The home features ornately designed Egyptian doors between 700 and 900 years old
After living in a semi-custom Italian villa home in Canyon Gate Country Club near Summerlin that he bought in 1996, six years ago Ken Lowman, broker/owner of Luxury Homes of Las Vegas, decided to lay out his own house from scratch. It would be a home that would not only give him the feel and comfort he wanted but send a message to clients and prospective clients as a luxury home broker.
The end result would impress even his most particular clients. The estate, including the price of the land, cost several million dollars and draws inspiration from the Tuscany region of Italy and Andalusia in Spain. Going through the process of working on every single detail himself has also made him feel that much closer to his high-end clients. “I think one thing you need is to be able to walk the walk and talk the talk,” says Lowman, 47. “I needed to live in a luxury home and luxury home community. People like to deal with people like them. It makes it easier to sell a luxury home because I know what goes into a true quality custom home.”
About a decade ago, Lowman had already built three custom homes in Las Vegas, but all were speculative to resell. He wanted a residence to move into that was large enough for his needs, and also had a unique style and sophistication that reflected the luxury he’s seen in the marketplace.
Lowman acquired one-third of an acre in Canyon Gate Country Club in the west Valley, because it’s in the area where a majority of his business is, and it’s also close to his office. He drew out his home to be 6,500 square feet, more than double the size of his previous residence. His starting place was the basement, because no Tuscan villa is complete without a wine cellar (he began collecting wine seriously after a trip to Napa Valley in 1996).
“I was thinking like an engineer,” says Lowman, who studied industrial engineering at Oregon State University and then worked at a Frito Lay processing plant in Southern California before moving into the real estate business. “If I have a wine cellar in the basement, I had to also have a theater room and bar down there with a pool table.”
Lowman’s wine cellar is the ultimate vino trophy case: One side is glass where the collection of more than 1,000 bottles can be viewed from anywhere in the basement. Its floor is even made of reclaimed French oak barrels used for storing wine.
Since Lowman designed the home with entertaining friends and clients in mind, he added a Moroccan-tiled infinity-edged spa, and outdoor barbecue kitchen that is sunk into the ground. There is one guest room on the first level, near the master bedroom and office, and there are two other guest rooms upstairs, where he also has a home gym that oversees the golf course.
Much of Lowman’s inspiration came from his many trips to Europe, which yielded marble and Deco tile on the floor and countertops. Exterior walls have fieldstone with a smooth coat stucco, and the home uses arches and ceiling patterns of old-world churches. “Those architecture styles have been around for centuries,” Lowman says. “They give a sense of warmth and serenity and luxury, too.”
Lowman searched even farther for his main entryway: He purchased six sets of reclaimed Egyptian doors that are between 700 and 900 years old with ornate designs and Arabic inscriptions. The look goes well with the accents of Andalusia, in Southern Spain, which has Arabic influence due to its proximity to Morocco. The doors cost $2,000 each. “They were a unique trait,” Lowman says. “The old Egyptian goes with the Spanish style.”
Another unusual feature is a marble baptismal sink imported from Italy that was installed in the powder room. At a cost of $5,000, it weighs half a ton and is surrounded by Calcutta marble. The house has Andalusian and Moorish gold flooring throughout. Ceiling beams are styled to make them look 1,000 years old. The entryway and basement floors include medallions from Spain and Italy.
Lowman hasn’t decided how long he’ll keep the home—he’s already got designs in his head for a new residence, one that either has a modern contemporary look or improves on the old-world European style. “I can expand on what I’ve done,” Lowman says. “It’s a lot like a painting. Every one comes out a little different. I see so many great homes on a daily basis that it was fun to create my own.”