Colorado

Outdoor Screens Get Motorized Makeover Outdoor Screens Get Motorized Makeover

In most areas of the country, there is that perfect time of year where family activities move outdoors, and quality-of-life hits an annual high. But then the season changes and that perfect weather is replaced by more extreme temperatures. Dinners on the patio, glasses of wine by the firepit and weekends spent by the pool stop, and the family abandons the yard until the perfect weather returns.

For the longest time this was just a part of life, but outdoor motorized shades have helped us turn two and three season porches into spaces that our clients can enjoy year-round.

 

How to Watch TV Outdoors in the Sun! How to Watch TV Outdoors in the Sun!

There is something special about watching a game outdoors on your patio or even in your garden. Some of us live in a climate where this is possible for the Superbowl, but many of us need to wait for warmer months to get outdoors.

Wherever you live and whatever you watch, there is something to consider when putting your TV outside the walls of your home. In this blog, we will review some of the issues and recommend a great TV for your outdoor upgrade – from our favorite brand, Seura.

Private Cinema VS Theater Private Cinema VS Theater

A dedicated home theater is a huge improvement over watching movies in your family room, but some theaters are simply more impressive than others. We like to refer to these truly special spaces as private cinemas. They are more than just a windowless room; they are an experience, a portal right into the movies on the screen. We are going to share a few things from our perspective as home theater designers that you can do to make your home theater a true replacement for the movie theater experience.

Taking the First Step into Human Centric Lighting Taking the First Step into Human Centric Lighting

There is a lot of talk about human centric or healthy lighting in the residential design and technology world. When you bring the subject up, you tend to get two questions: What is it, and how much does it cost? The first of these questions is easy to answer, but the second is one of those “well it depends” answers. As residential lighting designers, we will try to examine both in the blog.

Two Tricks To Be More Effective on Video Meetings Two Tricks To Be More Effective on Video Meetings

Ubiquity reported that in 1971, Albert Mehrabian published a book called  Silent Messages, in which he discussed his research on non-verbal communication among salespeople. He concluded 55% of effectiveness is body language, 38% voice and only 7% is the salesperson's actual words. Others have said the mix for most presenters is 70% what you look like, 23% what you sound like and 7% what you say.

Whichever numbers you believe, the impact is simple: your look and how you sound may be significantly more important to your influence than what you say. Add into this what Stanford University called ‘Zoom Fatigue’ and it becomes important for those of us working from our home offices to maximize those things to make us more effective on our calls.

 

At BRAVAS, we would recommend you focus on two things when improving your video conferencing solutions: a better camera and a better microphone.

Product of the Month: Sonance Invisible Speakers Product of the Month: Sonance Invisible Speakers

If you think an invisible speaker sounds like an April’s Fools Day joke or a science fiction fantasy, you aren’t alone. Even inside the industry, the idea of a speaker that you truly couldn’t see felt a little too good to be true. The earliest versions worked well enough but didn’t sound nearly as good as a traditional speaker. That is no longer true about every invisible speaker, so read on to find out why the all-new Sonance invisible speakers are our product of the month.

Let’s start by explaining that, unlike in a sci-fi movie, an invisible speaker isn’t invisible until it is installed. I know, I was disappointed too. An invisible speaker is a specialized speaker designed to be installed flush with the drywall, and them textured, wallpapered, or veneered over. Instead of a speaker cone directly moving air to create sound the invisible speaker actually vibrates the wall itself, essentially turning the wall into a speaker.

Product of The Month: uHoo Monitoring Your Air Quality Product of The Month: uHoo Monitoring Your Air Quality

During a recent Luxury Living Podcast, a discussion came up about Air Quality and how to measure it. The team suggested using an air quality monitor. At BRAVAS, our indoor air quality consultants wondered what the experience would be like to use one of these monitors for a month. The one we chose was the uHoo Indoor Air Quality Sensor – 9 in 1 Smart Air Monitor. You can find more detailed reviews on the web about uHoo, but we thought we would share some of our insights after using it for a month.

COVID: 1 Year On – 5 Lessons for Whole-Home Automation COVID: 1 Year On – 5 Lessons for Whole-Home Automation

By the time you read this, we will have been living under the new normal for just over a year. For some, that means a year of lockdown in your home. If you live in a large or luxury home, then the last year has probably been kinder to you than many others. Having space to move about, rooms to work in, or just an area you can call your own is a luxury.

 

Of course, we hope your family has been spared the worst of COVID, and if not, no gadget will make it any easier for you. We too have family and friends affected, and we share your loss.

 

At BRAVAS, our mission is to design and deliver technology experiences that improve the way people live, work, and play in their homes. As we look back on this year, we have learned a lot about how people use their homes, and here are five things we have noticed about whole-home automation. 

Stream On! Music Streaming Services for Whole Home Music Systems Stream On! Music Streaming Services for Whole Home Music Systems

How we listen to music has been constantly evolving since the invention of the Gramophone in 1887, but the last few decades have seen some truly huge shifts in how we enjoy music. The internet brought us a free-for-all land of pirated music that largely soured the music world on digital media. iTunes eventually provided the alternative model that allowed people to easily purchase music digitally and paved the way for digital music to become the mainstream distribution model.

 

While they weren’t the first streaming services, Pandora and Spotify both paved the way for the idea that you don’t have to own your music library, you can have access to most of the music available in the world as long as you don’t mind paying a low monthly fee. Streaming services have also revolutionized the way whole-home audio systems work. Read on to see what streaming services we see our clients using the most.

Creating a Real, Automated Luxury Home Creating a Real, Automated Luxury Home

Most technology areas are a mixture of DIY/hobbyist, semi-professional and professional. The difference between these is typically apparent and is often signaled by price. A good example may be cameras. Assuming you want a separate camera (more than your smartphone), you can spend a lot less than $1000 as a hobbyist and get yourself a great Canon or Nikon and an excellent kit lens.  You can upgrade your camera body and lens as a semi-professional and easily spend closer to $10,000, or you can, as a professional, buy the top-of-the-line camera body and spend close to $10,000 just on that. The additional lens a professional will use can cost the same again, if not more. Of course, you can, as a DIYer, spend $25,000 on your first camera, but it’s probably not going to happen.

 

The same does seem to hold true for home automation companies. When considering what you are going to do in your home to make it automated, there is a significant jump between semi-professional and professional. In this blog we will review why there is a big jump and if you need to take that jump.

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