Built in 1890, Finite Solutions’ show house proves that with the right expertise, cutting-edge technology can be seamlessly integrated into a property of any age. Twelve months in the making and an investment of almost £1m, the show house offers clients the opportunity to experience first hand the exciting capabilities of smart technology in a stylish setting.
What & Where: Finite Solutions’ Leeds-based show house is a testament to the company’s success. Started by three friends from Leeds University in 2003, Finite Solutions now boasts a team of 30 with another show house in London, as well as an office in Cheshire.
Reasons to Visit: The slick kitchen is the heart of the home. Standout features include a 6-inch TSP6L Crestron touchscreen to control all the technologies throughout the property, including heating, lighting and the 42-inch plasma TV. The touchscreen also controls CCTV and gate entry, so that when a visitor buzzes the main entrance gates, CCTV camera images are streamed to all Crestron touchscreens. If music is playing, it is muted at the sound of the gate buzzer, and if TVs are on, they automatically switch to the CCTV camera at the front gate to show who has arrived. Then, using any of the Crestron controllers, it is possible to talk directly to the guest and open the gate.
The living room is a lesson in blending technology with original features: think intricate cornicing, a lattice ceiling, a stunning marble fireplace and column statues. Audiovisual equipment is hidden behind three Artcoustic Linux Duo cabinets, while tasteful black and white prints were carefully chosen to mask two Artcoustic DF100-75 speakers. A one-off piece of artwork is used to hide the Artcoustic DFS100-75 subwoofer next to the fireplace.
Perhaps the biggest transformation, however, is the once dark, damp cellar, which is now a state-of-the art multipurpose TV, gaming and cinema room, complete with dedicated cinema seating. A TPMC-10 Crestron controller provides full control of the cinema, comprising an 8 ft Screen Research projector screen that hides the front speakers and subwoofers. Surround sound speakers are built into the walls and columns for an immersive audio experience.
The Highlights: This house is entertainment central. Even in the bathroom, a 19-inch Aquavision mirror TV is built into the black slate tiles and can be enjoyed from the bathtub thanks to a waterproof remote that floats. In the master bedroom, a piece of artwork automatically raises at the touch of a button to reveal a recessed TV.
Meanwhile in the guest bedroom, a remote-controlled 26-inch Samsung LCD TV is built into the bed. Linn in-wall speakers are integrated into the walls to provide excellent quality audio in the room. The bedroom ensuite has a separate Linn keypad built into the wall so different music can be enjoyed in the bathroom.
Taking the top spot, however, is the hidden cinema room, which demonstrates that good quality AV equipment does not need to be visible when not in use. Cue a Loewe TV recessed into the wall and covered by an upholstered panel, plus an Infocus projector on a dropdown lift mechanism, projecting onto an electric screen. In this discreet cinema there is also a motorised Kef speaker system that remains hidden in the ceiling until needed.