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His House/Her House

We know men and women’s tastes can differ on home furnishings and décor. So this month, we sent a pair of writers into Honolulu’s showrooms to find out what would catch their eye.



Man cannot live by TV alone. But he cannot live without TV at all. This pick may provoke feminine eye-rolling, but, ladies, just imagine how much more immersive chick flicks would be on a big-screen, high-definition set. Just think of the warm waves of digitally perfect bathos pouring off of that screen. See? Everybody wins. Sony XBR WEGA 42-inch widescreen flat panel plasma with built-in, high-definition tuner, $7,999.99, Circuit City.

From Archie Bunker to Capt. Kirk to Martin Crane, the man of the house always has a distinctive, dedicated chair. His chair could be this chair, a comfortable, casual take on the overstuffed club chair. Tahoe chair and ottoman, $2,895, Interior Accents.

Did you guys see Lost in Translation yet? Man, forget the cinematography-that Scarlett Johansson was hot! Bob, did you want an olive or a twist in this martini? Topaz steel and glass bar table, $1,995, Inspiration Furnitures.


He may worship at the big-screen TV, but she prefers staring at something with a bit more spiritual essence. Ommmm! Mandalay-style standing buddha, price on request, Baik Designs.

This lamp has such a swinging, 1960s, bachelorette feel. Its circular shapes will echo the sofa set's curves perfectly-and it's a steal in terms of price. Capice hanging lamp, $39.50, SoHa.

Swoon! A red velvet sofa set, which comes with a matching glass coffee table, screams feminine and swanky. It's perfect for drinking apple martinis and watching Sex and the City reruns. Cartier chaise set, $2,997, Z Home.



It looks like two fans in one, but it’s really three. Not only do the two fans at the end of that arm spin, but the whole assembly they’re attached to spins around, too. Cool! Plus, it’s retro to at least two different decades, like Sam Spade meets Tom Swift Jr. This fan has been made the same way in Brazil since 1965. Brazilian ceiling fan imported by Matthew’s Fan Co., $1,225, Aurora Illumination.

The only thing wrong with this appliance is that it isn’t quite big enough to deep-fry a turkey. Otherwise, Italian pedigree, nice lines, an element of danger involving boiling oil—what’s not for a guy to dig? DeLonghi dual-zone deep fryer, $120.50, Executive Chef.

Call it Crouching Steamer, Hidden Dishwasher. This Asian-inspired kitchen boasts an armory of Gaggenau and Sub-Zero appliances and endlessly ingenious storage, encased in glass, Wenge wood, aluminum, steel, slate and soapstone, that all manages to look both natural and precisely engineered. There is no more dignified an environment for a man to stand in his underwear, stare into an open refrigerator and yell, “Honey, is there anything to eat?” Contemporary Asian Kitchen, Studio Becker.

Yeah, I hammered these out myself. Little weekend blacksmithing project. What? My anvil? Oh it’s, uh, in the shop right now. I’ll show it to you next week. Blackened Siam silverware, $22 for a five-piece set, SoHa.


What time is it? It’s always margarita time with this cute cocktail clock. It’s got a sort of 1950s’ Googie architecture feel about it, and the color is refreshing. Salt, or no? Margarita clock, $32.50, Executive Chef.

The twists and turns on these utensils add an almost Renaissance solidity. There’s something both classic and hip about them.
Kosami five-piece setting, $23, SoHa.

Vroom! Ten speeds, a 525-watt motor, a hinged hub, burnished beaters, a pouring shield and a bowl lift. If you can’t cook with this machine, you can probably ride it around Waikiki. KitchenAid Professional Six-quart Stand Mixer, $369.98, Macy’s.

This custom-built kitchen is so welcoming and warm; it’s perfect for hanging out with friends and family while prepping a Gourmet-worthy meal. The woodwork is solid cherry, stained in the color “Lynwood.” Mission-style design, prices range by custom order, Kitchen Concepts Plus Inc.



Japanese-style simplicity and a dark, almost black, finish, turn this simple platform bed into a design statement. That statement is, No flowery sheets! None! Forget it! Edo bed, $917 in King size, Z Home.

Sometimes, you gotta mix-and-match. This dresser comes from the same store as the Edo bed, but from a different line. It’s geometrical, architectural, all dark wood and right angles. This piece looks strong, a Fort Knox for socks. Bancroft highboy, $867, Z Home.

If you had had a lamp like this when you were in college, that art major you tried to date would’ve been impressed. “This lamp juxtaposes solidity with transparency, while celebrating a modernist textural honesty,” she’d have said. “Your love for it reveals an intellectual playfulness I find stimulating. Now, let’s turn that thing out, shall we?” Rectangular rattan lamp, $97, SoHa.

You know how when you travel, the nice hotels have those really sturdy sheets, almost stiff, and those layers of blankets and covers, and those great towels, and you think, Huh, I wish I could get this stuff at home? Now you can. Room service not included. Hotel Collection “Wide Stripe” sheets and bedding, queen-size collection $1,450, Macy’s.


Mmm, sexy and exotic—never bad qualities to have in a bedroom. This antique, teak, canopied wedding bed is from Bojonegoro, Java.
Four-poster bed, price on request, Baik Designs.

