Small Space, Big Impact

As glamorous as the city below, Joey Avino’s condo in the Martin proves luxurious living is not bound by square footage

By Las Vegas standards, 1,053 square feet isn’t a very large dwelling. Homes here have bathrooms bigger than that.

Yet walking into Joey Avino’s condo in the Martin, a recently renovated high-rise on Dean Martin Drive overlooking CityCenter, guests are awestruck by how he managed to accomplish so many things in such compact quarters. It’s a lesson in the economy of space—certainly for Avino, who passed on a higher-priced unit on a upper floor for a smaller unit and poured the funds he saved into an extensive remodel.

Playing interior designer, the 27-year-old owner of Web-design firm Amedia Creative crafted a space unique to his bachelor needs with a little help from his mom, who is a design professional back home in New Jersey. “There are some things I wanted to run by her, but I wanted to do most of it on my own,” he says.

The project began with a sledgehammer when Avino moved in a year ago. “I was tearing down walls,” he says, “and lived in dust for the first three months.” He knocked down two walls of the three-room condo, including one that concealed his now-open master suite.

That room lies just beyond the foyer, and it’s one of the first things guests encounter. “The thought of an open bedroom makes some people uncomfortable, but it was much more valuable for me to have that space,” he says.

It is here the apartment’s interior-scape unfolds. The antique furnishings in the master suite tell a story of eclectic taste and bold juxtaposition.

“The bed is 150 years old, and I found it at an antique store,” he says. “It’s so old there are no nails in it, just dovetails. It was really beat up. I had to do a lot of work on it, but it was worth it.”

Tucked into the corner of the master suite is the master bath, where the apartment’s vivid color palette comes into play with a pop of citrus yellow on the walls.

Avino’s design inspiration was heavily influenced by big names in the interiors community, such as Kelly Wearstler, who’s not afraid of color, and Philippe Starck, who loves oddball accents. In an ironic twist, the Kor Group, for whom Wearstler created the signature look of Viceroy Hotels, recently completed a $3 million renovation and rebranding of the Martin’s common areas.

Much like Wearstler, Avino’s style is retro-theatrical: overstuffed bold chairs, ornate use of crown moldings and a mix of new and old. In the living room, the gold chairs were rescued from a basement in New Jersey; Avino had them reupholstered but left the original gold-leaf finish intact. The coffee table is an original that he made himself with help from a friend. The hands-on owner also laid the Utility oak floors, painted the walls and most of the art. Aside from his own personal paintings, there is a framed Dandy Warhols concert poster, one of the bands he loves.

“The style of the apartment is Hollywood glam,” Avino says. “It’s not modern, and it’s not mid-century modern. It’s over the top. A lot of gloss and shine mixed with a dash of rustic.”

Organic elements added for an eclectic touch include a driftwood sculpture sourced from Arteriors Home (which has a showroom in Vegas), a company specializing in unique and natural accessories, and the dining-room chandelier made of basket reeds from Thailand.

Another exciting element is what’s in the walls that remain: the technology. The apartment’s lighting and sound can be completely controlled by Avino’s iPhone or iPad. Additionally, the heating and cooling system from Nest Thermostat learns Avino’s schedule and adjusts the temperature of the apartment. He also opted for screwless electrical plates. “I don’t do anything unless it is 100 percent,” he says.

Walking through the economically appointed space, you can’t help but wonder how Avino has learned to live so streamlined. He shares his secret with those who just can’t bear to throw out all the stuff we love but never use: “I do have a big storage unit. Anything I don’t use on a daily basis goes in storage. I don’t keep things in the house I don’t use.”

Rethinking the Martin

Originally built as Panorama Tower North, the high-rise that would become the Martin was completed in 2009 when the real estate crash was in full swing. Acquired by Los Angeles-based iStar Residential, the 45-story tower recently went through a renovation of its public spaces led by the Kor Group. The lobby, pool area, spa and gym were reconceived. The addition of a library area gives the Martin residents an enclave to have a daily continental breakfast. It also serves as a movie-screening room and meeting area. 425-3801;