Who could love an unfinished penthouse unit in a downtown Las Vegas condo? James Weidner might not have called it full-on adoration, but the commercial developer was willing to take a chance on the kitchen-less, bathroom-less “gray shell” that he now happily calls home. Native—by the city’s standards, anyway—Weidner has lived in Las Vegas from the age of 13, when his father moved the family from Atlantic City to “the big leagues.” “It’s a city where it’s tough to feel at home because it’s really not for us—it’s for all the tourists,” he says.
Still, Weidner—who is on the road for more than half the year and lived in rental units prior to purchasing the condo—managed to carve out his own sanctuary amid the madness. The project, which Weidner describes as a “friendly process of discovery,” began when he brought on designers Evan and Oliver Haslegrave of the New York–based firm Home Studios. Weidner had long been a fan of the duo’s hospitality work, citing the now-closed Manhattan bar Elsa as an aesthetic tipping point. The only guideline he offered them: “less Brooklyn classic, more desert modern.” For the Haslegraves, commercial designers who grew up helping their father, a residential architect, on job sites during childhood summers, the project felt nostalgic. It was streamlined and more intimate than much of their hospitality work, but “it was still a materials-based approach,” says Oliver. “We still thought of it as a narrative.”
Five years later, the result of their collaboration is a breathtaking 4,300-square-foot crash pad that reflects the muted, modernist energy of the desert thanks to pickled-oak flooring and an emphasis on natural materials. Concrete and plaster add texture to the warm wood furnishings, which were designed by Home Studios and fabricated by Maderas Collective, in Nicaragua, where Weidner is a partner. “Any kind of interior is a story, and the most fundamental element of that story is time,” notes Oliver of the sense of age that patinated finishes add throughout, in brass fittings and iron metalwork. It all combines for a serene environment that reflects both the desert landscape outside and the inner peace that comes with finally settling down.
Originally posted 2016-05-07 12:09:10.