House: 2 Bedrooms, 1
bath, 1,700 SF
Garage: 700 SF
Kawela, Moloka'i, home was constructed on Kanoa Pond, an ancient Hawaiian fishpond that is
a State and Federal Historic site. The owners wanted to create a home that would connect
the house to it's location and history, and that would be reminiscent of times past. In
doing so, the steep-pitched roof of the traditional Hawaiian grass hale (house) was
up-dated to six-sides, and the mountains, the ocean and ancient fishpond beyond were
visually connected through a central closed-in lanai. Three pods, each representative of
an ancient hale, join together as a small village.
The owners refer to their home as Pu'uhala - hala hill - the
traditional Hawaiian name for the location. Ancient Hawaiians wove lauhala (leaves of the
pandanus tree) into household items, such as the floor mat in the lanai. Connecting living
space to the 'aina, or land, is a key element in kama'aina (child of the land) homes.
At the entry Brazilian koa
hardwood floors welcome the Hawaiian custom of removing shoes before entering a home.
Beadboard ply clads the lanai and the other hale walls. The south-facing eight-foot high
sliding doors open to a velvety green lawn and a sand dune restored with endangered native
Hawaiian plant species. Milgard double-glazed double-hung vinyl windows are period trimmed
with wood hand-milled on the jobsite. Fully insulated against the typically intense Kawela
heat, air moves through a 3-foot space between a false ceiling and the roof to naturally
cool the structure: Tradewinds enter through vents under the eaves forcing hot air out
ridge vents. Ceiling fans circulate air on the occasional windless day. The interior
colors of muted yellow and a sage green are distinctively 1930s. Casual vintage rattan
furnishings create an instant familiarity. The kanoa (awa bowl) atop a table discarded by
a patient at Kalaupapa, subliminally reflects the Kanoa Pond location.
open-topped shower area is the focal point of the bedroom hale, framed with Walker-Zanger
1930s-style porcelain tiles and crown molding: A 1890s food safe stores towels. Satiny
yellow marble covers the bathroom floor, highlighted with a yellow Kohler sink and toilet.
Unsightly counter outlets are cleverly hidden, allowing clean lines for the quartzite.
The kitchen hale features
counters and a farm sink in gray quartzite with green and yellow veins. Fabricated on the
jobsite, it took six men to carry and set the sink. Solid maple Wood Mode cabinets with a
distressed dark green finish compliment Pacific Crest solid cherry cabinets in a custom
stain. Matching Wood Mode doors face a 48" Viking refrigerator. Large pots for pasta
are filled from the spout above the stove with water from a reverse osmosis system in the
Mauka waterfalls are viewed from the prep kitchen in which a 1939
porcelain sink is jokingly named "Hana Girl," or work girl: She is dressed in a
vintage barkcloth 'mini skirt' and stands on custom-turned solid maple legs with 'stiletto
heels.' The coffee center features four grinders, a drip appliance, and a LaPavoni
espresso machine. A washer and dryer neatly tuck under-counter. Shelves are playfully
supported with two 1970s tiki totems salvaged from a thrift shop. Stainless steel
RangeCraft hood, Jenn-Air dishwasher, and Dynamic Cooking System propane stove add a touch
of modern to the kitchen - the overall look is as if the home was constructed in the 1880s
and remodeled several times over a span of a hundred-and-twenty-five years.