Hide and Seek

High-tech setup lets homeowners have it all // Photograph by James Haefner
UP & DOWN – This TV easily hides away in the floor when it’s not in use. Tech design by Custom Homes by Derocher and Spire Integrated Systems Inc.

The owners of a luxurious Lake Angelus residence designed by DesRosiers Architects in Bloomfield Hills had a special request: They wanted to have a TV in the hub of the home and preserve the glorious panoramas from their expansive windows. Jason Bellanti, a partner with Spire Integrated Systems Inc., a luxury home technology company headquartered in Troy, recalls telling the couple how they could ensure the best of both worlds with a creative solution.

“They wanted to be able to watch TV and be able to see the view from the kitchen or the table,” he says. “We’ve done quite a bit with hiding TVs, and there are lots of different ways to do it. They can either fold down or drop down from the ceiling, but that tends to not put the TV at optimal viewing height and it takes a lot of room from the ceiling, where you might want to have lights.”

Having a dedicated mechanical place so the TV can hide in the floor, like they did here, takes teamwork. Bellanti credits Royal Oak-based general contractor Custom Homes by Derocher and interior designer Bob Schaerer for the complex installation. This type of setup could feature a screen with an adjustable height, but that wasn’t a requirement this time. Instead, when the TV reaches its stopping point, a wide piece of tile fills the gap in the floor. When the Future Automation TV system isn’t in use, another tile folds back into place, making it completely flush with the floor.

Bellanti says they could have positioned the TV in a corner, but that would require a much smaller screen and might have blocked the windows. In the future, he says, there will be technology that features a TV on a glass window that simply disappears when not in use. Although he says that option currently exists, it’s in its infancy and the quality of the picture is best at night.

High-tech setups like these show that creativity conquers all. “TV is important to a lot of our clients, and aesthetics are equally important to them, so we put a lot of effort into working with our clients and their interior designers to let them enjoy TV without ruining the space,” Bellanti says.

More information: desarch.com, spireintegrated.com