Reading before going to sleep is a peaceful daily ritual. Why not have a little fun with a hula lamp? It’s kind of like a drink with an umbrella
—fun, tropical and lighthearted. Hula Lamp, $410, Interior Accents.

You can never have too much storage space—especially for all those extra pillows women love heaping onto the bed. This one is a classic style in pine, with brass handles, made in Indonesia.
Mercer trunk, $300, Pier 1 Imports.



This faucet goes its own way. No taps, no conventional lever. Instead, it has—a joystick! When you tip that joystick over, you get a wide, frothy ribbon of water out of the faucet, not the conventional stream. It also happens to be an immaculately finished piece of metalwork; industrial, but sleek. Glance single-lever lavatory set by Jado, $500, Fiddler’s Decorative Plumbing & Hardware.

Sure, you see glass shelves in bathrooms all the time, but not like this: a solid, two-foot-long chunk of beveled Italian glass with four 60-watt xenon bulbs built right into it. Dude, you’ll look askance at any other sconce once you see this. JEF Lighting, $735, Aurora Illumination.

Imagine that you personally found the lost city of Troy and dug up a heavy, bronze bowl, handcrafted by the smiths of old. Then you made it into a sink. It would look a little something like this.
Liberum bronze above-counter basin by Porcher (pronounced por-SHAY), $2,395, Fiddler’s Decorative Plumbing & Hardware.


Sexy, comfortable and machine washable? Pinch me. A jacquard silk robe slides over the body so lusciously, one may give up wearing any other type of clothing entirely. And it folds down into a tiny travel sack, making it ideal to pack for trips.
Dreamsacks robe, $89, Fine Linens & Furnishings.

Men will dry off using any old thing—yesterday’s tube sock, ancient bathmat—but a lady likes a nice, plush, less-than-10-year-old towel. These Egyptian cotton towels are embroidered with tropical foliage. The guest towels are 100-percent linen.
Anali towels, $17-$50, Fine Linens & Furnishings.

A warm, tropical rainstorm washing away the day’s tensions … what could be better? This “raindome” style brings one of my favorite spa experiences home. 12-inch skirted shower head, $350, Fiddler’s Decorative Plumbing & Hardware.

Tips for Getting It All Together

Couples promise to honor each other in sickness and in health, but when it comes to design, all bets are off. You hate the recliner. Or maybe, like Oscar Wilde on his deathbed, one of you has declared, “either that wallpaper goes or I do.” We asked a few experts on tips for navigating the rough seas of cohabitation decoration.

Write a wish list
“When two people try to merge their tastes, they may fight about who gets their wishes,” points out Judy Dawson, a certified kitchen designer. “If each person writes a wish list, I can then take the two lists and incorporate some of the ideas of both.”

Go multiple
Elton Ericson, a senior lighting consultant with Aurora Illumination, says couples visiting his showroom regularly disagree on lighting fixtures. Often, the pair may be hung up over a single major fixture, hoping it will be bright enough to light a whole room. The solution may be liberating in more ways than one. “It’s best to put a lot of little lights into a space, rather than just one bright thing in the middle,” says Ericson. More fixtures mean more choices, and more chances for each person to make their mark on a space.
“Flip through magazines that show homes and tag things that you like,” suggests interior designer Valtra Jansen. “Write on a sticky note what you liked about the photo. It helps to give a sense of where your aesthetic lies.”

Be open minded
“It’s often a question of color tone and intensity, not shade,” explains Dawson. “For example, I just did a bachelor’s kitchen and used black, cream and a wall accent of purple. I had to talk him into it, but then he wound up absolutely loving it. People don’t always know what they want, but they do know what they hate.”

Give in
According to Steve Pak, vice president of American Cabinetry, Inc., “Most of the time, someone yields. A lot of times, the guy says, ‘well, I want my wife to be happy.’”

His House Her House Shopping Details
Aurora Illumination
Gentry Pacific Design Center 560 N. Nimitz Highway
Suite 110

Baik Designs
Gentry Pacific Design Center 560 N. Nimitz Highway
Suite 108B

Circuit City
98-145 Kaonohi St.

Details International
Gentry Pacific Design Center
560 N. Nimitz Highway
Suite 104

Executive Chef
Ward Warehouse
1050 Ala Moana Blvd.

Fiddler’s Decorative Plumbing & Hardware
330 Kamani St.

Fine Linens & Furnishings
614 Cooke St., Suite 201

Inspiration Furnitures
98-1005 Moanalua Road

Interior Accents
Gentry Pacific Design Center
560 N. Nimitz Highway
Suite 107A

Kitchen Concepts Plus Inc.
Gentry Pacific Design Center
560 N. Nimitz Highway
Suite 202

Multiple locations on O‘ahu. Visit the Web site for a store locator and enter your ZIP code for the nearest store location.

Pier 1 Imports
1108 Auahi St.

455 Keawe St.
1200 Ala Moana Blvd., Building #1

Studio Becker Kitchens
Gentry Pacific Design Center
560 N. Nimitz Highway
Suite 121A

Z Home
935 Queen St.

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Honolulu Magazine June 2019
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