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Audio equipment as a design element of the interior
This week we decided to analyze the most frequently asked questions and myths from the sphere of audio equipments. For a starting point we decided to use the most interesting moments about which the listeners of audio programme «Sound» written in reviews and the stories of their own audio systems.
Today we will talk about what the modern equipment from the point of view of interior design for home and beyond.
Example installation of Bang and Olufsen – Beovision
A tangle of wires and bulky cabinets with home audio systems— what to do with that?
Acoustic systems of Hi-Fi class are not luxury items anymore, they has become an indispensable attribute of a modern home. As it is a full-fledged element of interior design, acoustics can become a harmonious continuation of design or it can entirely destroy its perception.
It is better to take care of this during the early stage of audio equipments installation. There are specially trained people for that, who can give a recommendation for the installation of equipment using the information about the size, the shape of the room, the materials and the interior.
One of the most common problems that our clients have is the wires. The showcases in most of the shops do not show all the technical nuances that may occur with the direct use of the audio equipments.
A buyer sees a beautiful photo and just forgets about such nuances as cable management. Of course, on the market of Hi-Fi and Hi-End equipment there are wireless systems, but they also work using the net so it’s impossible to get rid of all the wires.
There are many solutions to this problem. For example, there is specialized furnitures that provides convenient location for “hardware,” and a possibility of hiding the hidden cables in the walls of furniture. In this case the manufacturer of such furniture takes into account all nuances, up to a possible heating of the equipment.
In most situations this approach helps to reduce the time for preparatory work, not to ruin the walls, and most importantly to place the audio system so that it would not only have a good sound but it would also have a nice look.
Today it is not popular to put bulky equipment for show off, although it was popular in the 80s. People think primarily about ergonomics and space efficiency. It is possible to order something and build it into the interior, but in some situations it is necessary to consult with a specialist.
If we continue the theme of convenience, we would like to consider a huge number of existing solutions that provides system control with the use of smartphones and tablets. In Audiomania we use a system called Bitvise which solves the necessary tasks and does not give any discomfort during the settings.
These systems provide sufficient flexibility in order to adapt the control elements for your own design. The system works using Wi-Fi, and we can turn the music on anywhere in the house.
So it is possible to work with the whole home cinema system, but if there is no desire to buy specialized furniture, you can move all equipment to another room. Such a room can be quite compact, the only nuance which is needed is a sufficient ventilation.
I have my own restaurant, but the old acoustics from home looks strange. What am I doing wrong?
Unfortunately, the owners of bars, restaurants and cafes generally don’t pay enough attention to the acoustics of an area. There is a myth about expensive professional equipment, so people often buy an amateur or a car audio equipment and use it for other purposes. As a result, it quickly fails, because even if they seem to serve for the same purpose, the effect of a sound system which is designed for the car cannot give the same effect to a restaurant.
“People are trying to invent a bicycle. Perhaps they are guided by the fact that the professional audio equipments will cost more, the word “professional” always scares them. Unlike what’s known professional audio equipments which are designed for voice acting, for background music are cheap.
Thus it is necessary to think about the conditions of the environment in which the system will be used. For outdoors waterproof and frost-resistant acoustic systems are needed. Here it is necessary to take the class of protection from moisture into account. It’s one thing if we are talking about the open veranda of the restaurant, and it’s another thing if we talk about the sauna on a completely different level of humidity.
“There are very interesting and beautiful landscape solutions. You should read carefully if they should be used for internal or external use. If the speaker looks like a beautiful stone, it does not mean that it can be placed on the road. It is necessary to look what class of protection from moisture it is.
If it is assumed that the speaker will be put in the lowlands, then the equipment must be of the appropriate class or it is necessary to refocus and put the speaker to another place. Fundamentally nothing will change, plus or minus 1,5 m — it is not very important, and the system will make you and your guests happy for a longer time,” – shares the user his experience.
/ Speakers Visaton FRS 10 WP/8 are manufactured in a plastic shell with integrated protective grid which gives them a nice appearance and a good moisture resistance
Design and installation of professional audio systems require appropriate knowledge and experience. So if you are worried about the comfort and the image of your institution, you should contact a special firm.
Home system won’t suit in this case. For background sound and also for voice announcements sometimes the so-called “translational” audio equipments usually used. It is called sometimes as «100-volt». There is a well established term for it abroad – “public address”.
Such systems allow to transmit sound for distances up to several hundred meters. It is necessary to stretch a separate cable to each speaker when you use traditional Hi-Fi systems, but when you use “public address” systems it is not required. You can simultaneously connect as many speakers as you like.
Special multi-media players, microphones and such sources can be used as the sound sources. Mixer-amplifier, where acoustic systems are connected to, increases its signal and, if it is necessary, distributes it.
You can have a separate street veranda with your own music or VIP-hall where the notifications will not sound. When you choose an amplifier, it is recommended to consider a little extra capacity to make it work not at the limit.
A very good way to promote the restaurant is to design it in the broadest sense of this word. To create an unusal restaurants. Institutions pay attention not only to the appearance of menu and interior, some of them go further and build a promotion strategy using the general “strangeness”. Today we present to your attention the material about 10 unusual restaurants from all over the world which are seriously stand out from the crowd of “ordinary” institutions.
