Regional Award Winner KDC 2008-09
Materials that recall native woods and fruits give an Oahu condo Hawaiian punch.
Built on a volcanic crater on the outskirts of Honolulu, Oahu's Punch Bowl neighborhood is home to a businessman who, partially through the cajoling of his boss, decided to update his 1970s condo to reflect a more current taste and lifestyle.
Designers Rick and Tiare Cowan, a brother and sister who both work with Archipelago Hawaii, removed a wall that obstructed the view of the apartment from the front door, which opened up the space and created an entrance that makes a much grander statement. A playful, eclectic look was achieved with a mix of mahogany, cherry, walnut, stainless steel and tropical fruit colors. Porcelain flooring evokes sand, while green granite and glass counters recall ocean waves. Subtle tribal references include drum shades and asymmetrical pulls carefully laid out for an overall symmetry. Carpeted steps replaced with stained walnut treads add to the space's breezy new personality. Rectangles of earthy color on the tall wall behind the dining table keep the eye grounded, not lost in the space, and the slightly retro vibe reflects the owner's passion for vinyl LPs.
As a person who loves to cook on a daily basis — especially fresh fish and vegetables — the client was also eager to upgrade his kitchen equipment and reports that he entertains more than ever in his new open plan kitchen. He even prepares food for his guests — a task made more pleasurable and entertaining with his state-of-the art Wolf induction cooktop. Guests are also welcome to help themselves to wine from the undercounter Sub-Zero wine refrigerator positioned next to the range. "The glass front on the wine storage breaks up the cabinets," observes Cowan. "It's a softening detail and at night you can turn on the interior light for a nice, warm glow.
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