Custom Home - April 2003

Hidden Agenda

By Meghan Drueding

Now you see it, now you don’t. That was the general idea behind this home entertainment system by AVIA, Inc., in a Locust Valley N.Y., master bedroom. The setup, which won Best Hidden Installation in the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association’s 2003 Designers’ Choice Competition, includes a 60-inch plasma television that disappears into the ceiling at the touch of a remote control. It also features a pullout rack holding a DVD player, stereo, and other A/V equipment, concealed behind two innocuous-looking closet doors.

The project was past of an overall master suite addition designed by builder Chris Schlesinger. Ernie Wohlleben, vice president and a principal designer at AVIA, passed the measurements for the ceiling cavity and equipment closet on to Schlesinger, who factored them into his framing. “We had a lift mechanism custom designed for the TV’s weight and size,” says Wohlleben. The hydroelectric mechanism incorporates a center channel for surround sound and weighs nearly 500 pounds. “We had to rent a lift to lift the lift,” he laughs.

Wohlleben angled the TV over the bed so that the owner can watch it without having to prop himself up. And Schlesinger painted the flush speakers to the left and right of the bedroom’s large window the same color as the walls, so they blend right into the rest of the space. AVIA also designed the room’s remote-controlled lighting system and gas fireplace.

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