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Beach Chic

This Kailua home mixes relaxed oceanfront living with a sophisticated style, making it a resort for two.


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As with any oceanfront project, much thought was put into combating, and even making use of, what is actually a harsh environment. A sophisticated air-conditioning system with an electric reheating unit and ultraviolet filters dries out and disinfects the damp, salty air. Copper trim on the house has quickly turned a pleasing blue-green shade—the designers planned ahead and matched some of the interior color scheme to this anticipated change. But some sacrifices were inevitable; the combination of huge picture windows and the constant salt spray blowing up from the beach requires a diligent schedule of window washing, to head off the buildup of scum.

A sophisticated air-conditioning system with an electric reheating unit and ultraviolet filters dries out and disinfects the damp, salty air.

Another unique concern was ergonomics. “My husband is six foot four, and I’m five foot two,” says the wife, “so we’ve learned over the years that we have different body territories.  He feels comfortable with high ceilings. And then we go into another room and we drop the ceiling, because it’s a little more cozy for me. We’ve learned to compromise in terms of things like that.”

The entire project was substantially completed near the end of last year, after more than three years of work. After spending their first Christmas in the house, the owners are happy to report that the finished product is everything they’d hoped for. It’s destined to be a part-time residence for the time being, but could a beach resort for two work as a year-round home?

 “Boy, it would for me,” enthuses the husband. “I’m so comfortable in that house, because it’s so open and relaxed. It’s just inviting.”       


ARCHITECTSPeter Vincent, AIA (principal in charge), Max Guenther, AIA (project designer), Lupe Zarate, Assoc. AIA (project manager), Yvette Ortega-Garrison
LANDSCAPING: Randall Monaghan
CONTRACTOR: Sutton Construction
CUSTOM CONCRETE: Lokahi Stone                  
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Honolulu Magazine December 2017
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