Kitchen & Bath Business November/December 2022 - 20

H OT
T OPIC
How to Be Smart About " Smart Homes "
These expert tips will help you successfully integrate technology into your design
AS THE WORLDS OF TECHNOLOGY and design continue to merge, many
designers fi nd themselves trying to fi gure out how to integrate the two in
a way that doesn't compromise their vision, their timeline and their client's
budget. It's a simple fact that clients - particularly millennials and Gen Xers
- increasingly want the ease, effi ciency and safety of what technology can
deliver, especially in the kitchen and bath. But they are not always as clear
on exactly what they want as a result or how it will fi t into their daily lives.
To help smooth the way forward for the integration of technology into
your design, we've compiled some expert tips on how to ensure both you
and your client get exactly what you want out of the process. We should
warn you that no one said it would be easy, but you can bet that it will help
you be successful and give you a competitive advantage in a tight market.
YOU OWN THE PROCESS
Right from the start, you own the project and direct its path. Even when you
bring someone on board as part of the team who knows more about the technological
aspects of the project than you, make it clear that they report to you,
take design direction from you and make any requests to the client through you.
As Amanda Wildman, CEO of TruMedia, Ada, Mich., noted at the
NKBA Design & Tech Conference in Dallas during CEDIA Expo: " Our
solutions should absolutely fi t in with your design vision " and, in fact, support
it so that it enhances the client experience.
Th is doesn't mean you shouldn't listen to your technology partner when
they advise that a certain solution may not work with the design or produce
the desired results. Th at's when you ask for more solution options and
decide just how fl exible you want to be.
START FROM THE BEGINNING
Every expert integrator will stress that the process of integrating technology
into a design project must start at the very beginning, before any demolition
or opening of walls. It should be layered into the timeline, budget and even the
design before anything is fi nalized.
" Before you open a wall, give me a call, " said Jamie Briesemeister, CEO
of Integration Controls, St. Louis, during a Q/A session at NKBA's Design
& Tech Conference.
Retrofi tting a space after a project is complete is much harder, costlier
and really narrows down the set of choices. Some solutions, Briesemeister
explained, can only be contrived when she's brought on before the project
starts (see above photo) because of the wiring involved within the walls.
FIND THE RIGHT PARTNER
If you were ill, you wouldn't trust just anyone to prescribe medication, right?
Well, it's the same for technology integrators ... you want to fi nd one who is certifi
ed, has great references and can be relied upon to work with you on a solution.
" You want to fi nd someone who is certifi ed, open to answering questions
and off ers multiple references, " advised Giles Sutton, SVP of success and sales
20
/ NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2022
ABOVE A historic home
renovation has all the modernday
technology but maintains
its old-world feel through
details like this toggle switch,
with multiple wires behind the
wall that control the lighting,
audio and temperature. Photo
courtesy of Home Integration
at CEDIA, Fishers, Ind., who also spoke at NKBA
Tech & Design. You also should have more than
one technology partner in case your fi rst choice is
busy and you need a backup.
Sutton also pointed out that it's important that
the technology integrator fi ts comfortably with
your design team. No one needs the added stress of
clashing personalities or someone who won't take
direction and creates challenges for the project.
EDUCATE YOURSELF
Let's face it, you'll likely never be the technology
expert, and that's perfectly fi ne. However, you
should know basic terms, procedures and even
a little about the products on the market. It's
easy to fi nd online resources that can help like
CEPro.com, TechnologyDesigner.com and
HTACertifi ed.org. And, if you can, go to conferences
and trade shows where you can not only
learn but also meet professional integrators.
" You should fi nd that type of integrator out
there who's willing to be that resource, who's
willing to answer questions and do that dance
with you, " said Wildman.
In the end, the designer drives the look, feel
and touch of the project, while the integrator
absolutely needs to know the client's habits and
how they function in the space. " If you can get
those two pieces to work together seamlessly,
then the experience your client has will be absolutely
out of the park, " said Wildman.
By NKBA Staff

http://www.CEPro.com http://www.TechnologyDesigner.com http://www.HTACertified.org

Kitchen & Bath Business November/December 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Kitchen & Bath Business November/December 2022

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Kitchen & Bath Business November/December 2022 - Cover3
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