Home Construction Behind every great man cave…

Behind every great man cave…

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The integration of smart technology and home design has created a growing market for designers to guide men who are setting up their bachelor pads and man caves.

While these men may be tech savvy, they still need a hand when it comes to bringing that technology home, whether it’s a condo, office or man cave.

Enter Brittany Zachos, whose new company is designed to offer such advice.

Zachos, along with her silent partner, officially launched Five Gentlemen this month. The Manhattan-based company with an office in Pleasantville came about after Zachos saw a missing piece in interior design: an understanding of how to incorporate technology systems into the home.

Brittany Zachos, co-founder of Five Gentlemen, caters her interior home design business to men. Photo by Andrew Werner
Brittany Zachos, co-founder of Five Gentlemen, caters her interior home design business to men. Photo by Andrew Werner

Zachos, who also runs Zachos Design Group, an interior design boutique firm specializing in redesigning corporate, hospitality and business spaces, started getting calls last year from upscale men who wanted a home makeover.

“I was getting a lot of referrals of men needing interior design services, more specifically turnkey design services, which means everything from getting the sofa to finding the right pots and pans and towels,” said Zachos.

Through her projects ranging from home consultations in Manhattan to Westchester and Fairfield, men have requested the installation of technology that allows a remote control to connect all the appliances inside a home, including a device that monitors their energy consumption. She said smartphones are becoming a more integrated part of the smart technology home design concept.

“We want to be on the edge of not just the construction and design, but the technology, too,” Zachos said. “It’s brand new to the market in a sense and homeowners are definitely interested in saving on energy. It’s a good investment for a residential property.”

The name Five Gentlemen was developed to reflect five different style elements Zachos noticed appealed to men, including sleek, sporty, classic, relaxed and rustic. She said her clients have a specific style in mind, but these categories give them a reference point.

“They know what they like, but they don’t know how to bring it to life,” Zachos said. “I’m there to get it out of their head and onto paper and get it built and designed in real life. They say they like contemporary design with a rustic twist, or sometimes a mix of two different designs, but usually it’s consistent with one or more of our style templates.”FiveGentlemen_1.15.14

Five Gentlemen handles both small and large-scale projects taking anywhere from two weeks to three months.

“We’ve done a lot more quick move-in projects in Westchester that just require interior decorating,” Zachos said. “Most of our turnkey work is done in White Plains and Stamford in luxury condos.”

The demand is there for mostly bachelors who want to renovate their entire apartment or married men who want to build out an office space in the basement, Zachos said. She added that her company works on outdoor residential projects around hot tubs as well as indoor projects installing home theaters in places such as Armonk and Scarsdale where she gets requests for single-family home projects. The company is in talks with a number of high profile professional athletes and celebrities who want to redesign their homes but don’t have the time or resources to do so.

Zachos works with a team of architects, lighting consultants, contractors, and interior design assistants who have helped her complete about10 projects within the past year. She is currently working on five projects, two of which are in Westchester.

Zachos provides free consultations for color and design assessments. She also meets with clients to get an idea of the scope of work and provides a price estimate. She said her design packages start at around $500. She then creates an inspiration board, which contains images, materials and finishes she believes her potential clients are interested in from wine cellars and cigar collections to sports memorabilia and custom gaming pieces. From there, the clients decide whether to proceed with the design work.

Five Gentlemen has been “catching on,” Zachos said. “We’re excited to see where it’ll go next,” she said.

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Crystal Kang, a Chicago native, is former a reporter for the Fairfield and Westchester business journals. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and her work has appeared in news outlets including CNBC.com, Allstate Corporation’s investor relations website, and an NPR-based radio station in Urbana, Ill.

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