Paradise is Found in this Hawaii Island Home

Years in the making, this Hawaii Island property with sweeping ocean views is finally complete.
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Photos: Star Fruit Studio

Nestled in the remote and rural neighborhood of Kukuihaele on Hawaii Island, this charming property with remarkable views of Waipio Valley and the Pacific Ocean provides a blissful life for the couple who own it today. 

“We love the location — a quiet, peaceful neighborhood with excellent climate, great people, and easy access to hiking, biking and paddling,” shares the homeowner. “The existing home was well constructed, and we thought it would be relatively easy to adapt it to our specific needs.” 

The homeowners sought to improve not only the usability of the home, but also the maintainability of the land. The tricky part, however, was that although the property was expansive — more than 3 acres — parts of the land were too steep or narrow to access via tractor or other vehicles. 

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The main house’s lanai was extended with ipe decking from HPM Building Supply, which is resistant to rot, insects and weather, making it ideal for Hawaii’s climate, shares Randy Ring of Redwater Construction. It wraps around the makai-facing side of the house.

Through recommendations, the homeowners enlisted the help of Paige Wilburn Architect for architectural services and initial project planning and Redwater Construction as their general contractor. Redwater Construction also connected them to the necessary subcontractors for the project. 

“The most spectacular thing about it is you come down a narrow driveway and through the trees, and the property opens up to you and it reveals jaw-dropping views,” says Paige Wilburn. 

The project ultimately took four years to complete. “We divided the project into different phases for our own convenience so that we could continue living and working here the entire time,” shares the homeowner. This also allowed them time to adjust the design as they went along. 

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The enclosed basement, which has glass roll-up garage doors, is used as a workshop and storage area. There’s an open bay at each end that houses an outdoor gym and a covered parking area for agricultural equipment.

It all started with the basement. “Most people mistakenly assume that we bought this property for its astonishing view, but the thing that I lusted most for was the basement,” says the homeowner. “With CMU walls, steel joists, 220-volt power and a 10-inch ceiling height, it was perfect for a workshop.” The big problem was that the makai side was completely open, allowing the ocean air to corrode supplies and tools. This was resolved by enclosing the majority of the space and installing glass roll-up garage doors, which allows for natural light to flow in but keeps salty air out. 

Because the house and garage roofs have limited south-facing exposure, it was decided that ground-mount solar would be ideal. A solar panel array system and UV treatment system for the water catchment was installed and constructed 200 feet away from the house so as not to obstruct the view, shares the homeowner.  

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The additional farm dwelling is based on HPM Homes’ Pilikai model and has a front porch and grand staircase, reminiscent of plantation-era homes in the area, according to the homeowner.

Before renovations began on the main house, an additional farm dwelling needed to be built. The structure is based on HPM Homes’ Pilikai model for its plantation-style look and post and pier foundation, shares Randy Ring of Redwater Construction. 

It also allows for customization. The homeowners personalized it by changing an interior wall location and the overall ceiling height, supplying their own floors and fixtures, and using a local cabinet maker for the kitchen. Ring describes it as an “industrial cottage” look and feel. 

“The homeowners and the contractor were a pleasure to work with, and we were able to transform plans on paper to an inviting home with a spectacular view,” says Alicia Paglinawan of HPM Building Supply. 

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The interior of the 500-square-foot additional farm dwelling features Chicago brick flooring from Tile Warehouse and tongue-and-groove paneling on the walls.

The additional farm dwelling requires a separate water source from the main home, so there’s a rainwater catchment system that uses a 10,000-gallon reinforced concrete holding tank built by Pacific Gunite. There’s also an attached shed on the west side of the dwelling that houses inverters for the solar PV system and pump and water treatment hardware. 

The overall property has three sections — upper pasture, lower pasture and two dwellings — along with fruit trees, raised garden beds, the rainwater collection tanks and a utility shed. 

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The main house kitchen was designed in a neutral color palette and for ease of use. It features open shelving and custom lower cabinets by Jay’s Custom Cabinets, Dekton countertops, stainless steel appliances, a Sub-Zero refrigerator and a small island with a cutting board top.

The final step was to renovate the main house. Everything from the doors and windows to the cabinets, fixtures and floors were removed. The changes significantly altered the home’s feel and function: There’s “a more spacious entry, open and inviting kitchen, more usable bathrooms, a new mudroom and more than twice the amount of closet, pantry and storage space,” says the homeowner.  

The couple describe the home as a modern farmhouse. It’s functional and relatively minimalistic, crafted with solid construction and low-maintenance materials and has a warm, rustic feel, shares the homeowner. Many general construction materials and supplies were sourced from HPM Building Supply, such as the Western Window Systems and Feeney CableRail system, which allows the homeowners to enjoy their view with minimal obstruction. 

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The main house bathroom was redesigned by Paige Wilburn Architect to allow the homeowners to have enough room for a Japanese soaking tub from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery.

“It is not one of those homes that you see in Kukio or Hualalai that exudes wealth, but more of an island elegance that speaks of comfort, beauty and grace,” shares Ring. 

The couple love everything about their property, especially the lanai. From there, the homeowner says, looking out at the ocean is “an exceptionally peaceful and inspiring experience.”  

Categories: Featured Homes, Renovations