Located high above the Las Vegas Valley, where the famed Desert Inn Road meets the mountains, The Ridges, a luxury home enclave in the master-planned community of Summerlin®, is aptly named. The area’s dramatic rocky ridges and nearby Red Rock Canyon form the foundation of the community’s elegant design aesthetic while creating a stunning backdrop that’s one-of-a-kind in Southern Nevada. The area is home to the city’s influencers, captains of industry and leading professionals, and it’s also a favorite spot for the city’s interior designers and architects to make their mark.
So where do you start when you are planning to design and build a custom home? According to Elle Gaensslen, Sales and Marketing Manager for Summerlin who oversees custom homesite sales in The Ridges, that’s the question buyers have on their mind once they purchase a lot. That’s because designing and building a custom home can be a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be that way as long as you hire the right professionals. To guide those planning their dream homes, Gaensslen suggests forming a dream team comprised of an architect, general contractor and interior designer. “Sharing ideas with your team at the same time will result in getting what you really want: a home that is uniquely yours,” she said.
According to Daniel Chenin, principal architect with Daniel Joseph Chenin, Ltd., anyone building a custom home should start by hiring an architect who offers a full scope of services. “Download your dream in as much detail as possible, including your style preferences and lifestyle, then sit back and let your architect get to work without interference,” said Chenin. “If you hire the right team, you will be able to sit back and enjoy the ride.”
Interior designer Cary Vogel who both lives and frequently works in The Ridges, echoes Chenin’s and Gaensslen’s sentiment about the importance of hiring the right professionals. “Launch the process with your entire team at the same time to ensure they are all working toward a single unified vision,” said Vogel. “Often, these professionals have track records of working together on previous homes, and that’s a good sign they gel. Look for these experts who have built other great custom homes together.”
Jill Abelman of Inside Style, another Las Vegas interior designer who is making her mark in The Ridges, encourages those who want to build a custom home to take the process slow, spending considerable time walking through other custom homes, thumbing through magazines and taking copious notes about preferences. “It’s often hard to visualize how a home will look or live from studying a plan,” said Abelman. “Get out and see as many homes as you can to ensure your design will meet your needs. Dreams can’t be rushed, and that’s especially true for your home.”
So what are the hot, current styles and trends in custom home design? According to Chenin, contemporary styles, open floorplans with combined kitchen and living spaces and a push for technology, appliances and other unsightly items seamlessly integrated into the overall design are trends that rule the day. “Advances in lighting technologies and full-home automation are highly desired, and fortunately, are becoming more affordable all the time,” said Chenin. “Paired down refinement and functionality can be wrapped in minimalistic design expressions to create a true luxury environment – similar to what you might find at a five-star resort.”
Vogel, who embraces famed fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld’s mantra about trends, believes a focus on enduring classics with a trendy nod expressed in accessories and fabrics, is the best of both worlds. “Don’t marry yourself long-term to the trends or colors of the day,” he said. “Make sure the bones and structure of your home are classic, then add touches of trendy color or décor that can more easily be changed over time as your tastes evolve and trends come and go.”
Vogel also cites the growing popularity of great new materials for countertops like his personal favorite – a porcelain slab that is great for families since spills are easily cleaned up, as well as growing use of more eco-friendly LED lighting that today, is more warm and real in its illumination. “Tile from floor to ceiling in the shower is popular, as is the incorporation of a soaking tub into a large shower stall to create a spa-like experience – a trend that will maintain itself for years to come.”
Abelman, whose eclectic approach to interior design resonates with clients who love to “mix it up,” appreciates the fact that design is becoming more adventurous. “Gone are the days of matching furniture sets,” she said. “Textures and wallpapers are back, adding warmth and sex appeal to the home in a big way. And people are starting to warm up to color again. A red chair, an olive-green appliance in the kitchen or a rich aubergine wall add life, fun and vibrancy to a home. And best of all, they can be easily switched out and changed as trends and tastes move on.”
