If you could build your perfect home, what would it look like?
Would it have dual dishwashers? A minibar in every bedroom? A vanishing-edge pool and hot tub perched 3,000 feet above sea level? All with top-of-the-line, energy-efficient appliances that promise to slash your utility bills?
That’s the idea behind the 37th New American Home, unveiled this week by the National Association of Home Builders during its annual convention in Las Vegas. The 7,638-square-foot, one-story home in Henderson, NV, was built to showcase the latest innovations in design, efficiency, and technology—plus every luxury amenity you could imagine.
And this year, the contemporary desert home’s designers had a theme in mind—one that’s obvious from the moment you set foot on the curb.
“I had a vision for this home at the beginning that it was a desert oasis,” says Dan Coletti, president of Sun West Custom Homes, which built the property. “As you walk through the home, you kind of feel that fluidity, water, textures—everywhere.”
Not just for show, the four-bed, five-bath property is for sale for $5.75 million. But don’t fall too hard in love—this place already has a pending offer.
Even if you’re not moving in, the idea is that builders and designers might take some cues from this ultimate spec home. So we toured the property to give you an inside look at the most-cutting-edge features in homebuilding today—and what could be coming to a neighborhood near you soon. Here’s what stood out—for better or for worse.
What we loved: The shades of blue
Full disclosure: I’m on board with blue. From teal to periwinkle, I dig any shade of indigo. And boy, does this house have all the shades. Themes of water and waves flow throughout the home, offering a soothing and tranquil vibe amid the arid, rocky desertscape.
The lean in to blue is perfectly on trend for 2020, too: Color authority Pantone recently named Classic Blue as its color of the year, and a host of other paint companies (including Sherwin-Williams, which provided the paint for the 2020 New American Home) have homed in on blue as the next big hue.
The wall treatments
Woven wallpaper, intricate tile, luxurious stonework, and one-of-a-kind wood paneling. (That’s right—wood paneling!) This house is decked out with so many exquisite wall treatments that we lost count of all of them.
In particular, the wallpapers—which Coletti says “are so rich and have textures”—make everything look more expensive. And in the home office, the wood paneling isn’t your mama’s ’70s-era stuff, or even Joanna Gaines‘ more modern, light-colored shiplap. Instead, the boards are stained a rich navy blue—a perfect contrast to the light flooring and natural wood furniture.
The elegant wine showroom
Forget the cellar. 2020’s New American Home brings wine front and center, making it the focal point of the open living space.
“I’m not a big wine connoisseur like some people, but I love the beauty of wine bottles. I think they add an ambiance for a dining experience,” Coletti says. “And you can see all the wine in there at night when the lighting is perfect, too.”
This glassy wine room serves another purpose beyond showing off, creating necessary separation between the dining room and kitchen.
The fantasy fire feature
This baby is the largest residential fireplace ever installed in all of Las Vegas—”17 feet of fire,” as Coletti calls it. And we are sufficiently impressed.
Just one thing: We were a bit surprised to learn this fire feature doesn’t emit any heat. While real fire is being produced (with less gas than traditional fireplaces), the flames are purely for aesthetic purposes. So if you’re looking to warm up on a chilly desert evening, you’ll have to bump up your thermostat setting or head to the fire pits outside.
The truly seamless indoor-outdoor flow
Speaking of the outside, one of the coolest features of the home has to be the floor-to-ceiling glass doors that pocket right and left to fully open to the outdoor space. You could lounge in your master bedroom, watching TV (on a flat-screen that flips down from the ceiling, no less) and be surrounded by water at the same time. Talk about an oasis.
What we didn’t love: The exterior
On the outside of the home, laser-cut steel sculptures were applied to light blue stucco walls to give the impression of waves. And, well, they nailed that look.
But that doesn’t mean we have to like it. While we’re into the whole water theme, we dare say this is a little too on the nose—and the bold design doesn’t enhance the curb appeal, either. Even more surprising? They brought a few of these sculptures inside the home, too. We’d prefer a more subtle approach to the water concept.
The ‘mini master bedroom’ (and its adjoining bathroom)
Tired of the water theme altogether? Just take a stroll into the “mini master bedroom”—a blood-red space with black, white, and gold accents. The adjoining bathroom, which features more of the same, along with a strange floral motif just doesn’t jibe with the space.
No, not every room needed to be blue—or even cohesive with the rest of the home. But walking into this space felt jarring. One colleague likened it to a bordello. (To be fair, another colleague went gaga for everything in the bathroom, which just shows how subjective interior design can be.)
While the kitchen is undeniably impressive (a built-in beer tap! dual dishwashers! three refrigerators!), we have to admit: There’s a lot going on here. The blue subway tile on top of blue paint, with mixed white and dark wood cabinetry, combined with a dark wood ceiling, gave us sensory overload. Individually, we like a lot of the elements in this kitchen, but on the whole, we can’t get behind it.
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