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Editor’s Page: Hit Refresh

What projects can we really do?


Robbie Dingeman

There’s something about the month of May that inspires us. We plan projects, dream up vacations and take time to figure out what’s next. My guess is that the fifth month of the year reminds us that time is passing, but it’s also the sweet spot when we still have time to tackle a project or try something new.


That spirit of opportunity threads through some diverse stories in this issue. Our cover story, “Elevate Your Space,” delves into ways to improve our homes and apartments. The more we talked about this story idea, the more we realized there’s a little do-it-yourselfer hidden in most of us. And we learned that a surprising number of us are fascinated by those HGTV Fixer Upper fantasies. (If only we could bring those Texas prices to Honolulu.) You can see if our staff dream home-improvement projects look like yours in the magazine. 


Associate editor Katrina Valcourt and contributing editor James Charisma found there’s a whole range of things all of us can do to fix up our homes. It’s an interesting mix of fun and practical ideas, from budget D.I.Y. to hiring a pricey (but worth it) pro. There are more-bang-for-your buck tips for multigenerational living, often a best case for Island living in these expensive times. And we’ve got plenty of wow factor from talking to experts about the possibilities. Senior fashion editor Stacey Makiya kicks it up a notch with some stylish ways to refresh your home, whether you’re after a coastal vibe, vintage or, better yet, some eclectic mix of the two. She scoured stores across the island to find something guaranteed to work for any home.


The more we talked about this story idea, the more we realized there’s a little do-it-yourselfer hidden in most of us.


Personally, reading these tips got me (finally!) to the hardware store to pick out a color for that accent wall I’ve been contemplating for ages. And to also excavate long-ignored corners of our place for items to give away, throw away or use more often. Reading through the horror stories that can happen when we don’t take every precaution on a project made me recall some of our own stressful projects. Years ago, when family building issues dragged on for months, my workmates at the newspaper regularly commiserated about the perils and pitfalls of homebuilding. When the project limped to a close, I remember trudging back to my colleagues complaining that it felt like we’d never be done. And that’s when the wiser among them promptly confirmed: That’s right, you’re never done. Because, once you finish something, you find other things have been wearing out, breaking or just sitting there waiting for you. After talking to experts, we think the best advice is tackle your priority projects with the budget you’ve got now.


Chase Nomura

Chase Nomura, Hawaiian activist.
Photo: Aaron Yoshino


We’re pleased to welcome writer Ikaika Ramones back to our pages with a thoughtful piece on how this next generation of Hawaiian activists is reshaping what advocacy looks like. Ikaika came to us as our summer intern in 2015. Since then, he’s graduated from Harvard University and returned to the Islands and we are happy to have the chance to work together again.


And we couldn’t resist a chance to find out what it’s like behind the wheel for an Uber driver. We asked Colby Lawton, our summer intern from last year, to give us the scoop on the surprising aspects of this increasingly popular means of transportation.


We also asked one of our favorite food writers to head out to the country for a grown-up kind of field trip. Mari Taketa shares her tasty escape to two newish seaside restaurants: Roy’s Beach House at Turtle Bay and Fish House at Four Seasons Resort. Turns out it was a bit like driving to the Neighbor Islands.


Here’s to finding the right mix of projects and road trips.


Thoughts about the magazine? Please email me at robbied@honolulumagazine.com.




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Honolulu Magazine April 2019
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