A Modern Residence Flourishes with High-End Amenities and Design

Island home on a grand scale.
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Photo: Olivier Koning, Courtesy of Bella Pietra Design

For homeowners Tony Migura and Blair Boone-Migura, their modern residence was a long time coming. The couple had searched high and low for the right place to call home until they decided that the best way to achieve their dream house was to create one from scratch on an empty lot by the ocean.  

“The idea was to bring a little New York to the Islands,” shares Migura, and they needed a team that could design and build their vision of a modern island home. They enlisted the help of architect Jim Schmit after admiring his work on Bali Lofts in Hawaii Kai and a home on Farmers Road in Kahala, as well as Chris Johnson, the builder on both projects.   

However, before team members could start constructing on the proposed land, which was originally one lot split into three, they had to clear some hurdles. Among them, they had to ensure that the home would adhere to FEMA flood zone requirements. “Due to FEMA requirements, (it was) built on post and pier elevation,” says Johnson. And “it had to have a secondary concrete foundation to improve water flow in the house.” The team worked with a civil engineer to ensure it was all up to code.  

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Beside the Viewrail floating staircase is a glass enclosure that houses a wine cellar, separating the stairway from the living space.

After dealing with permits and planning for 14 months, the team was able to begin building. The end result is breathtaking: A two-story, window-filled home that beautifully captures the view and encourages entertaining with indoor-outdoor living spaces. 

“We named our house ‘Villa Emilie’ after both our grandmothers who were named Emilie,” shares Migura. “Our grandmothers were such a big part of our lives and after they both passed we wanted to honor their memories.” 

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A Panda White Marble Slab from Bella Pietra Design evokes grace and provides a striking statement when you walk through the door. Around the corner, a fireplace brings life to the living room.

A small set of semi-floating stairs out front leads you to an 8-foot pivot door, the main entrance into the home. Once inside, an accent wall of book-matched Panda White Marble Slab from Bella Pietra Design, which provided the majority of the stone and tile for the home, grabs your attention. 

“The homeowners wanted something very sleek, modern and one of a kind. They have homes in New York and you can really see that reflected in their design, sophisticated style,” shares Meagan Jensen of Bella Pietra Design. “Also they wanted to create distinct moments of wow factor, which we think they achieved all throughout this beautiful home.” 

Around the corner is the main living room with a 21-foot-high ceiling. Behind the accent wall is a TV and on the opposite side of the room is a gas fireplace, both clad in black Neolith from Pacific American Lumber. These elements set a warm, inviting tone for the entire space.  

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There are dark gray, white and wood tones in the kitchen through the cabinetry, counters and appliances, some of which, like the fridge, are wood-paneled to blend in.

Next to the living area is the piano room that’s climate controlled to maintain the proper temperature for the piano, which sits on a turntable. This allows the homeowners to look out at the ocean while they practice and into the living room when entertaining guests.  

Sliding glass doors surround the entire space, allowing full access to the outdoors. “Everything has a circular flow,” shares Schmit.  

Situated between the living area and kitchen is a dining room that offers its own indoor-outdoor experience. There, a sunshade can be lowered to keep the elements out or raised to bring them in.  

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The kitchen expands to the outdoors in numerous ways, from the countertop that’s seamlessly extended, to a wide open window and sliding glass doors.

The kitchen itself is cozy and connected, thanks to the lowered ceiling and medley of dark gray, white and wood tones. The space is equipped with appliances from the Dacor Modernist Collection from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery and clean European cabinetry. “Architecturally, it has a nice contrast and gives a beautiful appearance and details,” says Johnson. 

The kitchen island features a Dekton countertop in opera, part of the Natural Collection, that the homeowners love for its design and durability. The surrounding countertop extends outside, connecting the kitchen to the outdoor lanai. Through sliding glass doors, guests can mingle and enjoy the outdoor space complete with an L-shaped cabinet on the wall, barbecue, bar and lush living wall by 1st Look Exteriors. 

For added entertainment, a TV drops down from the ceiling and pivots to the lanai if needed. The home has three other TVs just like it: one in the pool house on the first level and two in the master bedrooms on the second level. 

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Rob Billingsley of Designing with Light was in charge of the lighting design for the home, utilizing fixtures found at Lighting Elegance. 

The Viewrail floating staircase leading to the second floor features individual planks that cantilever off a single steel spine, shares Schmit, and each step is topped with stone. Right off the stairs is a lounge space with glass railings where people can look down at the living area. 

Three bedrooms are upstairs — one master bedroom, one master guest bedroom and a standard guest bedroom — along with an office, media room and laundry area.  

The master bedroom displays the same marble slab as the entryway, creating a showstopping focal point for the room. A walk-in closet can be accessed from either side of the bed and an en suite bath is equipped with a sleek shower and soaking tub for a spa-like feel. The walls are fully marbled and the room is equipped with accent lighting in the ceiling. 

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The master bedroom is an oasis with marble stonework, motorized blinds that stay hidden unless needed, an accessible walk-in closet and en suite bath.

The master guest bedroom has a stunning stone on display as well: Artistic Tile’s Zephyr Nero, which was the winner of Interior Design’s 2019 Best of Year Award. “It combines many techniques, including hand carving as well as combining material with marble and brass liner,” shares Jensen.  

The stones in the bedrooms are meant to complement the scenery, adds Boone-Migura, with the master bedroom facing the ocean and the master guest bedroom facing the mountains. 

The guest bedroom also has rooftop access, where the homeowners or their guests can step out to enjoy the view while sipping their morning coffee. “It has one of the nicest views,” gushes Boone-Migura. 

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Artistic Tile’s Zephyr Nero is on display in the master guest bedroom, creating a dark and earthy feel in the space.

Outside is the pool house, which serves as a private guest suite, and a 72-foot-long lap pool with a Baja shelf built by Johnson and his team. The landscaping was done by 1st Look Exteriors. 

The exterior of the house features a mix of black Neolith, metal panels in metallic colors and for the rooms that recess out, wood-look siding from Rinell Wood Systems. 

Similar to the piano room, the garage required a turntable due to tight access. The homeowners drive straight into the garage; when it’s time to leave again, the turntable turns the car around for easy exit. 

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The showers are clean and elegant, from the glass and mirrors done by Reflections Glass and black hexagonal tile to the rain showerheads and matte black fixtures, which are echoed throughout the home. 

The homeowners say they enjoyed putting the pieces of their house together. “I love everything about it,” says Migura. “I know I had to make adjustments and changes (but) it turned out better than I envisioned. It’s our sanctuary and I look forward to hosting friends and family.” 

Shares Jensen: “The homeowners love to entertain and they built an entertainer’s dream house. I know that they also are very involved in the music world and you can see that in their house as well as their love of travel.” 


Project Team and Materials

Architect: Jim Schmit 

Builder: Chris Johnson 

Kitchen stonework and bathroom vanities: ROK Construction Inc. 

Landscaping and living wall: 1st Look Exteriors 

Lighting design: Designing with Light 

Lighting fixtures: Lighting Elegance 

Smart home automation system: MDH Automation 

Solar and AC: RevoluSun 

Stone and tile supplier: Bella Pietra Design 


Categories: Featured Homes