Water features flow through Sun West’s MacDonald Highlands home — PHOTOS

Sun West Custom Homes’ new showcase sits atop a hillside at 647 Cityview Ridge Drive in MacDonald Highlands, a luxury community in Henderson. Owner Daniel Coletti has created a cool, soothing oasis amid the expansive beauty of the Mojave Desert.

The striking see-through pool that visitors see driving to the home is a big jaw-dropper and the star of the show. In fact, water runs throughout this living space that is a tribute to the elements and indoor-outdoor living.

The 8,000-square-foot home updates and expands on an award-winning design concept Coletti built in The Ridges at Summerlin for the 2009 Parade of Homes. One common thread that runs through Sun West custom home designs is an intimate feeling of closeness to nature. His living spaces blend into the surrounding terrain and climate. Sun West architectural designs combine traditional elements of water, air, earth and fire to suggest deep feelings of hearth and home.

Two ponds of flowing water greet visitors at the front entrance. That’s just a hint of the water theme this home carries. After passing through a large glass door into the great room, another pond leads past the right wall, under a fireplace, to an array of glass pocket doors along the back wall of the room. When opened, the wall disappears and the living space seamlessly continues outward to a patio lounge area where the infinity-edge swimming pool and a panoramic view of the Las Vegas Valley are the main attraction.

The open doors also channel air flow to capture breezes coming off the hills of MacDonald Highlands and route the fresh air through the living spaces of the home on the top and bottom floors. When closed, the pocket doors provide a barrier to prevent harsh weather, heat and cold from entering the inner living spaces.

Evaporative cooling from the water features saves energy and adds moisture to the rooms during hot, dry summer days in Southern Nevada.

Wood, metal and stone are the earth elements in the home that also connect occupants to the landscape surrounding them. The choice of colors, textures, furniture, textiles and flooring all complement desert tones.

Fireplaces are featured in the bedrooms, as well as in the great room, the downstairs guest lounge and outside patios near the infinity-edge swimming pool.

The master bedroom and bath are to the right of the great room entrance, overlooking the pool. Glass pocket doors disappear inside the walls of each room to connect the flowing water outside to the living space and occupants inside. A wooden deck extends through the center of the pool to allow residents to walk over the water to its edge and out toward the skyline.

The master bath tub is positioned directly behind motorized pocket doors that can open to connect the bath to the outside elements while the shower has a direct passageway to the swimming pool. A dressing room behind the shower and tub includes a cavernous closet that extends behind the master bedroom and bath.

On the other side of the closet space, a long hallway leads north past the master bedroom. A sailing mural decorates the wall on the left side while the right side of the hallway leads to an office space enclosed in glass.

At the northwest end of the hallway is a second bed, that includes a full bath and closet space. Two more outdoor patios and water features are nearby.

Return south down the long hallway, past the front door and great room, to the dining room and kitchen area.

Wolf cooking stoves, Sub-Zero refrigerators and Kohler water faucets all gleam with polished metal finishes. A warm air hand-dryer in the kitchen replaces the need for paper towels. The kitchen extends into the outdoor area when the pocket doors are open.

The indoor and outdoor kitchens are built with stone countertops, tiled floors and custom cabinetry. Island bars and strategic furniture serve as gathering places that invite guests to mingle and converse.

A stairway leads from the dining room down to the lower floor, past a wine rack made from hanging chains of cable that are suspended from the ceiling. Large metal rings within the parallel chains display an extensive collection of vintage wine bottles. The rack chains descend from the top floor ceiling to below the staircase where a cocktail serving bar sits.

Comfortable couches and chairs are positioned in front of a fireplace and video entertainment center to the right of the staircase, as well as in a submerged lounge, recessed 4 feet below the floor.

The west wall, beneath the infinity-edge swimming pool, supports a glass window that allows guests to interact with underwater swimmers. During the open house presentation, a live mermaid appeared at the window to showcase the water world inside the infinity-edge pool.

