Kukio Residence is a tropical getaway overlooking the breathtaking lava-rock strewn Kona Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii. A real estate developer from Eugene, Oregon originally built the house along with Maryl Pacific Construction, with the intention of selling it off, but he and his wife ended up falling in love with the spot and decided to keep it for themselves. Before moving to the sprawling, fully furnished property, consisting of 4,000 square feet of living space, with one-bedroom main house and tow two-bedroom guest houses each at 1,800 square feet, they wanted to swap out the furnishings and redesign the interiors to reflect their personal design aesthetics.
They contracted California-based designer Jacques Saint Dizier, who has helped the couple with the interiors of their other properties. The designer set forth on revamping the home from floor-to-ceiling, including the furnishing and even curated an impressive Hawaiian art collection. Using the ocean to inspire his design, he first brought in lavish mother-of-pearl walls and built out from there. The design style reflected the owner’s personalities, casual yet glamorous. The designer used a lot of copper accents throughout the house to play off the stone floor and wood tones. Then he added scoops of blue to correspond with the natural greens hues from the outdoors. He used rough, primitive pieces such as the coffee table to counterbalance with the clean aesthetic of the wood cabinets and clean architectural lines.
The swim-up bar entices guests to spend the entire day in the pool. The area is surrounded by lava formations that, by law, are not allowed to be touched. Incorporating those into the landscape became important to the view.
The living room featured a continental hutch from 1895 that mimics some early Hawaiian antique pieces. Modern furniture was mixed with local art to give this tropical retreat a glamorous comfort. The chairs were chosen for their high backs to create the feeling of an intimate space.
Open to the gardens on one side and the ocean on the other, it’s hard to find a less than stunning view from the Media Room chairs. Though the living, dining and media spaces are all connected, the designer used furniture pieces and a smart layout scheme to make each area feel intimate.
The designer wished to bounce light off the table so it shines upward on guests’ faces. An old trick, it helps to get rid of dark shadows underneath people’s eyes, making everyone look beautiful. The table has a bronze copper-finished lazy Susan in the center.
The corner game table is often used for breakfast and reading the morning paper. It’s views of the Pacific are unobstructed.
Ebonized wood creates a wonderful contrast to the shimmering Mother of Pearl paneled walls in this Bedroom. Vintage lamps with custom shades give it a playful touch.
The garden becomes a part of this tropical Guest Room. The walls are covered in woven fiber.
Tropical gardens surround the Master Bedroom with it’s mother of pearl paneled walls.
The designer found this painting in someone’s garage in Bali, covered in dirt and ripped. “I could only see the woman’s face, and I was so charmed by it. I had to restore it.”
The Master Bath opens to a lush tropical garden. A copper soaking tub sits on black ili ili stones, which conceal a drain, so the need for an overflow valve is obsolete. It is the central visual feature and also a great place to relax and enjoy the sweet Hawaiian breeze.
Guest House Entry with a wood trunk bench carved in Bali.
The simple, almost primitive entry gate belies the glamour of the expansive estate that lies behind it, allowing the house and its views to unfold in a restrained progression.
Photos: Mary E. Nichols
Villa Kishti is a meditative, Balinese-inspired private retreat in Anguilla, British West Indies, designed by Toronto architect Frank Alfred Hamilton, who spent four years on the project (2005-2009). The residence challenges traditional notions of shelter and nature as separate domains, with interior and exterior blurred in a seamless interplay of interior design, architecture and landscape design.
Villa Kishti’s tripartite design is composed of a central hub, master suite and three self-contained villas, arranged in fan-like plan. The central hub contains the principal gathering spaces of the residence – the living-dining area and kitchen – which flow into each other in a unified palette of natural materials, tones and textures. Spaces are uncluttered and carefully calibrated to enhance site lines. The living-dining area is detailed with custom furnishings and edited accessories while the kitchen is fitted with custom millwork and integrated Corian counters and backsplash. Toronto-based interior design firm Cecconi Simone Inc. was hired by the client for the selection of furnishings, finishes and fixtures.
The master suite, accessed internally from the living-dining area, contains a sleep area, lounge with outdoor terrace and en-suite with indoor and outdoor showers. The suite is appointed with custom millwork, custom furnishings and subtle Balinese accents.
Across the central hub from the master suite, each of the three self-contained villas encompasses a lounge area with outdoor deck, kitchenette, powder room and master bedroom with en-suite. Custom furnishings, custom millwork, finishes and accessories harmonize with the subdued, contemporary, Balinese-influenced expression of the rest of the residence.
This fabulous two-story beach house on Tybee Island in Savannah, Georgia was designed from the ground up by designer Joel Snayd of Rethink Design Studio. The first floor living space was designed as an open concept, which allows ample space for large family gatherings. Old recycled beams were incorporated into the design scheme to add visual interest and create natural divisions between the living, kitchen and dining room spaces. The crisp white butt joint paneling was offset using the cool gray slate tile below foot. The stairs and cabinets were painted a soft gray, roughly two shades lighter than the floor, and then topped off with a Carerra honed marble. Apple red stools, corky art, and fun colored bowls add a bit of whimsy and fun.
