Dramatic curving walls, a 17-foot-long gas fireplace and a fully integrated indoor-outdoor living space with screens, heaters and an infinity-edge swimming pool hardly sounds traditional. But the New American Home 2020, built in the Ascaya custom home community in the hills above the Las Vegas strip, is part of a tradition that dates back to 1984.
For 36 years, the National Association of Home Builders and the International Builders Show have collaborated with product suppliers, architects, builders and landscapers to construct a house that showcases the latest trends in home design, the most innovative building techniques and cutting-edge products.
This year’s house, built by Sun West Custom Homes, is a 6,428-square-foot residence with four bedrooms, five and one-half bathrooms and a price tag of $5.75 million. The architect and builder, Dan Coletti, president of Sun West Custom Homes, designed the home to echo the curving hills of its site and to embrace the desert and Las Vegas Strip views.
Suzanne Czar, senior interior designer for Sun West, emphasizes the serene desert surroundings with sand-colored flooring throughout the house and a color scheme of blues and greens to create an oasis feeling. Water features in the front courtyard, bright blue accents inside and outside, and the glimpses of the pool and spa provide a counterpoint to the dry desert landscape.
While the house emphatically fits its site, it also demonstrates numerous design trends found in new homes in every region of the country.
Eight Design Trends from the New American Home
Multigenerational options. The one-level custom home includes a main master suite and a “mini-master suite,” each with a private terrace and access to the main terrace and swimming pool. In addition to a third bedroom with a private bathroom, the house has a separate wing at the front of the house with a bedroom, a bathroom, a walk-in closet and a private terrace for long-term guests or family members.
Seamless indoor-outdoor transitions. The entire back of the house can be opened, with glass doors that stack away and connect living areas. The main kitchen and the outdoor kitchen are separated by a retractable glass panel so that the spaces can function as a completely open kitchen if desired. A wet bar includes indoor and outdoor seating. Motorized screens and heaters and a cantilevered overhang protect the space from sun, wind, and both hot and cold temperatures.
Wine storage as art. A glass-enclosed floor-to-ceiling wine cellar separates the dining area and the great room, providing both smart storage and a distinctive design feature with wine bottles that appear to float on clear shelves.
Colorful accents. While a neutral palette of sand-colored flooring and creamy counters provides a calm background, shades of blue and green can be found throughout the house in tile, backsplashes and painted above the fireplace and underneath the metal accents outside.
Wood and metal accents. Laser-cut sheets of metal flow on the outside of the house and above the fireplace like architectural artwork, while wood cabinets and furniture add warmth to the space. A natural walnut screen helps to define the dining area and complements the walnut dining table, which has a rough-cut edge. Overhead is a wood tongue-and-groove ceiling.
Fire features. The dramatic 17-foot linear gas fireplace serves as a focal point for the great room and leads the eye to the outdoor spaces, where additional fire features flicker against the bright lights of the Strip far below.
Water-saving and wow factor showers. Low-flow water fixtures and an outdoor water conservation system keep the water usage low in the house, which also allows for a few “wow” factor showers with multiple body sprays.
Energy-efficiency even in a large home. An important aspect of the New American Home is to demonstrate the latest in sustainable building practices. Extreme levels of insulation and super-efficient ductless heat-and-air conditioning systems contributed to the home’s achieving the highest levels of green building standards.
While a luxurious custom home in the desert may not be achievable for every buyer, design features such as colorful tiles, wood and metal accents and expanded indoor-outdoor living can be incorporated into almost any home.