The New American Home has been acclaimed as a symbol of energy efficiency and innovation. And for Las Vegas-based company Blue Heron Design Build, creator of the 2013 New American Home, it was a chance to showcase how they could push the boundaries of innovative design.
It also provided an opportunity to demonstrate Blue Heron’s use of organic materials, clean and simple lines and the newest developments in sustainable technology.
“The whole concept from the very beginning was this totally different style: the desert contemporary aesthetic,” explains Tyler Jones, co-founder and chief executive of Blue Heron Design Build.
“We strived to create a sense of comfort and ‘home’, while maintaining the ultra-clean design of our architecture. We tried to put together something really special with an innovative look and technologies.”
An integral component of this approach was a variety of EcoSmart Fires which, Tyler says, were chosen to fit the contemporary design, “as each model is modern and simplistic in its design.”
Myriad freestanding EcoSmart Fires were used throughout the home to enhance water features and feature walls, provide ambient lighting for alfresco areas and indoor living spaces, and define key design elements.
Fire and Water
The home, built in Las Vegas, was designed by Blue Heron’s in-house architect, Michael Gardner. With a return to natural elements currently trending in home design, the relationship between organic materials forms the central concept, the main element being a water feature measuring thousands of square feet. And EcoSmart Fires strategically complement this feature.
“Water and fire were used because they were natural elements that intensified the effects of the other,” says Tyler. “The reflective quality of the water doubles the ambience and warmth. These elements are further complemented by natural stone, sustainable wood materials and a warm colour palette.”
Tyler and his team pride themselves on being passionate, energetic designers who strive to try new things. Inventive use of organic and sustainable materials includes a wall made from steel mesh and stacked stones to marvellous effect, and wood-like material that is actually made from recycled rice husks and is completely sustainable.
Interior designer at Blue Heron Build Design, Lyndsay Janssen, says the use of these materials was essential to the holistic design of the home.
“We designed spaces that would capture all the elements – including nature, water and fire – while encompassing the overall atmosphere of the home,” she says. “Fire was incorporated to add interest to the global design by creating a visual focus in different spaces throughout the home – both on the inside and out.”
Although the Blue Heron team had never used EcoSmart fires before this project, they have since incorporated the product into several more recent projects.
“There are so many fire products out there, but rarely is there something that is designed beautifully and simply, and works well with the contemporary home.”