Utah-based Tym Home Theaters & Smart Homes was approached by clients who were having a custom-built property constructed partially as a party home for their grandchildren, explains Tym President Matt Montgomery. “All of it was really about them taking care of their grandkids,” he said, adding that the owners didn’t approach the project full of directives for his integration team. They weren’t tech-savvy, he explained. “This was their first go. That’s why I thought they were going to go with something a little simpler. It was interesting. We expected them to want to go in a very different direction with the technology. But we walked in and they said, let’s do everything.”
The task for Tym was essentially to automate two homes in one: a larger building and a detached one-bedroom casita that also houses garages and a car workshop and playroom above. “We connected the two structures with fiber so that it would be as seamless as possible for the client if he moved from one to the other, and would not have to disconnect,” explained Montgomery. The separate structure was technologically designed so that both the shop and the casita’s systems can run independently of the main structure. That included partitioning security as well as A/V and automation. “It connected to the main house but was self-contained, but the owner could have access to it seamlessly, and at the same time, could lock out people who shouldn’t have access.”
The state-of-the-art home entertainment/smart home solution devised by Tym, grounded in Savant control technology, included over 100 speakers in every area, including in outdoor spaces and landscaping, in the sports court, fire pit and pool areas. Also part of the design were many zones of 4K Ultra HD video distribution in both structures, 25 zones of high-resolution audio distribution, commercial grade Wi-Fi throughout, and surveillance cameras with DVR recording.
The ‘Open Concept’ Home Theater
The home features an open concept home theater with a bespoke star ceiling. This theater boasts Dolby Atmos 3D audio, a Sony 4K projector and a 132-inch screen.
How did Tym provide the experience of an enclosed home theater without four walls? The team gave great weight to the owners’ desire to have a generous space where many family members and friends could congregate to enjoy entertainment. “In our market, especially, we’re seeing a huge trend now to have almost a media room with two or three walls, but not fully enclosed. Luckily with the star ceiling you still have the ceiling, so that takes care of the stars. The way this theater was laid was kind of L-shaped – if you can imagine a rectangle, and an L-shaped room with the theater being in the corner of that room.
“They really wanted to magnify the amount of open light coming from the living area, so it was open on two sides of the theater and they used a barn door to close it off.” This design “gives them the ability to have a lot more family and friends watching the movie.”
Across the back area is a ’50s-style diner, outfitted with Paradigm speakers whose design and placement made acoustic sense and also dovetailed perfectly with that theme. “We went with their wall-mounted speakers. The client ended up loving it because he wanted something that reminded him of an old-school drive-in where you have the speakers visible and right outside the car window.”
Montgomery said that Tym was fortunate to get into the job process early. “We designed from the ground up with the builder,” which he said made a huge difference in avoiding pitfalls during the installation.
The home was featured in a Salt Lake Parade of Homes and has won numerous smart home accolades. But most important were the kudos won from the homeowner. “The client was really happy,” said Montgomery. “It’s led to our doing a whole bunch of their family members’ homes.”
Article First Appeared in Connected Design Fall Issue, 2019