The Unger Residence – Blurring the Lines between Indoors and Outdoors
This platinum award-winning home located just outside Las Vegas in Henderson, Nevada. shows how indoor and outdoor living can be incorporated seamlessly.
Builder Tyler Jones, principal owner of Blue Heron, said the company was able to create an indoor-outdoor feel by integrating materials that work both inside and out. Unlike most homes, the Unger residence uses materials indoors that are usually considered only for the exterior, including stucco and stone, all-weather flooring materials, and steel. The builder also used windows and doors with seamless track details, and wood ceilings that continue from interior spaces to the outside.
“Our architecture is deliberate. It doesn’t matter if it is inside or outside, it is continuous,” said Jones. “We take the landscaping and pool elements and bring them inside and then continue them back outside again. It blurs that line and lets the eye follow the design element throughout the home.”
The home doesn’t just have an outdoor room, it features a complete living space outside of the house by including outdoor fireplaces, full theater and media systems, surround sound, misting systems, and outdoor heaters.
“When we design a custom home, we’re mapping out furniture layouts so that it flows from inside to out. We want it to make sense from a usability format, how you’re going to sit, dine, entertain or relax.”
And, while all of this indoor-outdoor living may seem wasteful energy-wise, it is quite the opposite with this home.
“We put a huge focus on green building technology and design, we use a lot of solar panels and passive solar design by situating the home to shade the glass allowing in more indirect natural light,” said Jones. “Since we are in Las Vegas, we are careful not to have large south-facing windows”.
They are also able to achieve this open feel but keep heat out of the home by using a flat roof design with closed-cell foam, a vapor barrier and coating that reflects sunlight. “This is just the start,” said Jones. “In our homes, everything green is a standard feature.”
Jones is glad to see that some of the things that were once only seen in custom homes are now making it to the production home market, including the increase in audio/visual equipment, smart home technology, and solar panels. “These are starting to become a lot more affordable and accessible to everyone.”