Audio Innovations Partner Website

Bigwood on the Rocks

Exterior Home Automation from Audio Innovations

by Cassidy Mantor

Last season, Western Home Journal featured Bigwood on the Rocks, a house in Ketchum that screamed fun. From an indoor bowling alley to a golf simulator, the home’s entertainment features and automation delighted readers. It introduced a new level of luxury that was made possible by Sun Valley-based Audio Innovations. With summer upon us, WHJ returned to Bigwood to take a closer look at the outdoor environment and what makes this the ultimate family gathering pad.

Beyond the Doors of Perception

Bigwood’s front yard features a raised 30’x15’ stage for concerts and two decorative fire features. The stage is set with the Sawtooth Mountains as the backdrop. In addition to the bold visual impression made by a stage and fire features, four subwoofers and 16 speakers are hidden in fully landscaped planters that contribute to an immersive auditory environment. Although the speakers are relatively invisible to the eye, the sound is superb. “We hid them behind bushes or behind the flowers,” owner Jess Goitiandia shares. In addition to speakers lining the patio and the glow of the handrail, Audio Innovations integrated the fire features into the home’s smart system.

The front yard faces west and is an ideal late-night destination in summer. “When shadows creep into the backyard and cool it off, there is still warmth in the front,” Jess shares. In addition to the performance stage, built-in benches make the front yard and patio a fun gathering place to enjoy music or a dinner party year-round.

“The family is out regularly. They hit a button on their phone that says, ‘putting green’ and the putting holes light up.”

–Jess Goitiandia, Audio Innovations


Inside, three large panes of sliding glass doors open to a walkway that takes the living room out to the backyard. Directly out back, a firepit creates an immediate social destination. Ascending up three steps, the kitchen pergola is where the homeowners watch TV, eat, and enjoy the beverage of choice.

The outdoor kitchen includes a pizza oven, BBQ, and fireplace with a TV above integrated with overhead speakers. A breezeway separates the TV and fireplace from the cooking appliances. Adjacent to the pergola is a flowing creek and on the other side of the creek is a putting green. The owner is an avid golfer who also has an indoor golf simulator, and Audio Innovations controls the lights in the holes of the putting green so it can be used in the dark. “The family is out regularly,” Jess shares. “They hit a button on their phone that says, ‘putting green’ and the putting holes light up.”

Elsewhere in the backyard, Bigwood’s outdoor water features include an illuminated built-in hot tub, an infinity edge pool, and a stargazing patio on top of the pool house with step lights that are controlled from the app. Music is everywhere – also controlled from the app. The goal, Jess shares, was to be able to make the outside part of the entertainment of the home, and bring the outside in.

“Although the speakers are relatively invisible to the eye, the sound is superb. “We hid them behind bushes or behind the flowers.”

–Jess Goitiandia, Audio Innovations


Automation for the Tech Skeptic

Bigwood’s owners envisioned that the home would become a place where their extended families would spend quality time together. The original property had an existing three-bedroom house on it that was substantial in size. When they remodeled, they lifted the garage, built a floor above it, and installed a stage in the front yard. They increased the square footage of the house to include seven more bedrooms, a gym, a media room with dart board, pool table, 85-inch 8K TV with surround sound, a two-lane bowling alley with an additional 85-inch TV for watching while bowling, and a golf simulator, with all areas having immersive audio.

Music was the driving force behind the program for this home. Audio Innovations installed speakers in almost every room and over 60 speakers and 10 subwoofers in addition to what was already in the home. They also incorporated wine temperature and humidity monitoring that sends emails when the temp or Humidity is outside of the required parameters. Jess shares that he’d done a system for the previous owner that was only one stage of automation. The new owners amplified the system in every sense of the word. They linked up motorized shades, connected all interior and exterior lighting, cameras and security, all audio and video, and interfaced with the gate and entry door locks.


“What we achieved is very doable with the right integration. Your imagi-nation is your only limitation. We can do anything you think of.”

–Jess Goitiandia, Audio Innovations

The system is a dream for an owner who is not on site year-round. If there’s a water pipe that bursts, the homeowner will get an email or text alert, depending on what line of communication they set in their preferences. Bigwood sends its alerts to its property manager. Jess reflects that while initially there may have been some apprehension with relying so heavily on technology to control the house, he says, “What we achieved is very doable with the right integration.” He adds, “Your imagination is your only limitation. We can do anything you think of.”

The Bigwood homeowners might not have gone down the full smart home path if Audio Innovations’ system wasn’t already well-functioning in the original house. By the end of the project, they had created a custom experience that they can utilize to its fullest: integrated lighting, motorized shades, immersive audio/video inside and out, a custom 8K theater, HVAC, cameras, and full security and snowmelt systems all integrated into one platform that is accessible on their phones.

Behind the Scenes: How it Works

“Imagine an octopus,” Jess explains. “The body of the octopus is in the storage closet, and every tentacle goes out to a TV, a light, a generator, a geothermal well, whatever.” Also called the rack room, these rooms are sophisticated wiring masterpieces that make a smart home function on the back end.

Bigwood’s rack room has twice the amount of wiring as do some commercial AV departments. The typical 3,500-square-foot house might have one processor, but Audio Innovations’ homes routinely have four or five. Jess explains that intuitive or complex systems require sophisticated programming on the back end to make the user experience easy and intuitive in operation. One size doesn’t fit all.


“Imagine an octopus. The body of the octopus is in the storage closet, and every tentacle goes out to a TV, a light, a generator, a geothermal well, whatever.”

–Jess Goitiandia, Audio Innovations

Founded in 1992, Audio Innovations creates custom control systems for audio, lighting, shades, security, snowmelt, pools, spas, firepits, gates, one-of-a-kind architectural features like stargazing decks and 10-car glass-door garages as well as unique items such as automated geothermal heating. They work with early adopters who want to automate their entire homes, and also with people who are a bit more reluctant to start with smart systems. “Let’s make it work,” Jess says. “Let’s do something cool.” Bigwood is something cool.

It’s hard not to see the argument for certain levels of automation. When considering walking around a 26,000-square-foot house and turning 300 lights on one at a time, it makes sense to simplify and achieve the same effect at the push of a button. That automation saves time. Time that can be better spent having fun with family and friends at night on the putting green or listening to great music on the patio.