Curvaceous and fluid, the walls of Lori and Gregg Panek’s home in the Ridges are anything but ordinary. It was the No. 1 request the couple had when designing their custom space with architect Marc Lemoine. As he puts it, “They wanted to break the box.”
Gregg got the idea of doing away with as many 90-degree angles as possible when he was planning to replace his Mediterranean-style home in Canyon Gate Country Club. The house, which served as a family vacation destination, sat on a undulating road. When the couple decided they wanted to demolish the existing structure and rebuild a new one to better reflect their life as empty nesters, they called on Lemoine to draw plans for a home that followed the natural shape of the street. And thus their quest for curvature began.
But the Canyon Gate architectural-review committee didn’t approve their design, so the Paneks searched for property elsewhere. The Ridges, a desert-contemporary community, accepted the idea, and the new home, curves and all, will become the Paneks’ full-time residence when Gregg retires from his precision machining business in Chicago.
Lemoine designed 14 other homes in the community, and he considers implementing clients’ visions an exciting challenge. (“My style is I don’t have one,” he says.) For him, the Paneks, with their willingness to experiment and their good taste, were the best type of client.
The “no-right-angles” vision relied heavily on Lemoine’s problem-solving skills. Lori, for example, wanted a curved kitchen ceiling, which was a challenge because the crescent-shaped kitchen is open to the great room. The solution was to create light-steel frames in-filled with wood to match the floor of the great room. The panels give the illusion that the ceiling isn’t flat, and they add texture and depth to the space.
An expansive floor plan was another Panek prerequisite. “We wanted open living, and we didn’t want a lot of rooms,” Lori says. So despite 4,700 square feet and the fact that the Paneks have five adult children who might want to visit, the house has only three bedrooms.
“We needed this to be our house,” Lori says.
A palatial master suite dominates the second level. The 600-square-foot retreat features sliding doors that open onto a balcony with panoramic views of the Strip. Disguising the master bath entry without the use of a traditional door, Lemoine devised a sliding “barn door” fabricated from tempered glass. It can completely close off the room or be left open for instant access to the Kohler tub, which has a view of its own through a spectacular picture window.
For nights when a chill bites, the suite also has a fireplace that burns alcohol, which is cleaner and more efficient than gas. It’s just one of the ways Lemoine took an eco-friendly approach, including LED lighting throughout and photovoltaic panels installed on the roof. The solar panels keep the house energized and the power bills low. “We had a bill for a whole $42 [in May],” Gregg says.
The residence, which took a year to construct, is a refuge for the Paneks as they transition into spending more time in Las Vegas. Overlooking the Strip, just about every room showcases the lights Gregg fell in love with when he made his first trip to Vegas at the age of 18.
“My favorite feature is just looking at the view,” he says. “I can’t describe it.”
Once the architectural motifs were set, it was time to apply the interior dazzle. To bring the space to life, the Paneks looked to the design firm, New Wings. The company, which has envisioned interiors for Dragon Ridge Country Club and Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina in Crystals at CityCenter, helped put the finishing touches on the house. One task was a very special request from the Las Vegas-loving couple: craft lanterns inspired by the Wynn’s Parasol lounges. The elegant cocktail bars have long been a favorite of the pair, and they wanted something reminiscent of the resort’s luxury. New Wings designed five fixtures that dominate the home’s entry way and library, adding a splash of color to the otherwise neutral palette. They also took the kitchen’s standout feature, a long rolling wall, and covered it with overlapping white limestone tiles, which Lemoine says takes the room to the next level.
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