How They Did It: The Trophy Home

Ed Wenck | Feb 28, 2019

This home, tucked into the dunes along the shoreline of Western Michigan, is an outdoorsman’s oasis. It’s massive, too – the private setting allows for soaring ceilings, creating a top level (with a roofline at a staggering 60 feet) that affords spectacular views of the local scenery, including great Lake Michigan sunsets.

The first floor of the home is equally jaw-dropping – this entry point, according to systems designer Dustin Deal (ESC-D) at integration firm Bekins, “features a state-of-the-art gym, media room, and a one-of-a-kind trophy room that would make any Cabela’s jealous.”

The trophy room’s “natural” setting, showing the animals in approximations of their habitats, required careful lighting design and control to heighten the effect. Ambient sound for the room is controlled via a Crestron system, and Crestron is used throughout the other two floors of the retreat as well, controlling Lutron lighting in addition to the audio. In-ceiling Paradigm speakers are used throughout the home, along with soundbars by Leon.

The middle level of the home, called the “Dune Level,” features three rustic bedrooms and a guest suite, a craft room, and a kids’ play area. Lighting and shading are automated in the building’s second story.

Power management was part of the project, too: “We used Panamax BlueBolt PWM which allows our service team to remotely power-cycle any components through IP control. All critical sub-systems are powered through BlueBolt and can be switched on and off as needed,” says Deal.

Since the home was a new build – and since the client had a great relationship with the Bekins team – the only real challenge here was internet access, located 1.5 miles away at the customer's office on the same lot. “We ran single-mode fiber from the office to the home,” Deal explains.

Making the controls intuitive for a variety of users across a range of ages was key. “The home’s got audio in every room, automated shades, lighting control, total-coverage wireless networking, RF remote controls in every room with a television, and touchpads and keypads all around — we had to ensure that setting every scene in this home is just a touch away,” says Deal. The project, with a total value of just under half-a-million dollars, picked up Finalist honors for Best Integrated Home, Level III, at the 2018 CEDIA Awards.


735 Washington Ave.
Grand Haven, MI 49417
CEDIA Member Since 1993

Equipment List:
Chief hardware
Crestron controls, processors and amps
Leon soundbars
ICRealtime NVR and cameras
Leviton patch panels
Lutron products
Marantz receiver
Middle Atlantic racks
Pakedge products
Panamax products
Paradigm speakers
Sonance amp
Sony televisions