Explained: LED Lighting

When we sat down with lighting expert Gary Gordon, he pointed out 3 common issues in homes and offices: 1. The wrong quantity of light. 2. The space is over-fixtured. 3. There is too much glare. Here are some important concepts to be aware of before designing your...

Explained: Phone Systems

The two main phone system categories in 2018 are: Traditional: A phone system that physically hangs on your wall and routes calls to your desk (usually over traditional copper wires.) Hosted: A system hosted online that routes calls to your desk over your internet...

Our Favorite Productivity Tools

Messaging Email is everywhere and therefore a necessity, but for internal communications we highly recommend Slack for its: Organization - Trades the single inbox for a clean menu of topic-based channels and one-on-one conversations. Search - A copy of Outlook or the...

Explained: Cables

Category Cable The standard for data, every new version gets better at transmitting more of it with less interference. Manufacturers must abide by these standards so that everything works together. Cat5e: The standard of the early 2000s, and the current cheapest way...

New Hire: Michael Dye

This month we're thrilled to announce the addition of Michael Dye to our team as our new Architect Specialist. Michael has racked up over a decade of experience with Magnolia as a Project Manager, System Designer and Consultation Agent for end users and trade...

Conversation: Reddymade

We had the pleasure of chatting with Suchi Reddy of Reddymade Architecture & Design recently. She's a risk-taker in the A&D field, and of particular interest to us was her drive to push new materials and their properties on projects. Her team in SoHo has conceived of...

Conference Call Etiquette

Find a Quiet Place Be kind to fellow attendees and choose a location with minimal background noise and minimal echo. If you must take a conference call on the go, be prepared for the call to drop out. Use a Computer if Possible Phones compress data...

Our Office Relocation Checklist

60 - 90 Days Out   Project Manager Assign an internal PM to oversee the entire move. They will need to devote a lot of time and energy to this demanding project. Your PM should schedule a weekly meeting with all parties involved for status updates. Rules and...

Explained: Your Network

Both the most boring and most important part of the connected home. There are three ways to go: Default: Whatever your Internet service provider gives you. All all-in-one box for wired and wireless Internet. Mesh: A collection of small boxes that plug in around your...

Conversation: Gary Gordon Architectural Lighting

Gary Gordon initially worked for a lighting designer expecting to take his knowledge back to his role as Architect. Instead he found his calling, initially launching his own firm, and literally writing the book on interior lighting. Gary agreed to sit down with us and...

Explained: Smarthome Control

Smarthome control breaks down into three tiers: Partitioned: Individual Apps for individual brands in your home. Mini Ecosystem: Popular brands dropped into a single App. Platform: Any brand woven into a single customizable platform. Partitioned lowest cost, highest...

Hanging, hiding & hooking up your TV

Modern TVs can be integrated into the home a lot of different ways. Before we go over each, here are some tips for traditional display hanging... Hanging your TV Metal studs (commonly found in NYC high rises) are not designed to hold the weight of a TV. Attach a back...

How to: Smart Shades

Shades have been the hardest piece of the smarthome equation for a long time. Fortunately options are growing.. Retrofit - Usually a small motor that attaches to your loop chain and pulls your shades for you. Wireless - Custom made all-in-one shades you (or a pro)...

Smart Lighting in 2018

You can accomplish smart lighting through three approaches: Adapting What's There: Smart bulbs, Wi-Fi-connected plugs... Keep your existing stuff and control it via voice or App. Going Wireless: Retrofit your existing wall switches with a new-and-improved wireless...

Solved: Home Audio

Home audio starts with your listening habits. Are you an active or passive listener? Do you prefer music in a specific space or like it to follow you around your home? Everyone falls into one of 3 categories: 50% are Passive Listeners: Music is strictly background....

What to expect in 2018

We're spotting two main tech trends that will dominate lifestyle technology this year. Before we get into each category, let's look at the themes: Voice: Everything, and we mean everything, is integrating voice control in 2018. TVs, speakers, kitchen appliances,...

Maximizing Google Home Mini

Google Home is 6 times more likely to answer your question than Amazon Echo (study by 360i.) While Google's Home Mini is still quite limited in the actions it can perform, there are still a few ways you can maximize its convenience while we wait for software updates...

Hands On: The Frame

Hiding your TV has always been a challenge to pull off. The mechanics of dropping it from a ceiling, lifting an art piece or hiding it behind a mirror are complex before you even get to the wiring, sound and control. The result can be glorious but it's one of the most...

Conversation: Delson or Sherman Architects

We loved meeting design duo Perla Delson and Jeff Sherman. They were kind enough to sit down with us for our series of Architect interviews (and our first filmed interview!) We chat about their design style, process, and blending technology into their designs. Watch...

How to keep your privacy at home

Voice Assistant Amazon Echo and Google Home can't answer your questions without searching the Internet first. This means sending your requests to a server somewhere. The good news is that neither Google nor Amazon are recording anything you say until you use the wake...

We hate Alexa

Alexa, what's another word for hate? "Hate's synonyms include: Hatred." We hatred Alexa. When has there been a product with a wider range of uses that don't work? It nails weather. It slam dunks timers and alarms. That's about it. Yes it can share factoids like a...

The 10 key features of Tesla Semi

The true value of Tesla's semi-truck offering will remain a mystery until its price is revealed (Walmart, care to share?) Its list of features however is so compelling that the upfront cost almost feels like an afterthought. Here are the 10 key ways Tesla Semi...

Review: Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless Headphones

As Google follows Apple's removal of the headphone jack, wireless headphones seem suddenly more relevant. The buds designed for the iPhone X and Pixel 2 are as down-the-middle crowd pleasing as anyone could hope for, but those obsessed with sound will be looking for...

Pixel 2 vs iPhone X: Hands On

Brand loyalists Ruddy Melendez and Richard Rivera each received their new phones, the iPhone X and the Pixel 2 respectively, two weeks ago. Now that they've had enough time to get hands on with the much anticipated smartphones, we thought we'd put them on camera to...