We are diving back in with Ryan Paddock, founder and CEO of A Mindful Home (amindfulhome.com), to talk shop, get down to the details of his processes when working with his esteemed clientele and what’s in the pipeline for his business and tech.
When dealing with projects of this magnitude, how do you begin?
We start out with what I call the discovery and design process, in which our clients receive a number of deliverables including a comprehensive system design and proposal. As a part of this process, we create a wiring schedule, which in projects of this size, are everything. Infrastructure can make or break a system. Although we do understand that wireless technology is everywhere, it can suffer from interruptions and outages, while a dedicated line can alleviate all these issues. (We do, of course, design really robust wireless systems for our clients). To build this infrastructure, we have to understand use-cases, lifestyle choices and ultimately the end-points that the clients will directly interface with now and in the future. Though we never consider anything future-proof, we do design with the end in mind.
I assume you charge a consultation fee for this extensive research?
We do, and I really believe it benefits both parties. We ask for a fee associated with initial work, the same way an interior designer, architect or builder asks for a retainer. In the residential technology sector, we are seeing systems become more complex and overarching, and as they do, they cross so many different disciplines— whether it be control and automation of lighting, shading, climate, A/V, security, surveillance, access, networking, power and more. Due to tech systems’ growing complexity, we have to spend time not only thinking about what individualized components make sense, but how do these components work together to best serve the client. We regularly create system designs for our clients across over 10 different disciplines, with tiered options in price and performance. The idea here is not to overwhelm them, but provide them with options, symbiotic products and a growth plan for these organic and evolving systems. We spend hours of consultation time with our clients, their builders, their architects and their designers to understand their aesthetic, their lifestyle, their priorities. This is truly a bespoke service. And, in a way, this process and consultation fee is respectful of the client’s time. During the process, we ask a lot of our clients and homeowners, due simply to the fact that this technology is going to be with them for a long time. It has never made sense to me how someone in our industry could simply spend a few hours with a client and deliver a comprehensive plan for decades to come. With both parties investing in the process, everyone wins.
When you put these proposals together, what trends are you seeing with your current clients?
We have been seeing a lot more in lighting and lighting control. We have also begun to see customers considering that technology can have intrinsic aesthetic value. Nothing against high-tech black boxes in your room, but if I’m able to mitigate something less appealing with pieces that are design-friendly and conscious of the space they are in, yet still provide the same level of performance, client happiness skyrockets. Another thing we have seen, in part due to the pandemic, is a rise in enterprise-level networks in personal homes. Currently we are building small to medium business-sized networks in our residential projects due to the size of the homes and the high requirement of bandwidth, speed and traffic. I’m also spending time with clients to look at their home’s power and it’s management from multiple standpoints, including sustainability, ROI and reliability. Finally, we are diving head first into the wellness space. Right now, my team and I are working toward becoming the first and only WELL AP-certified integrator in the state of Georgia. Similar to LEED AP, WELL AP is a wellness standard that serves as a vehicle for buildings and organizations to deliver more thoughtful and intentional spaces that enhance human health. People spend 90% of their lives indoors and I want to be paying attention to what’s next. I want A Mindful Home to be cognizant and stay agile to ensure we are on the forefront of where tech is and where tech is going.
How will your new space in Buckhead function?
Typically, in the design world and otherwise, companies have utilized showrooms as a place to showcase different models and experiences. The problem that we have is that technology is changing so rapidly, leaving people to spend most of their time refreshing their showroom, With each of our clients receiving bespoke technological solutions, we wanted to create a space that is functional, showing concepts in lieu of products, and also provide a place for our team members to come together. The idea was to have a place, centrally located in Buckhead, that could serve as home base. I’m so excited for the final reveal of the space!
Photography by: Jacob Allinson