An outdoor pond and patio are just beyond another set of pocket glass doors toward the front of the home. The outer cement wall of the pond and patio space functions as a retaining structure that nestles against the hillside.

On the same level of the home are an extra half-bath behind the cocktail bar and lounge. Near the foot of the stairs are a bedroom and full bath, with its own set of pocket doors that lead outside to a golf-putting green. Beyond the bedroom, a four-car garage opens out to a second street below for easy parking and access to the rear of the home.

A storage closet near the back door of the garage houses rack-mounted computers and an array of signal-processing modules that enable a Crestron control system for this smart home. The electronic modules are always on and always connected to the Internet where a cloud of servers process the data streaming to and from the building. From the cloud, all this digital information is consolidated and sent to the homeowner’s smartphone. Most of the features in the home can be controlled through a single app. The Crestron system also uses touch screens and switch panels mounted on the walls of every room in the home to activate the same control systems. These include security cameras, electronic locks, motion sensors and proximity sensors for the doors and windows. Smoke and safety alarm sensors are also monitored 24/7.

Residents can select on-demand content via 4K ultra-high-definition video streamed from the Internet to multiple video monitors throughout the home. Extensive cabling for audio speakers and music systems has been routed to every room in the home and to the outdoor patios.

The same Crestron app also controls all the LED lighting throughout the home, as well as motorized glass pocket doors and motorized shades that automatically adjust throughout the day to the position of the sun.

Smart thermostats monitor temperature changes in different rooms and enable zoned climate control through the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.

Miles of low-voltage cables are embedded in the walls of the showcase home alongside the high-voltage AC electric power wiring.

“More of the audio, video, data and control signals have now been combined over the Cat-6 Ethernet cables,” said Kevin Peltier, president of HP Media Group. “We included a second, backup Cat-6 cable in the home wiring bundle for redundancy and future expansion.”

The MacDonald Highlands showcase home highlights many of the design-build lessons learned by Sun West through 38 years of custom project development. It also serves as a laboratory to collect data, in order to evaluate the efficiency of photovoltaic solar panels, energy consumption of the HVAC system, the effectiveness of the sun-tracking shade system, convection air flow, and other new features that may someday be implemented on future design-build projects by the company.

Cynthia Coletti originally founded El Rancho West as a family business with her son, Daniel, in 1978. She passed the exam for a contractor’s license in Florida, then partnered with her son to build their first custom home on a 1-acre parcel of land that they purchased for $10,000. The team built 22 custom homes in Florida, then moved to Colorado, before setting up a business in the Las Vegas Valley as Sun West Custom Homes during 1989.

“God gives us all a little talent, but you don’t know it until you start building something and getting reactions from people,” Cynthia Coletti said. “If you are doing something right, keep doing it and stick with your feelings.”

“The prevailing style of architecture in Las Vegas at that time was Mediterranean, like the Ten Oaks development with its arches and clay-tiled rooftops.” Daniel Coletti said.

During 1998, he traveled to Hawaii and saw how the homes were constructed in the islands to be more open to the outside, as well as inside.

He designed and built the custom Tapestry home for the Seven Hills development in Henderson to include pocket doors that could be hidden in the walls of the building structure to extend the indoor living space. Other innovations in design followed as Coletti developed a desert contemporary style that can be found at The Ridges in Summerlin, MacDonald Highlands and Lake Las Vegas.

The company built six custom homes during 2015 and has two design-build projects ongoing this year.

The “build” part of a Sun West Custom Homes project is led by Carl Martinez, president of residential construction. Martinez and Coletti direct an experienced team that includes a project manager, interior designer, project coordinator and an onsite superintendent who execute the design plans with the help of licensed and insured sub-contractors, many who have worked with the company for more than a decade.

After years of real-world practice, the Sun West team has amassed a quality control checklist that monitors 87 different areas of home construction from “foundation to finish,” Coletti said.

The MacDonald Highlands project began construction in August 2015 and opened is available for public view from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Just tell the guard you want to see the showcase home. For more information, visit www.sunwestcustomhomes.com.

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