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A Smart Home in a Mountain Town

Design Inspiration

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PROFILE
Xssentials

Story By
Cory Hatch

Photos By
Mark Woolcott

Designing the perfect home is more than choosing the best architect and the perfect building site—it also means custom tailoring the home’s environment to the homeowner. Yet, at a time when everything from phones to cars to toothbrushes benefits from state-of-the- art electronics, most houses still rely on 1950s technology.

Xssentials bridges this divide, offering the best in automation technology in order to bring luxury homes and offices into the 21st century.

Beyond that, its team works hand-in-hand with architects, builders, and interior designers to integrate these systems seamlessly with its clients’ lifestyles.

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Xssentials’ Jackson showroom inspires with the best in home technology, artwork from Diehl Gallery, and furnishings by Town and Edelman Leather.

“We have this ecosystem in the smart home, and these separate entities are able to communicate with each other to make your life easier,” says Xssentials Jackson general manager Ken Davis. “They can make you safe and they can be fun to use.”

What this means for the consumer is a home that “knows” when the sun sets in Wyoming. It means that, when the client comes home with a car full of groceries, pushing a single button opens the garage door while also turning on the lights in the hall and kitchen. It means peace of mind when—with a smartphone—clients can monitor their homes’ security cameras via the wireless internet in their hotel rooms.

THE LATEST AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGY

From its new showroom in downtown Jackson, the Xssentials staff demonstrates top-of-the-line home theater and audio systems as well as the latest automation technology: Lights dim and blinds open; televisions on electric motors rise from carefully concealed consoles in the furniture; and the bathroom mirror doubles as a vanishing television screen.

How the house looks at the end is almost more important than what it does.”

– Ken Davis of Xssentials Jackson

Devices such as the Savant app allow homeowners to control audio, video, security, lawn sprinklers, blinds, lights, temperature, and more with their phones. Savant’s simple and functional interface allows users to access music streaming services like Pandora from their home entertainment systems with just a few swipes of the touch screen—and to arm or disarm their security systems from a different city, or even a different country.

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Ken Davis of Xssentials and Brad Amundson of Aspen Homes review plans on a project site.

Other companies can install these systems, too. What sets Xssentials apart is 33 years of experience and its comprehensive approach. “Eighty- five percent of companies in the industry are hobbyists who have turned it into a business,” Davis says. In contrast, Xssentials features a large, diverse staff of professionals, including an IT support department and a design team from its offices in Colorado.

A FULLY INTEGRATED DESIGN PROCESS

The design team plays a crucial role in choosing and installing the right suite of systems for a particular home. First, the designer chooses the best locations for the home’s automation technology. Next, he or she overlays the schematics on the home’s blueprints. These detailed plans allow Xssentials staff to work with the architect, builder, and interior designer throughout the entire design- build process. The result? A home theater with acoustics designed to complement its speakers, televisions that descend from the ceiling, and invisible speakers that use specially designed wall coverings to transmit high-quality sound.

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Intimate spaces designed with a blend of rustic and contemporary styles can also benefit from the best in home technology.

“How the house looks at the end is almost more important than what it does,” Davis says. “If we’re discussing those options with architects, builders, and designers early on, it makes that whole process a lot easier. It also makes us a partner in the design process. That’s important to us because we want the project to be successful.”

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DEDICATED TECH SUPPORT

After installation, the dedicated Xssentials IT support team keeps the system running smoothly. IT support staff can often diagnose and remedy problems remotely, without the hassle of a service trip to the client’s house. The company is also developing service plans for clients with specific needs. The hope is that the Xssentials IT team will soon have the ability to monitor and fix a system before the customer even notices a problem.

All of this? Just one small piece of what the future holds for home automation, Davis says. Someday soon, Xssentials hopes to offer whole-home energy monitoring systems that will interface with wind, solar, and geothermal power sources. Computers will charge electric cars when the electricity rate is lowest. “Your home will be able to make intelligent choices and Xssentials will ensure those choices are designed to suit your lifestyle.”