HGTV hosts Monica Pedersen and Jack Thomasson joined me for an interview yesterday live from the HGTV Smart Home located in Jacksonville, Florida. If you haven’t had a chance to check out this beyond amazing home online, you are in for a real treat! Both Jack and Monica toured different parts of the home and discussed some of the most amazing elements of the house, like the faucet that you don’t have to touch to turn on and off, the retracting artwork or the heated toilet seat (that would be very convenient in the winter), and many more. They also shared details on how you can enter to win this dream smart home.
Candace Rose: What is a smart home and how will it effect our lives?
Jack Thomasson: “This HGTV smart home is incredible because basically what we’ve done is we’ve designed a beautiful home and married it with high technology. Literally in my hand as we’re speaking is an iPad. Basically from your smart device: your iPad, your smartphone you can control virtually every feature and function in this house.
Right now for example I’m standing in the great room, and when you first walk into this room you see this beautifully designed room with these gorgeous pieces of artwork, well right now (as we’re speaking) with a touch of a button the artwork is retracting, and there are three 55” televisions behind the artwork that are totally customizable based on what you like to watch on any given television. Let me tell you, on game day this is the party house. Also, the audio that goes with them. You can be outside in the pools watching one of the TVs and listening to the audio from that one out there, while someone inside is watching and listening to something totally different. It’s really a fun feature because one of our goals is to show that technology certainly is highly functional but can also be fun.
Now I’ll just step back into our dining space and to also show where furniture is getting smart because on this hutch behind me I just touch the hinge in the upper right hand corner and the lights in the hutch come on.
Another fun feature of the house as well as all kinds of features, here in the kitchen where I’m standing now. This kitchen has anything and everything a cook or a chef would want. The latest appliances, the latest plumbing fixtures. Look at this feature: Wave your hand over the faucet, and the faucet comes on. Wave your hand over the faucet and the faucet goes off. So if your hands are full, that’s a great feature to have and just one of many features inside this kitchen. So we’ve gone from the great room to the dining room to the kitchen, and now Monica Pedersen is over in the master bedroom.”
Monica Pedersen: “This master bedroom is a great example of being smart and also being stylish. We’ve got some gorgeous draperies done in a natural linen and they really frame the view out into the beautiful pool. These glass doors telescope back so that they’re completely open which makes the master bedroom feel even bigger, and also allows a wonderful cross breeze to come out into the room. Our master bed looks like a simple bed but it’s not, it’s actually an ergonomic mattress. You can use the remote control or the tablet next to the bed to determine if you want your head to be elevated or your feet to be elevated, you can completely customize it for your sleeping experience. And that’s what a smart home is how do we want to live in this home.
And when you go in the master bathroom you see this beautiful bathroom and shower behind this glass wall (this wonderful shower enclosure). But on the other wall you’ll also see a control panel and with that you can control the water temperature as well as the water level or your bathtub. With the shower you can control the water temperature and you can also preset the water flow, the water pressure that you like. So when you walk into your master bathroom it really becomes your space. You walk in, press a button and it’s done. You can’t really see the toilet area, but it’s amazing too- a seat that goes up on a sensor, it’s heated, it’s water efficient. So you’re treated to all these little things in every room and what I think is great since I’m also a designer is you don’t see it. You haven’t sacrificed beauty or style. The technology is just perfectly integrated into the design and that’s what it should be, so lots of fun stuff here.”
Candace Rose: How do the features that you and Jack mentioned save energy?
Monica Pedersen: “Well, a couple things. For one, the doors here that open to the pool area, there’s a wonderful cross breeze that comes in and we also have a large ceiling fan. You’re going to save money with cooling costs by having access to these doors. If this was a small window you wouldn’t get the same breeze coming through. In the bathroom area when you’re presetting your temperature and your water flow and you’re not wasting water trying to get it right and running your bath to get the water temperature right. It’s just spot on and done. The toilet’s water efficient. There are little subtleties throughout the home that are going to save you money in the long run.”
Candace Rose: Are there any surprising elements?
Monica Pedersen: “I love the basics, so just the basics that you can preset your home’s temperature, you can preset the lighting, you can have music playing. You don’t have to have a key for your door, you can unlock it. I love that you can do those things remotely from your smart device or tablet.
People also love to talk about the shutters. We’re in Florida, it’s hurricane proof. The shutters have their own sensor so they know when to go out, they know when to retract. If it’s not climate for the shutters to be out, they’re going to go back in.
The house when you say ‘smart’, there are things about the house that can outsmart us for sure in a lot of situations. I’m sure Jack has a lot more to say about that too.”
Candace Rose: The smart home sounds beyond amazing. How can we enter to win?
Monica Pedersen: “So you want to go to HGTV.com and HGTVRemodels.com, and you can go there twice a day every day. You can start right now through May 31st. The more you enter the better your chances are to win. You can do it twice a day through May 31st. You will win the home, everything in it, all the technology. We also have a brand new GMC in the garage and $100,000 in cash. It’s completely random, there’s no cost to enter and anyone can win.”