Inspired Dwellings delivers with aplomb on this Kent new build, producing a multi-phase whole home system the family just love.
Located in Heathrow, west of London, Inspired Dwellings is an award-winning install company known for its high-end residential, MDU (Multi Dwellings Unit), super yachts, boutique hotels and commercial environment work. From humble beginnings, MD and co-founder Rob Sutherland has built the company’s strong reputation on the shoulders of more than 20 years’ experience managing in the private sector, and a comprehensive background in corporate IT.
Rob’s background has dictated the direction for Inspired Dwellings, no matter the job size, a lot of the focus is on the networking.
Rob says, “Whether you want surround sound in the kitchen, a simple door entry system, a home cinema or the full works, we make sure every piece of technology in the project is fully connected to communicate smoothly with each other.
“Now at 20+ strong, we specify and deliver home entertainment systems and whole house control throughout the UK and Europe, with a special spot for Central London and the home counties.”
This impressive 14 room new build home is located in Kent, and occupies 12,000sq-ft. It has a spacious foyer with an impressive spiral staircase, includes a 14-seat home theatre, a gym, and spacious living quarters for the whole family.
Rob explains, “The clients initially approached us during the early stages of development for their new family home, they wanted to integrate their AV, data, lighting and CCTV systems throughout the property as well as allowing the family to have some new space to enjoy time together such as watching films in the new cinema. As with all projects there are always a few changes along the way these were discussed and added to complete the final look.”
Explaining the project in a little more detail, Rob says, “To meet the client’s requirements, we installed an automation system throughout the whole home using Control4. This allowed the clients to have one seamless interface for all of the required systems.
“Due to the size of the property and the scope of the lighting design, a lighting control system was required. The whole house was fitted out with a Rako lighting system and by installing this it not only allows the clients to control each room with custom lighting scenes, but also offers integration to the Control4 system which is very important for a property of this size.”
Music was also an important factor, Rob explains, “The client wanted to listen to music in many rooms of the house, not only this but to be able to listen to different music to what another member of the family may be listing to in the next room. To achieve this, we installed a multi-room audio system giving them integration with the Sonos and Control4 audio sources, so that they are able to airplay or stream content throughout the house.”
With their new home coming together and their interest in the latest technology, video distribution was another key piece to the puzzle for the client. While the family wanted the latest Sky Q, they also wanted to ensure that UHD content could be shared to all of their screens by locating the Sky Q Silver box centrally. By doing this they can watch UHD content in the cinema and in the other media rooms in the house. Furthermore, the clients did not want to have any hardware located in the rooms, so by centralising the Apple TVs, AVRs and Blu-ray players, the clutter can be kept to a minimum.”
Enabling the client’s lifestyle choices is of course key, and this particular family like to keep fit so had a gym installed in their new home. However, the gym had a slightly awkward arrangement where the TVs were not viewable from every position in the room. To solve this, the team integrated the TVs to the home video system, which meant the client can have both screens showing the same source and audio throughout the gym from any of the centralised video sources.
As well as the TVs, the clients had in-ceiling Bowers & Wilkins speakers fitted keeping the space uncluttered, but also delivering a high-quality audio performance, good for pushing that extra mile during a workout.
Keeping the family safe is also important, and for this aspect the team chose a Lilin CCTV system that would be able to meet all their requirements.
Rob explains, “Not only can the they view the cameras on the TVs via the integrated Control4 system, but also when they are away through their Control4 app on their IOS or android products giving them added piece of mind.”
Rob’s background in IT means the company is acutely aware of the need for strong networks, and on this job the team called on managed Wi-Fi from ZyXEL. The set-up means the client is able to take a Skype call in their home office or move around with an iPad without the Wi-Fi signal dropping.
This Wi-Fi network is of course backed up by a solid infrastructure providing a fixed gigabit network connection to any device that doesn’t move, and coax TV allowing the customer the ability to expand their system or simply add a TV to the guest room.
When it comes to fun time, the family are big movie fans, so a home cinema was a must have. Providing enough room for the whole family to enjoy the cinema was also key to the project. The dedicated cinema room features a 7.2 surround sound system, three rows of chairs from Fortress Seating on risers for optimal sight lines, a JVC DLA-X500R 4K projector and a 130in Screen Research screen.
Planning the work
As a new build project, the team was able to be involved at the very earliest stages of the planning, and were able to first and second fix at the most convenient and optimised times to deliver efficiency. A big part of the planning process was the company’s use of the D-Tools System Integrator (SI) planning software platform which is designed to help minimise errors, track and maximise profitability and ensure client satisfaction.
Rob says the use of the system enabled the team to move swiftly from sales to design, process or change orders with ease, and manage the installation team efficiently and effectively. The team also says that the client appreciated how quickly the initial proposal was produced. The estimate allowed the firm to not just list items and labour, but show alternatives the client might choose, providing opportunities to up-sell on each aspect of the proposal.
Rob says, “By using the options within the proposal, we could show the client the price for items not included while helping our sales team facilitate any extras the client might want to add.
“Using D-Tools drawing capabilities – vis integrated Visio – we can create cable schedules, plans, elevations, schematics and project information sheets using the information in the database. This not only saves us time but ensures that the data is correct and to the specification that the sales rep and client have agreed. As our team started to work on this project, it was easy to locate products, rooms or systems that they were working on.”
The basis for this whole project was to have an integrated home system that was easy for the whole family to use.
Rob says, “With the very understated touch screens placed around the home and the clients iPads the family can control the system wherever they are in the home. Any technical challenges that we came across we fully talked through with the clients taking them through all the pro and cons and always ensuring the best possible outcome.”
So favourite part time, Rob says, “This project had so many great parts to it from the cinema room to the large indoor pool or the fantastic gym. The client was thrilled with the finished property and they love many rooms in the house.”
The team must have been doing something right as the project has been recognised as a finalist in the 2017 CEDIA Awards, and was recently named Best Residential Project in the D-Tools Design Awards for 2017.
Bowers and Wilkins speakers
Sonos music system
JVC DLA-X500R projector
Screen Research 130in cinema screen
Fortress cinema seating