Retro Fit

Duo infuses classic mid-century living space with fresh charm

Photo by Francis George

Photo by Francis George

Set against a backdrop punctuated by the Stratosphere, Matthew Howard and Aaron Hinterleitner’s home is a true Las Vegas dream.

The duo moved to Las Vegas from Palm Springs in 2003 to further their respective careers in the hospitality industry. Once here, they found more than jobs: They stumbled across their dream abode, too—a rambling, four-bedroom mid-century ranch home in the Scotch 80s, a neighborhood known for its ’60s-era mansions and the famous residents who lived in them. What happened next can only be described as real estate fate.

“We had only seen the house from the outside, looking into open windows to understand the layout,” says Howard, the director of catering for Wynn and Encore. “It was a gut feeling. We made an offer without even entering the home. We loved the mid-century ranch-style layout with the sunken living room. We closed in 15 days.”

Several years of renovations followed. The most recent project was the casita, which is connected to the main house yet features its own private entrance, a comfortable living space and small bathroom.

“We wanted to design a simple yet functional space for a single individual,” says Hinterleitner, a Cirque du Soleil sales account executive. “Clean lines, minimal details and floor-to-ceiling mirrors were used to give the illusion of a larger space.” But the true gem of the guesthouse was already there: a mint-condition 1965 Magic Chef stove in the kitchenette.

One of their earliest renovations was to the home’s façade. “The exterior was simple concept, a three-color pattern,” Howard says. “The front of the house is mainly brick, so pure white paint was a given choice for that Old Vegas look. The leaf-acorn iron pattern, [and] the wood trim was finished in a dark chocolate brown. Completing the look, the front doors were covered in a bold red paint, which is often recommended because in feng shui it’s the color of success and prosperity.”

The couple is constantly shopping for new items and rearranging existing ones. Avid vintage furniture collectors, Howard and Hinterleitner found several treasures at Retro Vegas and are regulars at US Furniture & Upholstery, also on Main.

Each piece has a story to tell.

“Rumor has it that the wing chairs belonged to Dean Martin’s cousin, who lived in the downtown area,” Howard says. “Our white fractured glass-pattern side table was picked up at a local charity event.” And in a city like Las Vegas, where it’s not uncommon to discover that your neighbor’s dentist’s cousin’s grandmother once dated a member of the Rat Pack, having Martin’s wingback chairs in your guesthouse is all too fitting.

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