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Installation of the Year Awards 2009 - Best Whole-House Installation

November 6, 2009 By Charles Crowley



Click the images below for bigger versions:
The family room opens up to the great outdoors. The custom leather sofa with red chenille seat and back cushions pairs with the chairs, all in a saddle leather.
The stained-glass doors by artist Ron Vogt shine into the TV room, which boasts five flat-screen TVs.
The loggia, just outside the aquarium bar, is anchored with a 50-inch plasma TV that swivels so pool- and hot tub-goers can watch the movie at hand.
The “aquarium bar” outside the bowling alley is wrapped in distressed alder-wood cabinetry. Chenille-covered bar stools surround the frosted-glass countertop.
. In the bowling alley, an American Leather sectional pairs with Bass Industry’s Helix chairs. The custom cabinetry displays the owner’s bowling ball collection.
The master suite’s 42-inch Fujitsu TV pops up from the custom alder-wood cabinet. The fireplace mantle, a fallen log that was distressed and chiseled, is in keeping with the pine- and fir-plank ceiling.
Both the indoor and outdoor kitchens are equipped with televisions, as well as the garage.
Both the indoor and outdoor kitchens are equipped with televisions, as well as the garage.
The custom home theater chairs bear a Kravet chenille. Artist Victor Brown designed the iron sofa table.
The murals are based on old-time beverage art posters.

Best Whole-House Installation

Bliss Home Theaters and Automation Inc. of Westlake Village, Calif.

The Big Show

With the push of one button, this home shows off everything it can do. And it can do a lot.

Installation of the Year Awards 2009 - Best Whole-House Installation The owners of this spectacular 16,600-square-foot home don’t have to explain to guests what their whole-house audio, video and automation systems do. They just push one button.

According to Robert Bliss Jr.—CEO and founder of Bliss Home Theaters and Automation Inc.—the “party” button on every Crestron touchscreen activates just about all of the home’s technological features.

These include video screens, an elaborate outdoor fountain (with numerous water sources and a fire source), automated shades, and even a private bowling alley.

Bliss, who worked closely with his brother George, the company’s chief technology officer, says the challenge in designing this home’s systems was automating the bowling alley.

“There’s no such thing as a consumer-grade bowling alley,” he explains. “It’s a 13-step process to start one up. We automated all of that. All the homeowner has to do is hit ‘start bowl’ and then type in the names.”

The family room opens up to the great outdoors. The custom leather sofa with red chenille seat and back cushions pairs with the chairs, all in a saddle leather.

That’s not all the system does, though. The press of another button takes the client from traditional bowling to what Bliss calls “full-blown cosmic bowling,” complete with a disco-type sound system, neon lights and a fog machine. “Fog machines aren’t designed to be automated,” Bliss says, “so we had to engineer a lot of custom sensors and controls to make it controllable with the touchscreens.”

The Crestron automation system can be controlled through seven touchscreens positioned in high-traffic locations. Areas that don’t require extensive control functions have in-wall keypads or hard-button remotes. The client can also mange everything from a cell phone or a computer.

“He travels quite a lot,” Bliss says. “[From his plane], he’ll start cooling the house down. And when he leaves, he can shut down the house remotely. He can also look at security camera images from anywhere in the world.”

The stained-glass doors by artist Ron Vogt shine into the TV room, which boasts five flat-screen TVs.

These automation features actually save the client a considerable amount of money, Bliss says.

“Electrical costs here are based on usage. If your consumption is low, you’re on tier one, two or three. If your house goes into tier 20, your electrical costs go way up. The client’s first electric bill was $7,800, but [by adding] the ‘green mode’ to the automation system we got it down to an average of $3,700.”

One of the key energy-saving features of the home is its automated shades, which help keep the house cool and prevent sunlight from fading the furniture or floors. The timing of the shades’ movement varies to suit the longer days of summer and the shorter days of winter.

Comments

I am proud to see Robert Bliss and his Brother win this award. I can speak first hand as they installed my system... though not as big as this one, the craftsmanship is the same. In fact the reason for my comment besides the obvious is a picture should be taken behind the equipment racks....its art! Congrats and nice job!!

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