Top 10 Interior Design Mistakes
The creation of a new interior is always not easy. We wish it’ll be both stylish and exquisite, beautiful and sophisticated. But at the same time it is important for the room to have the character of those people who will live inside, so it should be individual and special.
Of course in such an important matter it is impossible to avoid the mistakes! They are made not only by those people who are trying to create comfort with their own hands, but even by the experienced professional designers.
Here is 10 most frequent mistakes in design. I hope that knowing of what you shouldn’t do will help you to create more successful interior.
Just once and for all say a decisive “no” to artificial flowers in the interior. Believe me, they would’t fit absolutely anywhere, there is no need to try to find a suitable place for them – they just need to be thrown out. The only exception is artificial trees for interior, but they need to be chosen very carefully!
Furniture with upholstery which cannot be cleaned:
No matter how attractive a white velour sofa is in the interior of black and white living room and no matter if your family has perfectionism in terms of cleanliness, believe me the spots on the sofa will appear soon! So when you are choosing furniture always think about how you can clean the upholstery when it’s necessary!
Beige room… Looks like a perfect option, right? But this interior looks boring and impersonal. The same applies to any other colors. It is much better not to use one color in the interior, but to use the combination of two or three shades.
Only the design of apartments in the style of high-tech or loft involves the lack of windows (and even then not always), in any other cases, the window should be carefully and thoughtfully decorated.
The lack of the light:
Any tricks for creating a perfect interior will be useless if the room has not enough light. The lighting aspect must be carefully thought out! Of course, the interior design of the bedroom and the interior design of the kitchen require totally different approaches to light.
Too many accessories:
Of course, accessories and decorative elements give the room a lived-in appearance and a character of its inhabitants, but in the same time they can simply make the room cluttered and untidy. So remember that it’s important to do everything with a measure.
Perhaps Hollywood celebrities think that it’s normal to decorate their huge home with incredible and totally useless installations and designer furniture, but in reality it’s just silly to fill the space of apartment with useless things.
An apartment in the General style:
In extremely rare cases it is possible to make several rooms, a kitchen, a bathroom and a hallway in the General style so that it will look stylish and not boring. Usually the rooms are just getting too similar and they lose the individuality.
Wires in a visible place:
Believe me, there is no interiors which will look nice with the harnesses of wires which are stretching across the room. You should always (!) mask the cables!
Too many photos:
There’s no need to explain that, because too many pictures hanging on the walls look out of place in any interior.
Working areas are the places that we spent the biggest percent of our days. Despite it is not cared so much, the design of our offices are directly effecting our physical and psychological well-being as well as our productivity. Lately some big companies started to change themselves and worked with designers to create the offices that can motivate the employees. One of them is Microsoft Office in Milan. Let’s check out this lovely office together.
Design firm Platform 5 Architects presented a private house Backwater with 165 square meters replacing outdated bungalow in the County of Norfolk, England. Built in a secluded lagoon it belongs to Patrick Michelle, the director of Platform 5 Architects.
Family residence was designed in contrast with the traditional neighborhood buildings, but it does not disturb the tranquillity and the beauty of the area. The main objective was to create a simple and modern accommodation with living area as the central element.
Low-rise building is represented by three blocks, pitched roofs which are similar to the sheds of boats. Roof and side walls are covered with black wooden shingles, but on the front and the rear facades it is raw and it creates the textured appearance of the building. Deep eaves accentuate the bold silhouette of the house and provide protected exterior zones that can be used any time of the year, in the same time that’s recalling the verandas of nearby coastal Chalet made in the Edwardian style, built as holiday homes with an emphasis on leisure and relaxation.
Each volume has an excellent area and it is oriented on various types. Two-level living room, which is bordering the kitchen and the dining room which are located in the neighboring block, is separated from them by a sliding wooden door that allows you to open the space if you want to. Three bedrooms with bathrooms occupy the last two-storey volume. Every space in the house was carefully planned and decorated with mostly built-in furniture. A rich palette of materials shows the wide range of colors and textures corresponding to the function of each room, creating a cozy, but changing in the same time atmosphere.
Microsoft House is a new office of Microsoft in Milan, which interior project was designed by the architects of DEGW Italia who made a mix of everything that is associated with a vision of «100% italian design».
The office is located in the iconic building of architects Herzog & de Meuron, and the new interiors fully meet such corporate values like openness, visibility, flexibility, energy, dynamism and innovation.
Implemented DEGW project is a part of the process which Microsoft carries out for several years under the name “New World of Work”. The concept has a flexible approach to the dynamics of work and the use of functional and technologically innovative spaces that serve the purpose of cooperation maximizing. These ideas provide working space which allow the possibilities of different working methods.
In the two lower floors of the building there is a client area, which is opened to the public and which demonstrates Microsoft products. Floors from the second to the sixth are reserved for company staff and its partners.
Work areas are different in accordance with the type of activity for which they are made and they are grouped together in carefully designed clusters with a special facing of the furniture and the floor. There are sub-domains inside of them, which create transparent spaces with optimal sound and environmental efficiency.
Another fundamental feature of the project is the presence of Social Hubs, which are the spaces where people can come and hold informal meetings or enjoy short breaks with the colleagues. Themes that define the mood and tone of these Social Centres are sport, nature and city; the furniture and decor which were made right for their order fit the stated topics.
The whole design of furniture and accessories is made in the italian taste with the use of natural materials such as wood, that creating a warm and a friendly environment.