Handcrafted Sound & Sustainability for a Brooklyn Brownstone
Photography by John Frattasi
After purchasing an impressive five-story, fixer-upper in the heart of Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill neighborhood back in 2015, Adrian Grenier and his team began the arduous process of completely transforming the space from the ground up.
When approaching the remodel, Grenier, an actor, environmentalist, and investor, best known for his role as Vincent Chase in HBO’s TV series “Entourage,” was looking to preserve the original charm of the historic home while also incorporating the latest in smart home technology. And as someone passionate about the environment, he had sustainability top-of-mind for every aspect of the design process.
Grenier brought on local integration firm Powers IoT in Port Jefferson, New York, to address the technology needs in the space.
“When Adrian approached me about his Brooklyn brownstone remodel project, he stressed that the design should focus on providing a safe and relaxing environment as well as prioritizing sustainability and utilizing technology to achieve increased energy efficiency,” said Jason Powers, Founder and CEO of Powers IoT. “And because he’s an audiophile at heart, he wanted every space to be filled with high-quality audio. For this, we turned to our friends at Leon Speakers.”
Merging Sound & Sustainability
After consulting with Grenier and IoT to understand the scope and vision of the project, the Leon design team got to work creating a custom-tailored, whole home audio experience that would deliver premium sound with style and sustainability in mind.
“I’ve been a fan of Adrian’s for a long time, so I was excited for the opportunity to work on this project with him,” said Noah Kaplan, Founder and President of Leon Speakers. “Sustainability is important to me as a business owner and that’s why our philosophy at Leon is to build products that last; products that aren’t meant to be discarded when the latest model comes out. Leons are an investment piece made of real materials that will remain in your home for many, many years.”
While working with environmentally friendly materials, recyclable packaging, and running its factory with Lean Manufacturing principles are all part of Leon’s standard operating procedure, the company wanted to take it a step further for Grenier’s project. Knowing his desire to have every detail of the home be as sustainable as possible, Leon was able to source local, reclaimed wood to be used in a number of the custom pieces being designed.
Make It “Party Ready”
To create a fully immersive listening experience, the home was designed with speakers in almost every room.
When entering the apartment into the main living room, a pair of Leon Profile Ultima tower speakers wrapped in reclaimed Walnut flank either side of the ornate fireplace. In the same space, a 3-channel Horizon Ultima soundbar built to match the exact width of the TV and a pair of 6” Axis in-ceiling speakers were incorporated to deliver high-quality sound in an unobtrusive package.
Downstairs in the screening room, a multifunctional space that Grenier wanted to be “party ready” and provide a home cinema experience, a full Leon 7.2 system was installed.
Customized to match the warm tones and rich colors in the space, Leon handcrafted a Walnut Edge Media Frame to encase both the TV and the Horizon Ultima 3-channel soundbar. A pair of 10” Aaros ultra-thin subwoofers also finished in Walnut were positioned underneath the TV, with two Axis In-ceiling speakers installed overhead. To complete the powerful, surround sound experience Grenier desired, a Timbre SEVEN Tower floorstanding speaker with butcher block cabinets was positioned on either side of the seating area, providing big, full-range sound.
The home’s bedrooms were outfitted with discreet Leon Axis in-ceiling and Vault in-wall speakers, as was the kitchen, which also includes an Aaros ultra-thin subwoofer wrapped in Walnut. The backyard and deck areas feature six of Leon’s Terra FIVE outdoor speakers.
In addition to speakers by Leon, the home also features Google Nest Learning Thermostats throughout to reduce the energy needed for heating and cooling, LED lighting powered by Lutron smart switches and motion detectors, and sense energy monitors to allow Grenier to track his energy usage in real-time.
For security—and peace of mind—Google Nest Secure alarm systems, Nest Cam IQ security cameras, and Nest Protect smoke and CO alarms were installed.
The Virtual Reveal
Once everything was installed and the final design touches had been made, Kaplan joined Grenier on a video call for a virtual walkthrough of the home.
“The last time I saw this space it was a construction zone so it’s great to see it all finished,” said Kaplan. “It’s really an amazing transformation.”
Grenier toured Kaplan around the different rooms, pointing out the various Leon products throughout, commenting on their design, “You’re really coming at this from an artist‘s perspective. You’re creating a piece of art with each of these products.”
At the end of the call, the two vowed to catch up in person someday to watch movies and play music together.
“It’s so good to see what you did with the space,” said Kaplan. “And I always appreciate how you pay attention to sustainability and the environment. Keep up all the great work you do, it’s really important.”
407 East Main Street, Suite 5
Port Jefferson, NY 11777
Leon Profile Ultima tower speakers
Leon 3-channel Horizon Ultima soundbar
Leon 6” Axis in-ceiling speakers
Leon 7.2 system
Leon Horizon Ultima 3-channel soundbar
Leon 10” Aaros ultra-thin subwoofers
Leon Timbre SEVEN Tower floorstanding speaker
Leon Vault in-wall speakers
Leon Terra FIVE outdoor speakers
Google Nest Learning Thermostats
Lutron smart switches and motion detectors
Google Nest Secure alarm systems
Nest Cam IQ security cameras
Nest Protect smoke and CO alarms