room adding a richness to the lighter colors. Each room boasts its own custom-built piece of furniture created by Bruce Landes of Farrington Woods. The homeowners felt it was important to create a uniform look, from the bookshelves and bathroom vanities to the kitchen cabinets. “When we chose to use an open floor plan, we wanted to make sure the kitchen didn’t look like a kitchen,” the homeowner says.
Every part of the kitchen is integrated into the cabinet design. The room’s Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer and dishwasher are hidden behind custom panels that look no different than the cabinets. The stainless cooktop, oven and microwave are built into the cabinetry. The countertop in front of the sink was made higher to hide any dirty dishes from guests gathered in the great room. The 8x10-foot pantry also blends into the room thanks to a custom door that is identical to that of the refrigerator.
Convenience and Ease
The look and feel of the home weren’t the only important elements for the homeowners. They also were concerned with its function. They wanted it to have ease of use, including being ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compatible, so they could use it into their golden years. To accommodate that, an elevator was installed to go from the main level to the garage and then to the walkout basement.
They also installed a Control4 system, which streamlines the control of lighting, security and entertainment into one package. Many features in the home were designed with Control4 in mind. Two flat-screen televisions were placed into custom-built cabinets in the sunroom and great room. With the touch of a button, the screens appear out of the cabinets and then return inside when not in use.
Likewise, shades are drawn to cover the large windows across the back of the home when privacy is wanted more than sunlight. And the back porch features phantom screens, which scroll down and back up according to how the homeowners want to use the outdoor room. The family can monitor who is knocking at their front door from any keypad in the home and mom is able to see what her son is watching on television in the basement. “It’s all about convenience,” says Rick Smith, who with Audio, Etc., helped install the system.
It’s been three years since the homeowners moved into their new home and already they realize they chose the right rooms for their lifestyle. Each space serves the purpose for which it was created. Whether it’s enjoying dinner in the screened-in porch or watching through the expansive windows as snow falls on their private back yard, this home offers the perfect place to spend the rest of their years.
Architect: Atelier Design; Builder: Daniel DeVol Custom Builder, Inc.; Hardwood flooring: Santos Mahogany, All About Hardwood; Flooring: Innovative Floors; Booher Carpet & Rugs, Inc.; Cabinetry: Farrington Woods; Countertops: Granite, Kemper Design; Backsplash: Innovative Floors; Sinks and faucets: Centerville Winnelson; Appliances: Asko and Bosch dishwashers; Wolf cooktop and ovens; Sub-Zero refrigerator, supplied by Custom Distributors; Lighting: Premiere Lighting; Audio/Video: Control4, installed by Rick Smith, Audio Etc.; Pool: Kramer Pools; Landscaping and pavers: Grandma’s Gardens; Landscaping lighting: Illumiza; Alarm system: Nightstar Communications; Retractable screens: Phantom Screens, Tri-State Retractable Screens; Blinds: Budget Blinds
To see this article as it appeared in the Dayton Housetrends magazine,
please visit our August 2012 Digital Edition, pages 44-51.
High Tech Mind
Nearly everyone has sat down to dinner only to be interrupted by a knock at the front door. Most homeowners will answer the door and let the visitor in if the nature of their call is important enough.
Now imagine doing all of that not from the comfort of your own kitchen table, but from a restaurant located 10 miles from your home. It may seem like a futuristic capability, but it’s not. More homeowners are becoming empowered to control their home – even seeing who stands at their front door and unlocking their home to let them in – when they’re not even on the premises.
Advanced programs, developed and marketed by companies like Control4, have taken the technology once reserved for corporate and commercial use and put it in the hands of homeowners. The technology gives homeowners the security of monitoring their homes, the energy savings of controlling things such as lights and the convenience of streamlining entertainment – all from one touch pad or smart phone.
“Technology like this used to just be something we would see at Homearama or read in magazines,” says Kirby Gaboury, who co-owns Audio, Etc. with his wife Cindy. “But now it is becoming even more affordable.”
Homeowners can begin using the technology with the addition of one remote control that consolidates all their entertainment functions. The possibilities grow from there, including control pads throughout the home that determine what time of day the window shades descend to when the coffee maker starts brewing. But perhaps one of the first reasons people are attracted to the technology is for entertainment reasons.
“People are spending more time at home watching their TVs,” Gaboury says. “Home entertainment is an important factor for most families and they are willing to invest in additional products to get it integrated.”
The Control4 program can be accessed via the homeowner’s iPad.
The Control4 panels located throughout the home can operate the lighting, audio/video and security systems.
Small video cameras are tucked into corners along the outside of the home.