In a perfect balance of practicality and indulgence, The 2015 New American Home is exactly what a show home should be: filled with ideas for projects of all kinds.
It’s a beauty, to be sure. Designed with a fresh, contemporary layout and equipped with the cutting edge of building products and technologies, this year’s New American Home is undoubtedly a luxurious home. But don’t let its sleek appearance blind you to one of its most remarkable features: the design’s adaptability to both custom and production homes alike.
Despite its high-end status, this year’s home serves as a testament to what building pros can achieve with smart practices and thoughtful appointments—no matter what their price point.
“The overall, core goal of the home was to show the architecture, interior design, and construction industries that all of the most amazing, latest technology, all the latest design trends, the most cutting-edge concepts and feature can all be integrated into a home that doesn’t have to be a five-million-dollar custom home,” says Tyler Jones, principal at Blue Heron, which oversaw the design, construction, and interior design of this year’s project. “You can offer these technologies to clients so they can pick and choose what’s important to them, and it doesn’t have to be a one-of-a-kind custom home.”
To that end, the design-build firm worked with leading suppliers to outfit the home in widely available and off-the-shelf products. “We want to make sure we’re showcasing products we can readily purchase and provide,” says Miquel Hutton, a design specialist at Blue Heron.
“Of course, we’re in Las Vegas so we had to add a little Vegas bling,” Hutton says. As a result, the design is punctuated with some unforgettable show-stoppers, including two back-lit bars, the ultimate entertainment courtyard, and a glass table that creates the illusion that a drink placed on top is suspended in water.
However, one of the home’s most important features is less visible. No New American Home would be complete without showcasing the latest in high-performance technology, and this year’s project holds the distinction of being the first in the program to achieve net zero status. Thanks to an ultra-tight envelope, an 18kW solar array, and an integrated home automation energy management system, the project achieved a HERS score of -10.
Together, the home’s design and systems integrate to achieve a project that holds appeal for buyers across the demographics spectrum. While in the past, modern homes have sometimes been thought of as a niche product for a select subset of buyers interested in contemporary architecture, “we’ve found that to be totally untrue,” Jones says, adding that Blue Heron has received enthusiastic responses from families with kids, empty nesters, single buyers, and young couples alike. “This style and the characteristics and things that we’re showing here appeal to the broad range. To me, the common thread is people who appreciate design, architecture, and interior design.”