Abelman cites a return of more natural looking floors that seamlessly bring the indoors and outdoors together, an especially popular feature in a community like The Ridges, where many homes offer stunning views of the Las Vegas Strip or the mountains to the west. “Everyone wants a maintenance-free floor and there are many options – tiles that look like large concrete slabs or even wood – are hot right now. And for good reason. They are beautiful, natural looking and easy to care for.”
There are many reasons why The Ridges in Summerlin is the literal pinnacle of luxury living in Las Vegas, according to Kevin T. Orrock, president of Summerlin. “The Ridges’ elevation at 4,000 feet above sea level is twice the height of the top of The Strat,” said Orrock. “That means it’s one of the most scenic spots in Southern Nevada, delivering consistently cooler temperatures and offering expansive and commanding views of the entire Las Vegas valley. And the stunning array of many of Las Vegas’ most spectacular homes is just the icing on the cake.”
Named by Forbes.com in 2003 as the third most exclusive gated community in America, The Ridges has continued to unfold in keeping with that distinction. Today, The Ridges is home to more than 300 completed custom homes of which the majority are primary residences, ensuring a year-round vibrancy often missing from other luxury communities. More than 25 additional homes are under design or construction, and sales of custom lots are brisk.
At the center of The Ridges is Bear’s Best Las Vegas, a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course that features replications of his most famous holes from courses throughout the southwest; and Club Ridges, a private health, fitness, tennis and swim facility designed exclusively for Ridges’ residents.
Six custom neighborhoods in The Ridges are sold out, while three, Azure, Indigo and Talon Ridge, are under active development with fewer than 40 lots remaining and priced from $500,000s. Falcon Pointe, an estate lot, spans nearly four acres and offers a 360-degree view. Pricing and tours of Falcon Pointe are available upon request. Production home neighborhoods still selling in The Ridges include Silver Ridge by William Lyon Homes and Fairway Hills townhomes by Toll Brothers. For more information, call 702-255-2500, or visit www.summerlin.com.
PHOTO CAPTIONS: Elle Gaensslen, Sales and Marketing Manager for Summerlin who oversees custom homesite sales in The Ridges, suggests forming a dream team comprised of an architect, general contractor and interior designer, when building a custom home. While the process can be daunting, getting everyone on the same page to share your initial vision is the key to success. Six custom neighborhoods in The Ridges are sold out, while three, Azure, Indigo and Talon Ridge, are under active development with fewer than 40 lots remaining and priced from $500,000s.
Developed by The Howard Hughes Corporation, Summerlin began to take shape in 1990 and has ranked in the country’s top 10 best-selling master-planned communities for nearly two decades. Located along the western rim of the Las Vegas valley, Summerlin encompasses 22,500 acres with approximately 6,000 gross acres still remaining to accommodate future growth, including infrastructure, open space and common areas, all within the master plan. The community is currently home to nearly 100,000 residents who enjoy an unparalleled list of amenities. These include more than 250 neighborhood and village parks, more than 150 completed miles of trails, 26 public and private schools, 14 houses of worship, ten golf courses, shopping centers, medical and cultural facilities, business parks and dozens of actively selling floor plans. Homes are available in a variety of styles – from single-family homes to townhomes– priced from the $300,000s to more than $2.5 million. For information on custom homesites in The Ridges please call 702.255.2500. Luxury apartment homes offer monthly rents starting from the $900s.
About The Howard Hughes Corporation®
The Howard Hughes Corporation owns, manages and develops commercial, residential and mixed-use real estate throughout the U.S. Our properties include master planned communities, operating properties, development opportunities and other unique assets spanning 14 states from New York to Hawai‘i. The Howard Hughes Corporation is traded on the New York Stock Exchange as HHC with major offices in New York, Columbia, MD, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas and Honolulu. For additional information about HHC, visit www.howardhughes.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
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