Meet Equippd, a design-led smart home company specialising in beautiful, functional and sustainable technology

  Thursday, 15 June 2023 07:11
Equippd Founders and Directors Matthew (left) and Charlie McCourt Equippd Founders and Directors Matthew (left) and Charlie McCourt

Equippd founders and directors Charlie and Matthew McCourt share their vision for the future of home technology and how they’ve honed their business with a people-first professional approach.

Charlie, technology is changing fast, how does Equippd help architects and designers bring technology into their projects?
It’s our job at Equippd to stay on the pulse with the technology industry and make sure what we suggest for our projects is the best available. We like to sit down with the architects, designers and clients and go through the plans and designs. We don’t just come in and put TVs and touch screens on every wall, we suggest ways in which technology can ultimately improve that space and if that means taking some technology out, we’re more than happy to remove what's not needed for the overall project needs.

Matthew, how has your background in professional stage, sound, lighting and music production, as well as your experience in the world of high-end motorsport, influenced your approach to a smart home project?
Being able to draw upon life experience is paramount when considering the design and layout of the critical technology systems utilised by our clients on a daily basis. My exposure to professional stage sound and light has provided me with invaluable insights, emphasising the importance of technology being robust and fulfilling its intended purpose without fail. A prime example is the unforgiving nature of live shows, where flawless execution of cues and equipment at precise moments is imperative. As they say, the show must go on.

West London Georgian townhouse front facade

Having worked in the professional F1 and motorsport industry, this mindset has shaped my approach towards systems and integration. Settling for mediocrity is never an option; we strive for perfection and embrace innovation when existing solutions fall short. These fundamental principles have become ingrained in me, fostering a culture at Equippd that is dedicated to delivering the utmost satisfaction to our customers. By upholding these values, we empower our staff to challenge conventions and relentlessly pursue excellence.

What are the main challenges when it comes to designing smart home technology for listed buildings and how do you overcome these?
When embarking on a project, our primary considerations revolve around understanding the client's priorities and ensuring that we honour the architectural heritage of the building. This requires a meticulous approach to design, where we strike a balance between aesthetics and practicality. Collaborating with renowned interior designers in the UK grants us the opportunity to unleash our creativity in seamlessly integrating and concealing technology within heritage-style constructions. By adopting this approach, we not only cater to the client's requirements but also contribute to the preservation of the overall vision for their home.

West London Georgian townhouse project luxury interior

How influential is the ability to manufacture in-house in the UK when sourcing key residential product partners?
Increasingly important, with the variations in product availability and huge fluctuations in lead times, having UK-based manufacturing is a massive plus, giving us better control over delivery dates and options to take our customers (many who get deeply involved in the origin of specialist products on their home) to visit the factory.

Design and finish continuity detail and the flexibility for bespoke products such as combination plates are important to our customers, how has working with Focus SB enhanced your projects in this respect?
The world of luxury homes is a world of bespoke products and finding perfection in the tiniest of details. Working with Focus SB, we always know we are going to tick those boxes. Although we’re a technology company, we believe that the primary interaction with your home should be using beautifully integrated on-wall controls (like a light switch or thermostats), removing the need to get your phone out every time you need to tweak something. As such continuity of finish is integral, and a non-negotiable on the calibre of projects that we work on.

Morpheus with traditional toggle switches, Lutron lighting controls

Is there a popular metal finish that stands out this year?
We love the dark bronze finishes, such as chocolate bronze and bronze antique with its aged bronze look. Our clients certainly agree and gravitate towards these finishes!

What are the top priorities for clients when it comes to the perfect smart home?
Quite simply, simplicity! It's all about making things easy to use on a daily basis, integrated routines running in the background and the option to dig deeper into the fun modes and wow factors through a phone or control screen. On the face we love tactile buttons and switches, with the option for more detailed control in the second layer.

Do interior design, technology and sustainable materials trends influence your ideas?
Absolutely. For us, in most cases technology is not aesthetically pleasing - are we the first tech company that thinks that? We are constantly listening to the design aesthetic and looking for ways to enhance and not counter it. This naturally leads to innovation and ways of doing things to complement the overall look and feel.

How do you ensure consistent quality?
We design, build and test all our systems offline back in our offices and workshop. This approach allows a clean and regulated working environment which allows our engineers to work effectively with the freedom to elevate the quality of our work. This combined with rigorous onsite quality checks and extensive testing.

Crestron controls

What makes Equippd stand out?
Our approach towards design-led technology helps to set us apart. We focus on making sure the technology is there in the background with a super clean and simple front end. This approach has allowed us to innovate and deliver technology that is truly an Equippd system with a beautiful, functional and sustainable edge.

Describe your favourite project or a challenge you’ve overcome that has influenced your approach to design.
One of the first times we worked with Focus SB was on our West London Georgian Townhouse project back in 2021. Refurbishing a listed building comes with its difficulties and our main goal for this project was to design and deliver an inconspicuous system that performed exceptionally, whilst respecting the history and integrity of the property. The ability to integrate our Lutron smart lighting control with the beautiful range of toggle switches from Focus SB (with custom engraving) meant that we were able to do just that. The property is rented so an elegant lighting scheme along with intuitive control switches was essential.

What are your aspirations for the company over the next five years?
As a company, we have some big goals and aspirations for the next five years. Firstly, we want to change the discourse on technology and prove that it can be beautiful, simple and sustainable (without costing the earth!). We want Equippd to become the technology in the UK that is known for design-sensitive projects. We are also looking at expanding into other markets outside of the UK that could benefit from our knowledge and focus on energy-efficient technology. Watch this space!

Visit Equippd’s website to discover more.

Learn more about Focus SB’s smart home integration bespoke product options.

All images courtesy of Equippd.

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