technology profile - window treatments
You've Got to See it to Believe It
The Cinegration experience center allows prospective clients the opportunity to experience how automation technologies really work.
BY Douglas Weinstein
CINEGRATION SHOWROOM IN ARVADA, COLORADO
2020 CEDIA AWARD FOR BEST SHOWROOM IN THE AMERICAS
THERE REALLY ISN’T ANYTHING LIKE IMMERSING YOURSELF in a modern smart home experience center in order to get what we are talking about in Technology Designer Magazine. We can lather on about circadian rhythm and wellness and the latest in display technologies, but it’s really more about experiencing the lifestyle of the smart home that often turns that lightbulb on over people’s heads. When done correctly, a smart home experience that works for the homeowner instead of the other way around is a pretty cool thing to behold.
Case in point, Denver-metro based technology design firm Cinegration, which won the 2020 CEDIA award for Best Showroom in the Americas. Their experience center allows prospective clients the opportunity to touch and feel and experience how automation and interwoven technologies – lighting, shading, music, images, conference rooms and bathrooms – all come together and allow homeowners to exist in a space that simply works.
While Cinegration is based in Arvada, Colorado, they do a lot of work up in the mountains in Breckenridge and Vail. The team has mastered a broad spectrum of technology integrations for homeowners seeking the most innovative connected systems, including controlling and harnessing light.
“Lighting and shading are some of the highest demanded technologies, so naturally they’ve been a consistent part of the Cinegration portfolio since the company’s inception,” explains Shelby Schwartz, Director of Business Operations. Cinegration discovered that as shading became a more integral part of their custom build projects, they had to offer more robust design options for their smart shading solutions.
With the quick growth of the shading vertical, more homeowners were looking to integrate shades into their smart home systems, but with heavy demand for customization – like massive floor to ceiling windows, pre-wired systems, and sleek interior design – many projects required more than just the basic roller shade. Cinegration sought a product line that could fit projects of all sizes, integrate into their increasingly popular Control4 systems, and offer the right mix of beautiful interior design and full connectivity to complement any smart home. And that partner became Hunter Douglas.
Offering over 20 styles of customizable shades by fabric, size and color, and a platform that can easily be programmed into a Control4 system, the Cinegration team embraced the opportunity to add the line to their showroom offerings and demonstrate to customers how their homes could be transformed into more elegant spaces.
"When a client finds out that shading is not a stand-alone category and we can merge it with lighting control and a whole home automation system and make it work seamlessly, it becomes a very easy sell."Shelby Schwarz, Cinegration
PHOTOS COURTESY OF CINEGRATION
The addition of Hunter Douglas to the showroom proved its value when Cinegration began a relationship with local custom-builder Artur Budzynski. Shades were not necessarily top-of-mind for Artur at the start. “Prior to moving to Colorado, we built custom homes in Texas and the only place we would see shades specified would be on the patio – and they were rarely automated. We also admittedly didn’t often work with technology; we would encourage clients to handle that after the build. It always was a lot of work to source different contractors and no one seemed to handle it all. That has not been the case with Cinegration.”
After working with Cinegration on two spec homes, the Budzynskis knew they wanted to include Hunter Douglas products when they began building their own home with spectacular mountain views in Breckenridge. “I love being able to regulate the sunlight in the rooms of our home and being able to use Alexa to raise and lower the shades from anywhere,” said Budzynski.
"I love being able to regulate the sunlight in the rooms of our home and being able to use Alexa to raise and lower the shades from anywhere."Homeowner Artur Budzynski
The Cinegration showroom has been open for a year and a half and Hunter Douglas continues to be an integral part of the experience. As more homeowners are coming to appreciate the benefits of lighting and shading in tandem, customers are becoming more aware that technology goes much further than A/V and home automation. The investment has returned significant growth for Cinegration’s business: “When a client finds out that shading is not a stand-alone category and we can merge it with lighting control and a whole home automation system and make it work seamlessly, it becomes a very easy sell,” said Schwartz.
Experience centers that educate and illuminate are a must see destination for design-build professionals. Most technology design firms who have showrooms utilize them for continuing education and open house events where the newest technologies are premiered. These curated spaces can really demonstrate the breadth of technologies that elevate and enhance any space, as well as enrich the lifestyle expectations of modern architecture. And perhaps most importantly, today’s technology experience centers lead to conversations about that intersection where technology meets design.
Seeing is believing. Get there if you can.