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March 19, 2012 - Middleburg Heights, OH 


Electronic House Home of the Year 2012


Electronic House Magazine Announces the 2012 Home of the Year Award Winners


Recognizing outstanding home installations with technologies and systems for the whole home, EH Publishing announced the winners in 11 categories.   Judging criteria for the Home of the Year Awards included all aspects involved in an installation, such as project creativity, innovation, equipment incorporated, obstacles overcome, homeowner priorities met, aesthetics and lifestyle benefits.   Audio Video Interiors received the Silver Award for Best Fun Room/Rec Room for a project completed in collaboration with its Design & Product partners from Environments by Design, the new joint-venture design center.  


 Schmitt Billiard and Visual Sports





Electronic House editor Lisa Montgomery says,"The 2012 winners represent some of the best installations of home technology that we've seen, incorporating streamlined control and automation of audio/video equipment, lighting, heating and cooling systems, security and more.  The winning projects are inspirational and provide helpful information to anyone interested in incorporating technology into their homes. They showcase the talents of some of the most knowledgeable and skilled custom electronics (CE) professionals in the business."


Schmitt Theater

Michael Pope, President Audio Video Interiors, describes the Project:


Our clients live in a country club community and were looking to renovate their unfinished basement. The client knew he wanted to include a gym, theater, and gaming center. Our firm founded a group of specialty trades and design professionals who collaborate to provide turn-key design/build services. Collectively, we built a unique design center in our new showroom, branded as "Environments By Design". After touring our design center, the client awarded our group the entire renovation project.


We chose Control4 for this project, providing for music playback, movie watching, lighting control, and security integration. The new media distribution is viewable from any TVs in the home. Our integrated Honeywell security system protects the family from intrusion, fire and water damage while its Total Connect services provide smartphone control and email/text notifications.


Our challenges included a short construction deadline and several structural issues. The original basement had a floor-to-ceiling height of 8'-0" with several columns running down the center of the basement that interfered with the seating area of the theater. Our design/build team installed a second beam adjacent to the original to help distribute the load, enabling the removal of columns.

The theater had a water meter projecting a foot out from the front wall. We retrofitted a piece of A/V acoustically treated furniture to hide the meter and gear.


This homeowner originally planned to include a putting green on his project, until he experienced the Visual Sports Simulator in our showroom. The ceiling height was two feet short of optimal swing height for a simulator. Typically, when this fact is revealed, the subject is closed but, seeing the disappointment on his face, we suggested one alternative; excavate the basement! Removing the corner foundation walls of a two story colonial home without causing any damage is no small task, and one that no other contractor was willing to tackle! A sump pump was required to handle any infiltration of ground water. To accent the space, our muralist created a custom mural printed on carpet, based upon a photograph from the neighboring fairway of the client's home. By adding custom high-impact glass walls, partygoers can join in on the fun and watch the action unfold while the sports enthusiasts can view the party or ball game on TV! The Visual Sports system allows guests and family to not only enjoy golf, but also sports such as hockey, baseball, football, soccer, and basketball.


We overcame the structural and visual challenges of the space by using floor-to-glass walls, removal of columns, an interesting mural, and reflective floor surfaces. The client's expectations were exceeded in every aspect of their project, as evidenced in their video testimonial and the fact that all trades were invited to their catered Open House! The client enjoys his golf simulator so much he had tape on five of his fingers and his wife informed us he has formed two golf leagues! This project transformed an unused basement into a visually stunning space providing the client the ultimate fun get-a-away!




Pope's firm has won numerous national awards for its innovative design and professional execution of integrated audio/video and security systems.  He has always been proud of his staff of designers, engineers, programmers and installers, but he is especially pleased with this recognition that represents the first collaborative project of both Audio Video Interiors & Environments by Design.  Years ago he had envisioned assembling a team of design professionals that could work as one, simplifying the renovation & remodeling process for the homeowner.  In August of 2011 Environments by Design opened its doors.  The "Best Fun Room" project was the first for the group.  It would seem to have been proven a winning formula!


Schmitt Bar & Billiard



About Audio Video Interiors & Safety Technologies
Audio Video Interiors & Safety Technologies is a national award winning AV and Security/Life-Safety Systems Integrator serving NE Ohio and beyond since 1990.  We provide integrated Audio, Video, Lighting, Shading, Control and Life-Safety/Security Solutions & monitoring for homes, businesses, Government and Houses of Worship.  

7204 Pearl Road, Middleburg Heights, OH 44130
For additional information or
to receive this Press Release in another format contact:
Lisa Matthews
Marketing & Communications Coordinator