By Carolyn Weber.

In a house this size, getting from room to room is half the fun. Intimate hallways open to great, wide-open spaces; low, narrow arches lead to grand staircases. "The house has a terrific seductive quality about it," says White. "It reveals only a little bit of itself at a time, with a sense of surprise and unfolding. Each room, courtyard view, or passage delivers a different 'wow factor'."

Beginning with a comfortably scaled entry foyer, and continuing through several galleries, courtyards, and staircases, changes in flooring material indicate changes in zones or rooms. Hard-surface custom limestone marks the entry, hallways, and staircases.

Stair Apparent: Laying the tile was one of the most labor intensive parts of the project. A marble threshold with metal inlays, custom-made by Walker Zanger, sits at the base of the staircase that leads to the adult wing. The inlays were designed by computer, then wet sawn and fabricated on site. The limestone on the stair steps was meticulously chipped to create a rustic yet contemporary appearance.

Photo: James Wilson

Tricks with brick

Meeting the challenge of barrel-vaulted passageways called on all of this master mason's expertise.

By Matthew Power

Rick Rogas, owner of Red Rock Construction in Las Vegas, got handed one of the toughest engineering jobs on the HomeDestinations project. To build the home's deep, barrel-vaulted brick passageways (seldom seen since the days of Civil War-era fortifications) called for creative problem solving.

"The trick was to form up the bricks on the outside edges of the arch and get those locked into place," he says, "then fill in from there."

Easier said than done. Rogas and his crews first cut dado-type grooves in the back of each brick. They had custom angle irons forged by Steel Engineers, a local company. Then they slid the iron into the back of the brick and screwed each piece to the plywood frame of the arch.

"We went through $8,000 worth of diamond blades making those arches," Rogas recalls. "Once the last brick is in place, the arch is self supporting."

"I really had to go against my instincts, which tell me to leave everything perfectly finished. Of the 40,000 bricks used in this house, I think we had to cut 30,000 of them."