Claire with her dogs.

Four Reasons Why This Interior Designer's Fixer-Upper House Received a Smart Refresh

And why she retired her guard dogs in favor of a professionally monitored security solution

By: Claire Zinnecker, founder of Claire Zinnecker Designs and user of Resideo's Honeywell Home products1

Most pet owners throw birthday parties for their pets – but we held a little retirement party for our precious fur-babies, Monte and Emma, because their guard-dog days are over.

It's been three years in the making, but I'm in the final stages of renovating my own 120-year-old Texas home, which I call the "Saving Ida House." The reality is: I may be in this stage for a while because, although I'm an interior designer, I have trouble making decisions for myself. However, one of the easiest decisions I made was getting a professionally-installed security system from Resideo, which took Monte and Emma off guard-dog duty and back to their normal, morning-cuddle duty.

When it comes to selecting decor and finishes for "Ida", I love pieces that offer comfort and convenience and blend into the rest of the home – I call it the art of subtle decorating. That decision-making criteria also carried over to how I chose to protect her. I decided on a clean, white system that featured a plethora of sensors that blended into my home. But most importantly, I knew it had to be installed correctly – because while I can lay tile or paint a room myself, monitoring the safety and security of my beloved home should be left to the professionals. 

Four Reasons Why I'll have Better Peace of Mind

Given my constantly changing work schedule and the fact that I live in a construction zone 24/7, my mind tends to be all over the place. I often wonder, did I leave the fence gate open when I left the house? Did I forget to turn on lights so I don't come home to a dark house? But, I’ve found that I have more mind space to dedicate to my family and clients because of the new security system. Here are four reasons why:

  • 1. I’m protecting what matters most. It's incredibly important to know that Ida – my 120-year-old home that I've put so much of my blood, sweat and tears in to – and my animals are safe. Resideo’s ProSeries Security System helps protect my house when I’m gone, with flood, window and door sensors, indoor and outdoor cameras and 24/7 professional monitoring. It protects Ida with the one-go-all-go alarm for heat, fires and carbon monoxide (so that means if an event is detected in one room, the alarms in the other parts of the home will sound so that we all can be alerted and get out safely, if needed). The central station is automatically called, and will alert the authorities, if needed.

    The app allows me to disarm the system, turn off/on lights and control the locks all from my phone. I’m able to monitor my cameras, check in on all my creatures and adjust settings in the house with the swipe of a finger. That’s a win for me!
Claire with the panel.
  • 2. The system was installed and is monitored by trusted security professionals. Ida has charming details that also could pose a security risk - hello original, eight-foot-tall windows and original doors. Pat Monroe and his team from TC Tech Systems were so helpful in working around my internal and external aesthetic while helping ensure our home was protected. They took time to show areas of risk and helped me ‘think like a burglar.’ They also took note of how we spend our days and nights and suggested scenes and scenarios that our new smart home can connect to – like connecting to a smart thermostat, lights, locks and our new video doorbell.
Pat is working internal.
  • 3. I can feel connected when I'm away. Knowing my home is being monitored when I’m not there is incredibly important to me. Whether I’m on a trip or away from the house all day for meetings, I love knowing my home is being monitored when I’m not there.

    Resideo's system brings together security, life safety and smart home control all in one app. I can disarm the system if I need to allow someone access when I'm gone, I turn on a lamp – or set up scenes - if I come home after dark, and I can check-in on my chickens, goats and dogs via interior and exterior cameras while meeting with a client! I feel completely in control of – and connected to – what’s going on at Ida when I'm gone and that peace-of-mind feeling is priceless for me. For example, the Total Connect app has two-way voice and audio so I can talk to Emma and Monte and ask them to get off the couch, or tell them I’ll be home soon.
Exterior with Pat.
Emma, my dog, is seen here helping guard the perimeter while Pat, our security technician, explains to my fiancé, Adam, and I about our outside cameras and the various angles they will cover.
  • 4. I have simplification for smarter living. I’m the first to admit that I’m not very techy, which is why I’m thrilled that the system and app are so simple to use. The scenario I mentioned before - about not coming home to a dark home - doesn't happen any longer as I have lighting set up to a night scene, which adapts to the sunset and will change as the days get longer or shorter. And, that control comes in handy because I can turn lights on and off from bed. I also use the app to check on our outdoor animals while I’m in bed.

    While I use the app to view or my voice to control the system, I also really enjoy the simplicity of the wireless touchscreen controller. We chose not to install a touchscreen on the wall, and the wireless touchscreen rests on my entry table instead. This also means I can take it anywhere in the house or yard. Both the wireless touchscreen and the app can show my video cameras or doorbell on the device, so I can be in the kitchen – which doesn’t have line of sight to the driveway – and see if someone has arrived.
Touchscreen on the table.

So, how are Monte and Emma handling guard-dog retirement, you ask? They have it ruff (excuse the corny dad joke)!

Monte the dog on bed.

1 Claire Zinnecker received Resideo products for participation in this article.