Screens, "Scenes," & Smart Speakers: The Yannones’ high-tech home in Sterling Ridge
Aug 31, 2020 08:45AM
By Katrina Markel
Photography by Bill Sitzmann
Bryan and Jennifer Yannone are set for entertaining in their new, high-tech home. Situated on a corner of the Sterling Ridge development near 130th and Pacific streets, it’s the second home the Yannone family has owned in the neighborhood. In 2013, this magazine featured the Yannone’s first home in what was then a brand-new neighborhood. Sterling Ridge has since grown and on May 1, 2020, the family relocated to a newer house with some of the latest smart home products.
“We made a space that’s usable for us because that’s what we like to do, entertain our friends,” Jennifer Yannone said.
“Plus, we’re COVID ready now. We’ve got a pool and a generator. We’re good,” Bryan Yannone added, jokingly.
Bryan Yannone is the president of Lockwood Construction, LLC, which is the developer of Sterling Ridge. His family home was built by Bloomfield Custom Homes, an entity of Lockwood. The Yannones use their home as a model for potential customers, but the extensive technology was installed for their personal enjoyment.
“If we were to make a list of the boxes to check for all the things that we do, [the Yannones] just happen to have everything checked,” said Dan Gosch, president of Integrated Control Concepts, the company that installs most of the communication and low-voltage systems in Sterling Ridge.
The home includes remote lighting control, smart appliances, and a sophisticated security system with high-definition cameras. Perhaps the most obvious amenities are the entertainment options.
“I don’t know if you noticed, but the Yannone house has a lot of screens,” Gosch said.
Bryan and Jennifer, who is a teacher with Omaha Public Schools, have a blended family with six children ranging in age from 16 to 28.
They also have a new grandchild and another one on the way.
The main level is filled with natural light and decorated with warm gray tones. An open floor plan means that the family can spend time in the great room and the kitchen simultaneously. There is a family dining area on one side of the kitchen.
A large television is recessed in the great room wall above the fireplace, and another TV hangs within view of the kitchen table for synchronized viewing. Gosch installed speakers so the TVs can be heard throughout the space without cranking up the volume on a single speaker, creating “a quieter, more tranquil space.”
The primary suite, on the main floor, is designed for convenience with a washer and dryer in the walk-in closet, a beverage refrigerator outside the bedroom, and a zero-entry shower that doubles as a steam room. The spacious en suite bathroom has a deep tub and a mirror TV. Bryan said that they can use their Alexa app to turn on the TV, fill the tub, and start the shower. The bedroom also has a ceiling fan that they can control using Alexa. Installing power window blinds operated with remote control is on the to-do list.
Gosch said that smart speakers and other universal devices don’t work as well as the apps created by the product manufacturers. His customers generally have several apps on phones or tablets.
“It’s getting better all the time. It’s just not quite to the point where we use it in our, what I guess we could call our smart homes,” Gosch said, pointing out that he can help customers hone in on a few features that they’d like to control with voice commands.
The Yannone house has docking stations for tablets where the family can access whichever app they need in addition to using their phones. Lighting control is among the most convenient components.
“Ours is nice. We can walk out and push one button and it will turn the whole house off,” Jennifer said.
Gosch said that lighting control, including window treatments, can be programmed for seasons or time of day. He also noted that “scenes” can be created “so when you enter an area, you hit a button and the pathway scene turns on or an entertainment scene turns on.”
Downstairs there are three more bedrooms, a family room, another kitchen, and a game table. Behind the game table is a barn door that slides open to reveal a home theater setup.
“I wanted this to be a golf simulator room,” Bryan joked, hinting at a lost battle.
“I did not want that,” Jennifer replied.
Gosch said because the room opens to the whole space, “Instead of being what I would call a theater, I would call it a media room.”
The common space also includes multiple screens where different content can be viewed concurrently. Stepping onto the patio, there’s a large table and a grill and burner. Even the temperature of the pool can be controlled by a mobile device. As in the home’s interior, the outdoor speakers are wired so that there are several speakers providing a consistent audio level throughout the backyard.
“We have a Sonos sound system so we can control the music from our phones and we can pick which rooms or what area we want to play the music,” Jennifer said.
On one end of the pool there is a pergola with ample furniture and a mounted TV.
“My favorite room in the house,” Bryan said, referring to the outdoor living space.
The family has been spending a lot of time outside and they are grateful to have a backyard retreat in the middle of the pandemic.
“That was the goal. Build a house that feels like I’m on vacation,” Bryan said.
This article was printed in the September 2020 edition of OmahaHome. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.