Las Vegas is no stranger to luxury, indulgence and entertainment-and Kirk Nix is no stranger to providing the high-luxe designs to boot. Known for his ability to seamlessly blend masculinity with opulence, it’s no wonder why high profile Las Vegas hotels turned to Nix to fulfill their ultimate interior design desires. Having completed multiple projects in the entertainment epicenter of the world, Kirk Nix shares the triumphs he experienced and his favorite ways to indulge while decorating some of the most elite hotels in the notorious Sin City.
C&S: “What was your first project in Las Vegas?”
KN: “Our very first project in Las Vegas was the Palazzo Tower and the subsequent renovation of the Venetian which was a combined total of 6000 guestrooms in 2006. It was intimidating, but alas we rose to the challenge and we were fortunate enough to have an exceptionally supportive client in the Las Vegas Sands group.”
C&S: “Were you excited or intimidated for such a grandiose undertaking?”
KN: “Are you kidding? It was a spectacular opportunity and we were thrilled to be asked.”
C&S: What do you do differently when designing for Vegas versus other luxury hotels?
KN: Las Vegas is our national playground. You have a short attention span and it rests entirely upon your shoulders as a designer to capture the spirit and the esoteric of the city amongst 165,000 hotel rooms available. Competition is stiff. We believe it is important to offer the guest something special they cannot find anywhere else.
C&S: “What was your favorite project in Las Vegas?”
KN:”My love letter to Las Vegas is the Venezia Tower at the Venetian. It was a 24-month design-build project and what ultimately evolved was, and still is, the most beautiful lobby in town. A tribute to a 19th century Italian villa interpreted in 21st century style.”
C&S:”In the case of Caesar’s Palace and The Palazzo you designed the top tier segments, the Villas and the VIP Lounge respectively, how do you approach crafting spaces that reflect the distinction from the larger hotel?”
KN: “It is essential you capture the DNA of the resort but tailor it to the clientele that demands exclusivity. A higher level of expectation brings out the best in me as the stakes are so much higher. It is critical you understand how this demographic lives, travels and operates so the atmosphere you create is as compelling as humanly possible.”
KN: “All hotel rooms are infamous for taking a beating under normal conditions of standard wear and tear. Between Las Vegas and Disney (another client) we have had the chance to develop bulletproof strategies where necessary.”
C&S: “What was the most “out there” element you have incorporated into a Vegas design?”
KN: “The item that created the most controversy are the gas lanterns in the public areas of the Venezia tower. It required a public hearing to get them past Nevada fire codes. Most of the executives were ready to throw in the towel, but we did persevere and the result is still compelling today.”
C&S: “What advice would you give someone who wanted to create a Vegas style/feel into their home?”
KN: “At home, I would humbly suggest that you make room to entertain- create gathering places for folks to congregate. Also, music and lighting are key- give them the attention they so richly deserve.”
C&S: “Where is your favorite place to stay when you go to Vegas?”
KN: “I am currently staying at the newly refurbished Roman tower @ Caesar’s Palace KNA Design just completed- I like surrounding myself with good design whenever possible, even if it is my own!”
KN: “The lobby Bar @ the Mandarin Oriental has the best view in town- a cocktail, a hot date and you can’t be beat.”
C&S: “Do you have anything in the works in Vegas now that is being kept under wraps?”
KN: “There’s a new resort on the drawing boards and you’ll most certainly expect the unexpected when you arrive at the spaces directed by KNA Design.”
C&S: “What is your favorite spirit?”
KN: “Van Winkle straight reserve- Kentucky Bourbon. Neat.”
C&S: “What is your favorite cigar?”
KN: “Montecristo, Montecristo Churchills Añejados to be precise.”
Taryn Paulson is the Public Relations Director for A Design Partnership, which represents Kirk Nix among other luxury and design clients. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking and meditation.