11 April 2014

For the Tennessean

By Bill Lewis

The 2014 HGTV Smart Home packs a lot of innovations in a relatively small space. The home, at 2,500 square feet of living space, is in Green Hills and mixes green, high-tech and luxury features. 

With 2,500 square feet of living space, HGTV's 2014 Smart Home isn't the largest house in Green Hills, but with its combination of green, high-tech and luxury features, the home is proof that good things come in small packages.

Even with high-tech conveniences such as shades that automatically close at sunset, a ring of LED nightlights inside the master bath's toilet, appliances that connect with the owner's mobile devices and kids' televisions that can be monitored remotely by parents, the home looks and lives like a traditional English cottage.

"We're not in the Jetsons' era. We want the house to be comfortable," said Jason Moore, a technology specialist for HGTV.

Big Giveaway
HGTV also wants the house to be free for one lucky viewer. Every year the Knoxville-based cable and satellite television network gives away a home. The most recent was in Lake Tahoe, the scenic area on the border of California and Nevada.

The HGTV Smart Home in Nashville is part of a grand prize package valued at more than $1 million that includes the home, its furnishings and a luxury hybrid vehicle, as well as $100,000 provided by Quicken Loans. The giveaway opens for entries on Tuesday and runs through June 9. Viewers can enter twice a day at HGTV.com and at HGTVRemodels.com.

Over the years, HGTV has given away 28 houses. This is the network's first home in Nashville.

"Nashville feels like the next 'best place' to be," said HGTV house planner Jack Thomasson, who cited the city's numerous universities, the music and entertainment industries, its nationally recognized restaurant scene and friendly people.

"It's a real town where people want to live and raise their family," said Thomasson.

Efficient, Not Wasteful
The home is located in the Duncanwood Reserve neighborhood, a high-end infill subdivision near Lipscomb University. The neighborhood will include 15 homes when it is complete. All have been presold, said Micah Lacher, a principal at Anchor Investments, the company developing the neighborhood.

Thomasson, who is in charge of selecting the site for each HGTV sweepstakes house, discovered the neighborhood while scouting for locations in Green Hills. He parked his car and approached Lacher.

"I thought it was a practical joke," the developer said.

Once he realized Thomasson was serious, Lacher quickly brought Franklin-based architecture firm P. Shea Design on board to design the home and custom builder Carbine & Associates to construct it.

P. Shea Design crafted the design of all the homes in Duncanwood Reserve and Carbine is building nine of the homes in the subdivision.
Architect Preston Shea said his goal with the Smart Home was to "make small spaces livable. The home is efficient, not wasteful, and has everything you need."

The formal dining room, for example, doubles as a home office, with a large flat-screen television that descends behind the sideboard. The butler's pantry that connects that room and the kitchen can be used to store fine china or paper files. Or both.

"Somebody's going to want a dining room and somebody's going to want an office," said Shea.

Clever Design
With its energy-efficient technology and intelligent use of space, the HGTV Smart Home has earned the National Association of Home Builders' Silver designation for green construction, said John Montgomery, president of Carbine & Associates.
"It lives big and makes good use of space," he said.

Clever design elements set the home apart, he said, such as a niche in the guest bedroom that conceals a television.

"The family room ceiling could have been just another pretty soaring ceiling. It became extraordinary when we added a convex curve reflecting the curvature of the home's roof line," said Montgomery.

"The exposed ductwork and trusses in the basement ceiling of the music room are something we've done before. Coupled with the stained concrete floor, these building elements give the HGTV home a cool, urban vibe."

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