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Island Chic

Art doesn’t always have to hang on a wall or sit on a shelf. It can tell time, block the afternoon sun, keep you warm or serve pupu for a party. Meet 10 Island artisans who create stunning, functional pieces for the home.


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Kaypee Soh

Somace Lifestyle, pillows and upholstery

Photo: Olivier Koning

One look at Kaypee Soh’s pillows and you’ll spot his background in fashion. “It’s artwork first,” says Soh, who has done fashion campaigns for L’Oréal USA, Stella McCartney and other designers. “I design individual pillows. I don’t create yards and yards of material and then [mass] produce them.” Soh’s fabric designs—contemporary Pacific and tropical— are printed in Washington, four to 20 at a time, and sewn locally by a seamstress. The feather and down pillows, $120 each, have two sides, with two unique but complementary designs, and Soh’s signature is a red zipper hidden on one of the pillow’s sides. Soh’s foray into home décor resulted in So’mace Lifestyle storefront in 2004, a combination of his and the company’s managing director, Edward Macey’s, names. So’mace is also eco-friendly, using fabric from natural and organic fibers and dying them with natural inks.

In addition to his colorful nature-inspired pillows, Soh also creates upholstery designs for lampshades and chairs (chairs starting at $1,428), which are then handcrafted in California. He hopes to one day produce them locally. He also puts his photography skills to work to create art for the home with printed and canvas plant-life photos. Soh and Macey liken their design philosophy to that of a woman accessorizing her little black dress; the wall art is like jewelry and the pillows are like a handbag. 1115 Young St., 593-8780, www.somacedesign.com.


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Honolulu Magazine March 2018
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