At Home: Las Vegas, 1975

Despite the architectural growing pains and the eletric garishness of “tourist” Las Vegas, another facet of the city displays a different mien – and some trend-setting examples of individual expressions of contemporary interiors and lifestyles.


JIM NABORS. At home away from home, reaps the rewards of superstar status in a holiday house that’s the Nevada home base to some of the biggest names in show business. Once is was “playing the Palace”, now the lucky ones to headline the Sahara Hotel’s main showroom spend off-hours in this bonus retreat that the hotel provides for them – a house thoughtfully equipped to satisfy every whim: a golf course, pool, sauna; inside, a dynamite interior with everything to enjoy, from quadraphonic sound and every-room color television to Austrian pastries and sunset poolside canapes, graciously delivered by resident hostess Mrs. Johanna Ziegelhuber. Los Angeles interior designer Sherry Hackett, who, conveniently, just happens to be the wife of Buddy Hackett, another Sahara superstar, developed an overall color scheme for the house from white to saddle tans, gunstock browns to black, and wisely focused attention on a collection of paintings and the desert exposure that can’t help but appeal to a variety of tastes – from Johnny Carson and Jerry Lewis to Cher Bono and Jim Nabors. One wonderful detail – in the middle of a large room, Sherry depressed a twelve-foot-square entertainment arena with bar, fountain, stereo, surrounded on all sides by low seating. Best of all – overhead glass storage close at hand but out of the way and framing a custom skylight fixture of leaded and stained glass in a pattern matched to the upholstery and drapery fabric.


TOTIE FIELDS JOHNSTON. A lady with her own point of view, has accomplished a miracle of personalizing her home, one inventive room after another of beautiful-to-look-at backgrounds stylishly put together that just happen to spell comfort in capitals for guests and family. All the amenities – even an indoor swimming pool – everything from antique Venetian mirrors to Victorian beveled windows to East Indian modesty screens, plus three white puppies racing around, skirting sculpture stands and a forest of green houseplants, all presided over by an irreplaceable housekeeper, Viola Crump. Above, the master bedroom: oakplanked floors in the chicest of finishes – natural. Everywhere the same cotton floral print, sunshine and happiness colors for day and night. Below, the adjoining bath opens to an enclosed atrium; above the tub, a canopy of glitter from the mirrored ceiling – double the windows, double the plants, more of everything pretty. A master suite masterfully conceived. Everything instinctively right, the perfect combination of how-to-be-comfortable right down to the marvelous knitted afghan in all the right colors.



GERRY AND GENE MADAY – Live, work, entertain, in a penthouse residence thirty stories above the Las Vegas Strip at the apex of the Regency Towers. The living room overlooks their swimming pool and marble terraces; riveting views throughout the penthouse stretch in all directions to the profiles of distant mountain ranges. Bottom, Gerry Maday and Charlie, a poodle friend of fourteen years, at home on a winter’s morning. The varied Maday business interests include services and entertainment facilities for natives and tourists alike: the Checker Cab Co. that takes you from the airport to their Little Caesar’s Gambling Casino are two; the Airways and Sav Mor car rentals to get you there, and Lake Mead Marina once you arrive, are more Maday holdings. Hands down the best find for quality antiques in all of Nevada is their Grand Antique Shop at the MGM Grand hotel, a fabulous collection of virtu. You’re into art? So are they, with the Grand Art Gallery. There are other businesses and demands, and there’s golfing and hunting and bowling and a lively community conscience for civic and charitable responsibilities. Daughter Debbie, nineteen and a junior at Arizona State University, forsakes the Delta Delta Delta house for occasional long weekends at home. Between times for Gerry and Gene there is always the possibility of a last minute business trip, of an hour’s notice before leaving for the airport; consequently the residence was designed to be as trouble free as possible, easily maintained and functional. Above, the bar alcove at the end of the paneled study, even the kitchen in hand-painted dimensional tile, below, is evidence of a beautifully detailed 1975 oasis



Article written by Hank Milam for Playgirl, January 1975.



  1. Gopal Yadav · August 7, 2012

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  2. 20th Century Decorative Arts · November 5, 2012

    Wow…there's an awful lot going on here!


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