Jeff Binette on Enhancing Technology in the Home

“One day, it just clicked,” says Jeff Binette, owner of SmartHome Solutions. “I realized that there was a growing need for technology in the home.” Binette’s childhood captivation with construction combined with his background in computer science influenced his decision to design and install custom audiovisual technology for homes thirteen years ago. In his interview with MH+D Inside Out, Binette tells us how technology can enhance the aesthetics and efficiency of a home.

Q. How would you describe what SmartHome Solutions does?

A. I feel like we are interior designers for electronics, especially in residential projects. We try to make technology blend into a space so that it’s not the focal point of the home, but that it’s still easy to use. That’s a challenge in any house.

Q. What obstacles do you encounter in this line of work?

A. People are overwhelmed by technology and what it can bring to their home. They think it’s complex, so we try to simplify it as best we can. A client can walk out the door and hit one button, and it can do seven different things based on some programming. With one button 40 window shades can go down. It can turn off all the lighting in the home, and it can make all the thermostats in the house go down to 60 degrees. It can turn off any music or TVs that were on in the house. We’ve also done TVs that drop down out of the ceiling, mirror TVs in which the picture can disappear, and TVs behind paintings, where the canvas rolls up to uncover the TV. Our clients want the aesthetics of the home to feel natural and uncomplicated.

Q. Why is that?

A. At the end of the day, our clients want the technology to work, but they also want it to look good in their environment. We’re trying to deliver a better living experience for our clients. We provide more than just products; we provide solutions. We try to envision that the client is coming to us because they want something that’s going to do whatever they want properly, and they want someone who’s going to be there when the technology doesn’t work. I like to tell my clients, “Technology is technology. It may fail. But we’ll be there when it does.”