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Automating Your Shades When It’s ‘Too Darn Hot’

When Cole Porter wrote “It’s Too Darn Hot” for Kiss Me Kate, he wasn’t thinking about the long Texas evenings for those with westerly facing rooms. Even those of us with windows that do not face south can feel the effects of the summer sun on our rooms and air-conditioning bills. Rather than just crank the A/C another few degrees, let’s consider how a well-automated home can combine multiple approaches to cooling down and keeping the air flowing.

07/08/2020|Starr News|

Dedicated Luxury Home Cinema Design & Construction Guide – Part 1

A dedicated cinema may seem like an inefficient use of space to some and they would rather make it into a multi-purpose media room; but to others it’s the crown jewel of their home. A place suited to make events that create lasting memories, from a genuine movie night in with the family, to watching the big game on a big screen with the best of friends. It’s a place that truly changes the experience, a place that allows you to suspend reality for those two hours and immerse yourself in the film the way the director intended. However, without proper planning, design, and execution, a cinema room could be disastrous to a home, disrupting the audio throughout the structure. Today we’ll go over general points and tips in creating a great cinema room. There is a lot that goes into a great cinema, so this article will be split into two parts.

06/30/2020|Starr News|

Why Lighting Design? Part 3.

In the third and final installment of our blog series covering the effects of lighting on our health and quality of life we will be covering the changing world of lighting technology. For better or worse, most new homes now feature LED lighting. The efficiency of LED fixtures is well documented, but many have never been happy with details such as color, quality, and dimming performance. Modern LED fixtures now have the ability to more closely match traditional incandescent lighting in all of those categories, along with one really special trick.

06/23/2020|Starr News|

The Sound and Silence

Balance of sound and silence can impact health and influence emotions. Prolonged excessive exposure to a deficient sound environment causes a range of problems, including stress, poor concentration, productivity loss, communication difficulties, and fatigue. When designing a home, consideration needs to be given to whether you are trying to stop sound getting into a room to keep it quiet, like a bedroom, or trying to stop sound getting out of a room, like a home theater.

06/16/2020|Starr News|

Building for Peace of Mind

Even before COVID-19, Safewise reported that 58 percent of people living in the United States report feeling worried about their safety every single day. States where this concern ranked markedly higher than the rest of the country include Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, and Tennessee. The top health and wellness concerns in the home include falling and carbon monoxide poisoning, and one-third of Americans have experienced an environmental safety issue before, with poor air quality/air pollution and water quality being top concerns. As we build and renovate our homes, more and more, we start to consider what we can do to make them a safe place for our family to live in and for our friends to visit. In this blog, we are to look at five ways you can bring peace of mind and some safety to your home.

06/09/2020|Starr News|

Hiding the Clutter

Professionals will tell you that clutter can sap confidence, reduce creativity, impact your sleep, and increase tension. Yet in a modern home or office, all our devices, cables, tools, and technology increase clutter, which ruins your design and messes with your health. When you design for a healthy home, you look to hide some of this, or at least make it invisible. From speakers in the wall to hidden TVs that look like art, there are many things you can do to cut the visual noise and streamline your home’s appearance.

05/28/2020|Starr News|

Something’s in the Air (and Water)

If we remember the first half of 2020 for anything, I am guessing most of us will remember the amount of time we 'sheltered at home.' Looking after the health of our family, our friends, and our community has been our most important priority. Some people will be ready to head outdoors or into public spaces the moment they are allowed, and others will take time before they want to be back in their wider community. Either way, as we start the process of being back to whatever our 'new normal' will be, our communities will need to decide what to do to make our outside world as safe as possible. At the same time, we should consider if there is more we can do to make our indoors as healthy as we can, too. Here are three ideas to consider.

05/21/2020|Starr News|

Lighting Control & Wellness

Great lighting design involves using layers of light to deliver the desired result, and that layering typically results in a large number of fixtures. To dial in the ideal lighting levels, most homes depend on banks of switches and dimmers, particularly in rooms like the great room, kitchen, and master suite. Those banks of switches are unsightly, complex, and inelegant solutions to a problem that didn’t exist when the light switch was invented. In the past, a room was most likely lit by a single light source, or worse, a few fixtures controlled together by one switch.

05/14/2020|Starr News|

A Happy Home Is a Healthy Home

We all wish for the happiness and health of our families and friends. We all understand how diet, exercise, and even time spent with loved ones, is a critical step to achieving this wish. We also know that when designing a new home or office, we should devote considerable time to make our spaces comfortable and productive. The right materials, fabrics, and textures create an experience that makes us feel at home, but there is more we can do. Few use the right technology in the right place to improve quality of life. Correctly done, home technology can reduce stress, increase your quality of life, and make you more productive. Here are four ways the right home technology can help you achieve healthy spaces.

05/07/2020|Starr News|

Pimp your Home Office

While we've all been living with social distancing and quarantine for the past few weeks, there is one thing every person working from home has in common, and there are millions of us. We are all struggling with crappy equipment and room setups, and therefore having terrible experiences with video conference calls. We almost all sound like crap, look way too small on a laptop screen, have delays and echoes, and it's affecting everyone's business in a negative way. With remote work becoming the new normal for the foreseeable future, these problems need to be addressed and resolved.

04/23/2020|Starr News|