Tech Tour: Americana With a Silicon Valley Twist via Sweden

Tech Tour: Americana With a Silicon Valley Twist via Sweden

Sonia Zjawinski
Jan 9, 2009

Names: Henrik Nyh and Johanna Öst
Location: Stockholm, Sweden.
Size: The entire home (a condo) is 63 square metres/678 square feet.
Years Lived In:: Just over one year now.
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We fell in love with Henrik and Johanna's space as soon as we saw their media room, which we ended up featuring in our roundup of best looking media rooms. We decided to take a closer look at both their set-up and the rest of their home and discovered a space that's not only full of vintage color schemes, retro décor, and impeccable placement, but one that features some complicated technology as well, including writing up scripts for customized control of their home theater PC!

After the jump, Henrik tells us all about the hidden geekiness in this fashionable abode. Make sure to check out the

, which features 20 photos from this chic space.

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AT Survey
Inspiration: The living room is a mid-century inspired style; the dining area is modeled after an American Diner; our hallway (less finished) has some kind of glamorous style in pink/black/white/gold; the bedroom will be in an 18th century style but is far from finished.

Philosophy on Integrating Technology Into Your Home: I like it minimal and unobtrusive. The technology that's out in the open (our computers and monitors, the TV and speakers, iPod and dock) is all beautifully designed. The Fujitsu-Siemens TV even matches the aluminum Macs. There is a lot of stuff hidden away inside the sideboard (shown below): three external drives, TV receiver, wireless telephone transmitter, router, modem, printer, Wii, wireless headphone transmitter. We've also made some effort to hide the cables.

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Biggest Challenge: Finding a good sideboard was a bit of a challenge :) They're hot on the market and go quickly. On the technical side, getting everything ideally usable is a huge challenge. See biggest embarrassment below.

What Friends Say: We've only had positive reactions.

Favorite Element: We love most of it; it's hard to point to a single favorite element. Maybe Bemstar (shown below) if I must pick one ;)

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Biggest Embarrassment: I do feel embarrassed that watching media is unnecessarily complex. I wish it wasn't necessary to instruct guests on how the TV works. To watch TV currently, you must turn on the TV monitor, then activate the TV software, and then control it with the wireless keyboard we use. I've automated what I can, but there are some difficult technical limitations (e.g. in making the TV monitor turn on as needed to match the TV software), and also trade-offs between power and ease-of-use.

Proudest DIY:While it could be less complex, I'm very happy with our HTPC setup, and I suppose somewhat proud of it. Thanks to EyeTV we can timeshift content with few limitations – it's all in the computer, so we can take screenshots or export recordings as we please. We have an IR blaster and scripts set up so we can use a wireless keyboard as a very powerful remote.
You can read all about Henrik's adventures in HTPC here.

The HTPC (a Mac Mini) can be controlled from our other machines (and in some cases even remotely) by screen sharing, moving the mouse over using Teleport, or using the keyboard. The Mini also handles backups, is a web server for stuff like delishlist.com and downloads BitTorrent files for us.

Biggest Indulgence: Well, I got an iMac for Johanna primarily so I would no longer have to mess with a Windows computer in the network. That may be the biggest one :)

Photos: Henrik and Johanna

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