This East London Apartment features an abundance of smart home technologies, all discretely placed and unnoticed.  Retro-fitting a large screen and movie experience into the decor would always be a challenge, but we found the perfect solution for the clients whilst being in-keeping with the decor.


Having undertaken upgrades and ongoing maintenance of the AV, lighting and other electrical  systems we knew the clients well.  When the discussion of how best to hide a small TV into a bespoke coffee table arose, various options were brought up but trailing cables and a large table still meant the option would be very bulky and far from optimal in terms of the experience. The suggestion of a projector was well received, and with one obvious place for it to go, the design got underway.  Extra cabling and redecoration would have to be at a bare minimum. We utilised already installed data cabling and new data cabling to transmit signals to the Panasonic Projector and Sonos Playbar. We designed a bespoke Playbar housing from Next Level Acoustics so that it matched the width and RAL colour of the ventilation grille above. For surround sound audio, we knew we could easily add Sonos play speakers as we had power nearby.  These are mounted upside down, with a custom made sticker covering the underside printed text.

Alongside other lighting upgrades throughout the home, the need for more lighting in the main space required a custom designed and made pendant.  The brief was to have separately controlled up and downlights near the columns which could be raised or lowered to the required height, as well as to be able to move the inner lamp fitting higher or lower within the housing to adjust the lamps beam. We worked with metal fabricators who worked to our design to supply the painted parts which were assembled and installed on site.

Detail showing bespoke up/down light pendant. Sonos speakers used for surround sound.

Sequence showing seperate control of roller blinds and venetian blinds, all via the Control4 remote/app.

What makes this home smart?

A freeview receiver, Blu-ray player and Amazon Fire TV can be viewed on the big screen, all controlled by a Control4 handheld remote.  The previously installed Somfy blinds, Lutron Lighting and Wise Controls lighting can be controlled from the same Control4 system.

An unsuspecting traditional doorbell outside the property is integrated into the system, so that when pressed will play a doorbell sound through the speakers in all rooms. A similar idea was also used to reduce the audio in the rooms whenever the landline phone was called, the main purpose of this being the building door entry system called the landline and the handheld phones announces who the caller is. Using Control4 hardware and programming it was simple to achieve the perfect example of how a smart home can make life easier.

The specification for the whole-home system includes:

  • + Individual and grouped control of the Somfy roller and Venetian blinds
  • + Wireless Control4 handset for control of all the above systems
  • + Phone-line interface to trigger action via Control4 when activated
  • Lutron and Wise Controls controlled lighting
  • Sonos streamed audio system with discrete speakers
  • + Discretely mounted Panasonic projection onto wall giving 65" display

Links: Photography: James Balston