Even Chris Stuhmer admits that there is no such thing as a Las Vegas housing style, but that hasn't stopped him from pioneering one—or more. Known locally and across the country, and proudly so, as a design-oriented builder, Stuhmer applies a personal and professional passion for architecture with a practical eye for function and convenience. “You can't just put in gold-plated fixtures and call it a luxury product,” he says. “Our designs are not only architecturally stimulating, but also very functional. We work very hard to make sure every square foot is usable.” That's a relative anomaly in luxury production housing, where wasted space is generally unchecked. Unlike most builders of its size (100 units a year in the luxury production realm, plus separate divisions building second homes in Park City, Utah, and urban lofts in Las Vegas), Christopher Homes employs in-house architects to elevate that sensitivity on par with the economics of building.

The results can be seen in homes and neighborhoods throughout the city that inspire others to follow. Case in point: Stuhmer's Southern Highlands enclave of high-end homes that introduced Tuscan style to the market, which was quickly applied to a wider swath of price points. Now, the builder is moving on to more contemporary styling that's equally conducive to the desert climate and appealing to discriminating buyers. “Most people would say that they're not drawn to contemporary architecture, but we're finding that when we do it in a way that's warm and comfortable and practical and stimulating, buyers are motivated by it.”

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Las Vegas, NV.