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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Greater Than Great Home

The Greater-than-Great Home

Blue Heron is evolving Vegas design one home at a time

Story by Brian Hurlburt

Photography provided by Blue Heron

To appreciate the home featured in these pages, you must first appreciate the visionary behind it. Tyler Jones looks too young to be a mastermind behind Blue Heron, one of the leading luxury homebuilders in Southern Nevada. When he walks in the doors of his company’s showpiece home, which overlooks the dramatic 11th hole of Rio Secco Golf Club, he looks more the part of Vegas hipster than a Vegas master of design. But much like he will soon tell this writer to never underestimate modern architectural design, potential clients should never underestimate Tyler Jones because of his casual look and youthful appearance.

Ever since he was five years old and following in his father’s footsteps as he inspected his custom home sites, Jones felt a calling to the art of home design. “I loved the construction side of the business from day one and I can still remember going with my dad and just loving everything about it,” says Jones. “As I got older I worked for my dad every summer but it wasn’t until I was about 16 that I started to appreciate architecture. I worked for an architect for a summer and I really gained an appreciation for that side of the process. I still love both, but I think I provide more value on the architectural side.”

Jones and his father, Steve, co-founded Blue Heron, a luxury home company, in 2004 with the idea to become a design/build company. The results have been awe-inspiring. Tyler has led the way with his eye for modern architecture and a willingness to utilize emerging technology at every level. The culmination of a life’s experience and a quality architectural education is this show home that boasts 360-degree views of the entire valley and beyond. The home is “desert contemporary,” blurs the boundaries of indoor and outdoor spaces, and is a LEED-award-winning, energy-efficient living space. These characteristics are the cornerstone of Blue Heron design.

“We call what we do desert contemporary or desert modern,” says Jones, a Las Vegas native. “We start with a layering effect and we believe a home should unfold before you. You will feel and experience that as you circulate through the home. That philosophy goes hand in hand with our idea of visual destinations and visual accents, which draw your eyes to different focal points. We try to control, to a certain degree, what people will be focused on in different areas. Another major focus for us are indoor/outdoor relationships. We constantly try to blur the lines of each with materials and glazing, and by creating protected outdoor areas that feel like interior spaces, and interior spaces that are so opened up to the outside that they feel like exterior spaces. That’s a big part of what we do. Our homes also feature casual floor plans with vast open living space with lots of glass and lots of light. That’s a common thread in all of our homes. A sustainable design is also a major focus. When we started our company, energy efficiency was something new, but now everybody says they are a green builder. We have focused on that since day one.”

It might seem that the design philosophy of a company such as Blue Heron may have been inspired by the architecture of others, but Tyler is quick to point out that he and the Blue Heron team stay true to their own core values and ideas. In fact, he has given much thought to the state of architecture in his beloved hometown.

“We really feel like we brought our own style to Las Vegas,” says Tyler. “For me, being from Las Vegas and deeply caring about our community, I never, ever understood why we were taking this Tuscan, Mediterranean style from Europe and putting it in the middle of the Mojave desert. To us, our style is an honest expression of what architecture in Las Vegas should be. This is a new city and this is a new style. Las Vegas is beautiful most of the year so why should we have these castles with little windows? Let’s open it up so we can enjoy what we have here.”

As he speaks, Tyler is relaxing in the greater-than-great room, a main focal point for Blue Heron homes. It’s an area that oozes good feelings. A writer’s eyes are pulled to different focal points including a specific spot on the Rio Secco course. It wasn’t by chance that the writer’s view was perfect; the Blue Heron team made it so during the design phase through the use of technology and extreme attention to detail.

The end result, at every level, is greater than great.

Design by Blue Heron

Blue Heron, a home-grown Las Vegas luxury home builder, was created by longtime custom home builder Steve Jones along with his son and design visionary Tyler Jones. The company is dedicated to “developing new ground” and offers a design hallmark of “desert contemporary.” Blue Heron currently offers Marquis Seven Hills and the upcoming Sky Terrace, and has exquisitely created the communities of Marquis Las Vegas, Stone Canyon, 22 Parkside, and Stone Canyon South. The company also creates standalone custom home projects for clients.

The crown jewel for Blue Heron is located at 1320 Villa Barolo Avenue in Seven Hills. The 8,000 square foot living space features a mesmerizing intertwining of indoor and outdoor spaces, large windows which open up to the Vegas air, several decks including a rooftop space with 360-degree views of the city, a wine room, and a greater-than-great room which is a large living and social area that is included in nearly every Blue Heron design. Tours of the home are available seven days a week.

Blue Heron


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