Cookbook author transforms her Summerlin home into a cozy space

The transformation of author Julie Hession’s Canyon Fairways home is as sweet as her culinary creations.

Hession, cookbook author, entrepreneur and successful restaurateur, has blended contemporary, traditional and Mediterranean design elements to create a sophisticated and timeless interior.

Located in the exclusive guarded community of Summerlin, 9500 Tournament Canyon Drive lists $3.95 million through Anthony Spiegel with Ivan Sher Group, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Nevada Properties.

The fully renovated two-story 6,566-square-foot estate features five en-suite bedrooms, including a main-level master suite, six bathrooms, a sleek study, custom temperature-controlled wine cellar, and lush exterior with swimming pool, spa and new outdoor kitchen.

“We’re both from the East Coast, so we liked that Canyon Fairways was unlike any other place in Las Vegas,” Julie Hession said. “We love the neighborhood.”

Hession and her husband, Eric, purchased the home in the fall of 2019. The home’s larger size, lush traditional neighborhood and unique architecture caught the couple’s attention.

“Ironically, what drew me to the house was probably the most polarizing room,” Hession said. “The dining room had this sort of airplane hangar aesthetic with the big vaulted ceilings.”

The property’s 20-year-old design didn’t deter the couple. Although they were not looking for a repairman, they believed that the charm of the original architecture, combined with the solid foundation, provided the framework for the extensive renovations.

The biggest obstacle was a wall separating two rooms from the main living room. Prior to the purchase, the couple wanted to determine if the wall was part of the home’s load-bearing structure and if an arched room divider could be created to match the aesthetics of the home when removing the wall.

“We bought the house on faith, hoping the move was possible,” Hession said. “And we wanted to make sure that we could match the aesthetic of the house with the creation of an arch.”

Once these two obstacles were overcome, the couple set about developing a recipe for a livable and comfortable home. The design team for the project consisted of Chris Samson of Las Vegas-based FN Construction &Design and designer Kate Binger. Binger is the owner of Dwelling, an interior design studio based in Jackson, Wyoming.

Construction began in early 2020. The first phase included the demolition of the entire interior and the removal of the wall. Another significant undertaking was to raise the sunken lounge and bar area to match the ground floor of the ground floor.

“One thing they found when they started was that a tree root had started to come through the ground,” Hession said. “They had to remove all of that completely.”

The crew completed the demolition before the pandemic shut down. The shutdown delayed construction by more than six months before crews could resume work. Once construction resumed, it took approximately 11 months to complete.

“We couldn’t sell our house in the Southern Highlands,” Hession said. “Our contractor has been great. As soon as it was safe, he started working with one or two submarines at a time. He also wanted to get back to work.

Significant alterations included reconfiguring the kitchen, moving and updating the fireplace, building a wine cellar, modifying the powder room entrance and creating a private front yard .

“We hit everything,” Hession said. “It’s pretty much new construction.” Upon entry, the renovation has transformed the outdated Mediterranean interior into a sophisticated contemporary retreat. An arched hallway entry opens to a spacious living space adorned with 30 foot ceilings. A two-story wall of windows draws in an abundance of natural light, enhancing the crisp white interior.

Luxurious materials, harmonious indoor-outdoor living, and a warm neutral color palette present a comfortable and timeless aesthetic. Rich engineered oak flooring flows throughout the main level as a cohesive element. The centerpiece of the house is the redesigned chef’s kitchen.

“We wanted to make the kitchen more functional,” Hession said. “Originally, there was a counter that separated it from the living room, so we wanted to open it up.”

Hession selected a classic white kitchen, accented with hints of color and opulence. Della Terra white quartz countertops on custom Dove White cabinetry contrast with the dark wood center island. A unique secondary island at the entrance provides additional prep, storage and seating space. A pale blue Walker-Zanger Moonstone Diplomat and Ambassador backsplash adds subtle color and texture.

Hession, author of three cookbooks, wanted a private space to prepare his delicacies. The couple converted a bathroom/third laundry room into a custom “dream” pantry with a farmhouse sink and prep space.

“I call it my ‘She shed’,” Hession said with a laugh. “It turned into a wonderful pantry. If I’m doing something that requires a lot of concentration, like decorating a cake or cookies, I can come in and close the door.

Soft touches include a cookie cutter wall with individual hangers to display a collection and top-lit glass display cases.

“I did the food photography for my Bundt cookbook, so I have a lot of cake pans,” Hession said. “My collection of Bundt pans looked beautiful in these display cases.”

An eye-catching feature in the home is the modified cement fireplace in the formal living room. Instead of a modern linear fireplace, Hession chose an oversized traditional fireplace to capture a warm ambiance.

“It’s something I’m proud of,” Hession said. “It was weirdly off-center, so we moved it, and had a company custom build this huge, beautiful fireplace that complemented the wall. I’m so happy with how it ended up looking.

Hession’s favorite feature is a custom glass-enclosed wine cellar located at the end of the vaulted formal dining room. The cellar is a recreation of a smaller version the couple built at a previous residence. Hession spent months collecting hundreds of different wine cases to mount on the wall as the backdrop for the exhibit.

“I got each of these boxes myself,” Hession said. “I was probably at Total Wine three times a week. We asked everyone we knew so we could collect all those boxes. »

The couple commissioned Hearth and Home to create a custom arched window and door system that cost around $40,000. The one-of-a-kind system presented a significant challenge in ensuring a good seal.

“They said it was the hardest they’ve ever done,” Hession said. “They had to fit the curve of the wall, and it had to be exactly right.”

Strategically located, a fully equipped bar services the entire main level between the outdoor terrace and the spacious main level living area, including the kitchen and formal dining area.

“We like things that are open, inviting and comfortable,” Hession said. Another notable feature is the main level master suite and luxurious bathroom.

The sophisticated bedroom features double door access to the private courtyard and a custom designed accent wall. The luxurious bathroom features double sinks, a soaking tub and an oversized walk-in shower.

“It’s quite beautiful,” Spiegel said. “(There are) clever design elements with symmetrical, scaled mirrors for high ceilings.”

The master bedroom and bathroom flow into a spacious study/bedroom. The distinctive bedroom features coffered ceilings, a brass chandelier and separate exterior access.

“You could put a door here and make it a main wing,” Spiegel said. “This room (den) could be a gym, a yoga room, whatever you wanted.”

The upper level features a spacious loft/entertainment area, en-suite bedrooms and a unique alcove at the top of the stairwell.

The 0.33 acre property faces a lush, winding path through the community. The outdoor grounds include a linear pool, spa, covered patio, dog run and outdoor kitchen.

“We like to spend as much time as possible outdoors,” Hession said. “So our goal was to open up the space.”

Spiegel said the house is incredibly valuable in the Las Vegas market at around $600 per square foot.

“These neighborhoods are trading at a discount compared to newer neighborhoods,” Spiegel said. “You couldn’t replace that house for $3.95 million.”

Canyon Fairways is an established luxury neighborhood comprised of 150 custom homes nestled in the heart of Summerlin. The intimate community offers incredible amenities such as 24-hour guarded security and proximity to Summerlin’s parks and hiking trails.

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