A Hawaii Kai Kitchen is Reconfigured for an Airy, Contemporary Feel

One couple’s vision of their dream home and kitchen becomes reality.
Photo: Olivier Koning

When Nina Bristol and her husband first walked into this two-story home along the water, they could instantly envision their future here.

They looked past the cramped spaces and layers of red, plaid curtains and valances, tiled flooring and colorful wallpaper that the previous owners added and could see the home they planned to retire and grow old in. “They did a lot of remodeling here, it just wasn’t our style,” Bristol says of the house they purchased.

The cozy Hawaii Kai marina-facing property was much different from the expansive traditional-style place they had in California. But with their children all grown up — and having kids of their own — it was important for them to downsize when they moved.

The neutral look of the open living spaces and kitchen is balanced with warm monkeypod furnishings.

“We liked the bones of the house and when we walked in, we could visualize it all,” says Bristol. At a friend’s recommendation, the couple called upon Design Trends Construction to turn their ideas into reality.

The plan was to renovate the two-story home, including the kitchen, three bathrooms — a master, guest and powder room — and a custom study, plus flooring, electrical and wall reconfigurations.

Jerel Lake of Design Trends Construction led the design of the entire home renovation. “We met with Jerel and we got along immediately,” says Bristol. They walked around the home with Lake, room by room, discussing their ideas for each space.

Two walls on the first floor were knocked down, taking out the parlor room and freeing up the living spaces. “We just wanted something that was more open and airy looking,” Bristol says.

“The Bristols wanted a much more contemporary feel,” says Brenton Liu of Design Trends Construction. “They wanted the home to match their style and function well.”

The multifunctional cabinetry allows the homeowners to maximize
their kitchen, with space for spices, pots, pans and more.

The kitchen is maximized with cabinetry that’s outfitted with soft-close doors and rollout trays for ease of use. “The cabinetry is multitoned for design interest,” Liu adds. The many functions of the cabinets make it easier for the homeowners to grab pots and pans that are kept hidden away when not in use, as well as stay organized with customized drawers for spices and such.

“For the kitchen, we wanted to do built-in appliances and get an open feel for their beautiful view of the marina in the back,” says Liu.

The open-concept space is also well-lit with LED recessed lighting under the floating shelves and accent lights above the room.

“It was really important that we got really good fixtures,” says Bristol. “The kitchen’s small, but I wanted to make sure that what I had was really high quality.”

While the home had to be more modern, it also had to compliment the Bristols’ Japanese antiques that had been passed down in the family. These pieces can be seen along the walls, showcased on floating shelves or on top of the built-in cabinetry found throughout the home.

“We wanted a contemporary feel that wasn’t over-the-top and still could blend nicely into the setting of this Koko Marina home,” says Liu. “The owner used monkeypod furniture to accent the neutral tone of the renovation.”

Says Bristol: “There’s nothing like coming home and feeling really good about your home and enjoying the beauty of it.”

The couple enjoy having their loved ones over almost every weekend, with all three generations of family coming together. “It’s the best thing,” shares Bristol.

Where to Get It

Appliances: Sub-Zero refrigerator and GE induction cooktop

Backsplash: Lunada Bay Tile in moonstone

Cabinetry: DeWils Fine Cabinetry

Countertops: Silestone in Calacatta gold

Faucet: Brizo, Hansgrohe

Flooring: TruWood custom engineered wood flooring

Lighting: LED recessed lighting and Tresco low-voltage systems

Sink: Kohler

Categories: Kitchen