Viva Las Vegas


Daniel Joseph Chenin brings a couple’s dream home to life

The entertainment lounge frames ample desert views. Photographs by Douglas Friedman.

Daniel Joseph Chenin always knew he wanted to be an architect. “My career has ranged from large-scale public architecture and custom residences to international five and six diamond resort destinations across Nevada, Arizona and Florida,” he shares. His holistic approach to design extends beyond architecture to encompass interior design, furniture, fixtures, and accessories, as well as exterior landscapes.  Perhaps not surprisingly, given that he was born and raised in Las Vegas—that shimmering, man-made oasis undulating out of the flat desert landscape—he creates cinematic environments. “My philosophy is rooted in the idea that design should be an immersive experience, activating all of the senses, including the acoustic, tactile, even the aromatic elements, to evoke a specific set of emotions,” he explains. Working from the inside out, he begins with the spaces—their function, organization and relationship to each other, blurring the line between architecture and interior design—then layers in furniture, architecture and landscaping. “I view each project as an opportunity to create a mesmerizing and enthralling story.”

Upholstered walls in the media room provide an acoustical wrap while the custom designed brass floor to ceiling shelving units bookending a large TV are camouflaged by the backdrop of black velvet wall paneling. Photographs by Douglas Friedman.
Two display cases, custom designed by Daniel Joseph Chenin, create a vignette, framed by the wood entry into the dining room and kitchen beyond. Photographs by Douglas Friedman.

Recently he unveiled a home designed for clients that dreamt of a home that would capture the character of a boutique hotel and enable them to invite and host their entire, extended family, without losing the warmth and intimacy of a private retreat that felt comfortable and welcoming when it was just the two of them. “The lot they’d purchased, just on on the outskirts of Las Vegas, provided captivating views of the skyline, the surrounding canyons and mountain ranges,” Chenin recalls.

The pantry and service kitchen are accessible from the main kitchen through wood and brass trimmed doors.
Photographs by Douglas Friedman.

Apart from a few requests, like a floor plan that would provide for the separation between their primary living area and the guest and entertaining spaces, the couple gave Chenin and his team free rein. “They looked to us to create something timeless and livable,” Chenin notes. Riffing off the clients’ wishes, the house allows the entire guest wing of the home to be closed off when not in use. 

The glass and steel box that sits over the main entry into the house, contains a large entertainment lounge with a full-service bar. Photographs by Douglas Friedman.

Inspired by the frames that wreathed the clients’ prized collection of Hudson River paintings, Chenin relied on a leitmotif of portals and boxes. “Each portal outlines a different space or a distinct function,” says Chernin. He uses them to tamp large hallways down into human-scaled spaces; they outline the home’s deep windowsills, blocking the harsh rays of the area’s midday sun; they act as a camera, focusing the eye on a collection of intriguing objects or a memorable view; they’re an arrow, pointing out the purpose of a room. This sense of visual organization, emphasizing symmetry and balance, highlights he home’s overall feeling of calm and repose.

The wood-clad study is framed views and layering of spaces beyond. Photographs by Douglas Friedman.
The living room’s millwork is painted in a calming blue. Photographs by Douglas Friedman

The result is as beautiful as it is functional. “We’ve worked with many architects and designers, yet the process of working with Daniel and his team was beyond anything we had ever experienced, from their approach to learning about us, to their ability to capture the essence of who we are through design,” rave the clients. 

In the primary bedroom, a hand-painted Fromental wallcovering and custom-designed wall-to-wall carpeting add a luxurious softness. Photographs by Douglas Friedman
Each of the guest bedrooms offers accommodations equal in size, with resort-quality touches including millwork walls with upholstered inserts, custom-embedded storage drawers in the beds to maximize space. Photographs by Douglas Friedman
Photographs by Douglas Friedman