You can be as comfortable in a snowstorm as you were at the beach last summer

It’s grey. It’s cold. It’s wet. It’s snowy. It’s dark.

You’re about to leave the office, and all you want is a warm house, your comfortable chair, and a movie to watch.

Simple? Yes. And No.

How warm do you want your house, exactly, and at what time? Where do you want to watch the movie, and when?

Would you prefer TV, and would you like it to shut off when you fall asleep?

It’s  all a piece of cake in these days of the ultimate “smart home” with every gadget you could possibly want to make those dreary days fade to indoor sunshine.

In fact, there’s almost no end to it, as Bob Pentecost of Audioshop will probably tell you.

He invites you to their big store in the Glebe, where there are nine whole rooms of home entertainment and automation systems.

All these wonderful things make home a great place to come to when it’s 5 p.m. and it’s already dark, and you simply want to “cocoon” for the evening.

There are a few things Bob particularly likes. The flat-screen TVs, for instance, that are no thicker than an inch. They hang like a picture on your wall.

Let’s say you arrive home from work or from a workout at the gym, and you want to listen to your iPod. Instead of hearing music through little headphones, you can just plug the iPod into a dock in the kitchen – a dock with a radio built into it – and fill the room with sound while you cook.

Or you can have any kind of kitchen-TV you want, installed in a cupboard, under a cupboard, over the microwave – anywhere. Bob Pentecost says Audioshop will do all the installation and wiring of any system. Experienced staff will go to your home to do a consultation first, if you like.

If you have a tangle of remote controls, you can buy one single remote that will look after it all.

“These smaller things are not expensive,” says Bob. “They’re under $300.”

Fresh to Canada from the United States is something many people have been waiting for. It’s a single-speaker (Bowers &Wilkins Panorama sound bar) with surround sound. It’s a slim unit that you can put on your wall or place on a shelf below your flat-screen TV. There are no wires, no fuss – just beautiful sound that goes all the way around you like a hug.

How far do Audioshop people travel? Almost anywhere. Bob rhymes off some recent out-of-town trips: Mont Tremblant. Oakville. New York City. The Carribbean.

He figures there are at least 15 in-house consultations a week. With 14 people on staff, they can spread out easily.

“It’s great,” he says, “if there’s ever a problem, someone can always get there quickly.”

When you’re away from home, you can turn up the heat with your computer.

You can arrive at your garage with bags of groceries. With a push of a button inside the car, you can open the garage door and turn on the lights all the way into the house.

In the middle of the night, when nature calls, you can push a button on the side of your bed. It will turn on a night-light and also the lights in the bathroom.

Bob likes the button because he can turn off the light on his wife’s side of the bed after she falls asleep reading.

If he falls asleep watching TV, there’s a sleep-timer switch that will take care of that. It’s all simple, wireless. And it makes life easy.