Marina Makeover

Salon Owners Rebuild Spinnaker Isle Waterfront Home from the Ground Up
10-15 Featured Home
Photos: Rae Huo

Marsha and Steve Nadalin, owners of the Marsha Nadalin Salon and Spa at Kahala Mall, have always enjoyed living on the Hawaii Kai Marina. The extensive renovations they made to their Kawaihae Street townhouse made it feel even more like home to their young family of four. But when the lease rent skyrocketed from $13 to $1,200 per month, it was time to move.

The kitchen is designed to offer plenty of storage and marina views.

The Nadalins always wanted to live on Spinnaker Isle, a peninsula within the Hawaii Kai Marina not far from their townhouse. They fell in love with that neighborhood when their eldest daughter often went there for play dates at a friend’s home. When a house went on the market, they boarded their boat and cruised five minutes through the marina to see it during an open house.

Despite its poor condition, the Nadalins made an offer and the house was theirs.

They tore out the wall-to-wall shag carpeting that had receded from the walls and lived on the cement slab floor of the one-story house for about a year before starting renovations. That’s when they discovered the house’s problems ran deeper than repair, with a lot of structural damage by termites.

“We ended up bulldozing the whole house. There was nothing left but the foundation footprint,” Marsha says. “We thought we were buying a house, but we bought property.”

Building from the ground up allowed the Nadalins to lay out and design the house to better fit their lifestyle.

The footprint remains the same, save for the addition of a shower room for rinsing off after a day on the water. After surfing at Turtles, Steve washes off the saltwater from his surfboard.

(left) Steve Nadalin’s college roommate, former colleague at Tropical Clay and dear friend Tom Bailie built the stainless steel cable railing on the stairway, and also on the deck outside. Steve & Marsha’s daughter’s set of drums serve as decorative pieces while she studies music at a California college.(right) The shower room is ideal for rinsing off after a day in the water. Steve Nadalin created the tile wall.

Steve created the shower’s tropical-inspired tile wall himself, as well as many other fixtures, furnishings and details throughout the house. He is the former owner of Tropical Clay, a handwrought pottery and ceramic design company. His work stretches beyond the house and into the entry of the neighborhood; he also created the “Spinnaker Isle” sign that greets neighbors and visitors to the peninsula.

Similar to other houses on Spinnaker Isle, the gated entry from the driveway leads to a courtyard, a transition into the main house. When they bought the house, the courtyard was dirt and gravel with a hole in the ground where a hot tub had been. Now, the courtyard has been revitalized into a refreshing pool with a waterfall.

“It’s definitely a great setting for unwinding,” Marsha says. “It’s so soothing. It’s fun to sit out there, too.”

A walk past the private pool leads to the front entrance of the home. The double doors open to the living room, its open floor plan connecting to the kitchen and dining room — a stark departure from the original house, which had walls dividing those rooms.

“It would be silly to not be able to see this water view from the dining room table,” Marsha says.

She and Steve enjoy the home’s open, airy feeling. The ceiling above the living room is lofted, the “catwalk” above connecting Steve’s office and the master bath to the master bedroom.

On either side of the bedroom, Steve and Marsha have a lanai overlooking the courtyard pool, mauka, and the marina, makai. Views aside, the sliding glass doors on each lanai can open to help the trades flow gracefully through the bedroom.

“I wanted to make sure we captured the trade winds for natural cooling,” Steve says.

When the Nadalins bought the house, the courtyard was full of dirt and gravel. Today, it’s one of Marsha’s favorite places to unwind after a day at the salon.

The house is not air conditioned, except in Steve’s office, where he remotely handles much of the behind-the-scenes business of Marsha Nadalin Salon and Spa.

When they aren’t working, Marsha and Steve spend much of their time outside on the deck, which was recently reframed with material from Hardware Hawaii. The new deck is made of ipe wood, designed to withstand the elements.

“The deck has always been a favorite feature, but especially now since we’ve upgraded it,” Marsha says. When they first built the house 14 years ago, the deck had a wooden fence partially obstructing the view of the water. “Now we have cables, which don’t block the view at all. The deck is one of my favorite places.”

The Nadalins upgraded their deck this year with pinewood flooring and cable-wire fencing for a clearer view of the marina. Most days off from the salon are spent outside on the deck, or on the water.

The deck spans the width of the house, giving the Nadalins two areas for dining. Its panoramic view of the marina makes the deck ideal for entertaining, such as during their annual party for the Festival of Lights boat parade.

“It’s a perfect place to view it,” Marsha says. “It’s really fun.”

Categories: Featured Homes, New Builds