Nestled in Pittsburgh’s North Side is a beautifully renovated row house with four bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, and three outdoor entertainment spaces, including two private balconies offering stunning views of the City of Bridges skyline. As cool as the balconies are, the 2,000 square-foot courtyard is what really sells this place. It’s a veritable oasis in the heart of the city, complete with tasteful landscaping and a small lawn, a spacious dining area with a large fire pit, and a sheltered “sports bar” area featuring a grill and wall-mounted TV with its own dedicated sound system. When it’s time to get the party started, a second sound system concealed in the landscaping brings the courtyard area to life, capping off what adds up to a magnificent outdoor entertainment space.
“The outdoor area was the second phase of an extensive row house renovation,” explains Tom Pieracki, president and founder of Simply Automated (SA) and Luma Lighting, Pittsburgh-based sister companies specializing in smart technology and custom integration. “The client is a developer who had the vision to create a high-end, fully automated vacation home primarily used for Airbnb rental.” SA was contracted to design and install an elaborate whole-house system featuring automated A/V entertainment and lighting, which extended to the outdoor space.
“We were fortunate to start with a clean slate for the outdoor area,” Pieracki says. The owner came up with a general design and SA worked up a plan to integrate audio and custom lighting throughout the space and bring video entertainment outdoors. The main audio system is a 70-volt setup comprising four GO6 satellites and a GO10SW in-ground subwoofer from Paradigm’s Garden Oasis Series, which Pieracki says “provides great coverage throughout the space.” SA worked with the landscape contractor to bury the conduit for the speaker wiring. “This greatly simplified the installation as we weren’t fighting with finished landscape and hardscape,” he says. “We’ve found that thinking ahead and working with all parties involved on these types of installations can limit potential issues, which ultimately lead to a loss of time and money for all.”
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