The second story features a sleeping loft, separated from the rest of the upstairs by white flowing curtains. Built in beds are adorned with a nautical reading light and built-in hideaway niches. The space is light and airy with painted gray floors, all white walls, old rustic beams and headers, wood paneling, tongue and groove ceilings, dormers, vintage rattan furniture, mid-century painted pieces, and a cool hangout spot for the kids. The rest of the bedroom and bathroom spaces are punctuated with bright bursts of color that gives an extra punch to the otherwise white interiors.
This magnificent island-inspired custom home, Hualalai Estate, features elegant living space with 4 bedrooms, each complete with garden outdoor shower lanais, as well as a fifth bedroom in an intimate guest house. Situated on a unique lot above the second fairway on the renowned Hualalai Ke’olu Golf Course, this masterfully-designed 6,300 square foot home enjoys unobstructed golf course, ocean and island views on the Big Island of Hawaii. Inside, the gourmet restaurant- style kitchen features dramatic custom mahogany cabinetry along with extensive integrated appliances.
A cornerless door system helps capture spectacular views in both the great room and master bedroom and brings the outside island world indoors. As the doors open and recede into the walls, the beauty of the Hawaiian outdoors merges effortlessly with the contemporary beauty of the interior space. That fine line between indoors and out becomes even more of an illusion as the glow of the setting sun fills the room. Overlooking the pool and golf course is the round dining room; conveniently close at hand is a temperature-controlled wine cave.
The master suite can be opened on two sides to the private end of the pool and the golf course. Poolside, guests will find an intimate breakfast table and chairs where one can watch the sun rise poolside. The master bath becomes a private retreat: a stand-alone Jacuzzi tub invites a leisurely soak, while enjoying a private view through the wall of windows, which reveals an oasis, filled with tropical flowers and an outdoor shower. All draperies and bedding are custom designed specifically for this home.
To stay at this heavenly retreat, prices range from $6,500 – $9,000 per night with a 7 night minimum stay, from here.
The huge infinity pool and whirlpool tub are the heart of this home. Whether sitting on the “yin/yang” settees around the custom-designed stone fire pit or lounging on a chaise in the shallow end of the pool, nothing says paradise with more eloquence.
The fifth guest bedroom is separate from the primary home, offering complete privacy. The suite has its own private morning kitchen complete with sink, dishwasher and microwave. Outside the triple wide glass doors are the outdoor shower and lanai, creating a sanctuary of tropical beauty. The indoor bath has double sinks and a large glass shower enclosure.
Nestled in a serene environment overlooking the emerald waters of the sea Dafni Villa offers a luxurious hideaway for a relaxing vacation featuring a number of unrivalled facilities and services for guests to enjoy on Mykonos Island, Greece. The villa captures the essence of the island’s spirit in its dazzling white interiors and natural stucco facades, while offering a warm welcoming environment. From the fragrant rose bay filled sand lot visitors can reach the main entrance and continue through the hallway passing the reading room.
A small staircase leads to the brilliantly white stylishly adorned living room on the left side and the dining area on the right featuring a cozy fireplace, a home cinema as well as all contemporary amenities for a relaxing and enjoyable stay. On the same floor a guest water closet is available for all villa guests. The spacious open plan kitchen right behind the living area is fully equipped with all modern conveniences. Staircases lead from the living area down to the play room and the 4 double bedrooms. The pool area is absolute private and furnished for enjoyable moments.
For a luxurious vacation at this stylish villa, rates range from $1,027 – $1,440 per night, from here.
Nestled high on the bluffs surrounded by a pine forest facing seawards on the beautiful island of Majorca, is this picturesque home spotted on Nuevo Estilo that denotes a great aesthetic sensitivity. At first glance, the greatest virtue of this house lies outside, with wonderful views to the uninhabited island of Dragonera, towards which focuses all the rooms of the building. The simplicity of the interior design by designer and owner Elena López Fonta respects the environment and blends indoors and outdoors with efficiency and style. Cement flooring is used both indoors and outdoors, providing a homogenous character of spaces.
The house is oriented westward, to contemplate the sunsets through large windows. As the designer explained, “we wanted light and air to circulate freely, so the spaces are wide open with high ceilings.” The interiors were designed with a fresh approach, comfortable and spacious in soft shades, using natural colors with hints of blue light. Tones and materials show great respect for the environment by repeating the chromatic model inspired by the landscape, the sky, the sea and the Mediterranean light that penetrates through the windows and floods every corner, enhancing every detail. Metal elements such as iron rails, stairways or doors to the kitchen in steel cutting and stainless steel fixtures are infused into spaces.
We fell in love with this unique home we discovered on Dwell, situated on Spain’s Canary Island of Tenerife, which has been built into the coastal rock. The humble cottage is used as an escape to the shore during the sweltering summer months. The dwelling is nestled on a rocky beach close to the town of Santa María del Mar on the Añaza coast. Not only does the volcanic cave offer its residents a natural shelter to keep them cool throughout the summer, it also creates a striking design feature with its whitewashing ceiling. The design of the cave dwelling has a no-frills vibe with the surfboard designed benches and tiki torches on the front patio. The rooms are small and cozy with all the modern amenities. The living room boasts all the trapping of a Spanish flat, except for the volcanic rock ceiling. The cottage offers a small rocky beach barely suitable for sunbathing, but the views make it all worth it!
Photos: Gunnar Knechtel
With great attention to detail, this beautifully appointed and unique home on Scotland Island, New South Wales, Australia has been designed by its architect owners, Walknorth Architects. Built on a sunny and sheltered block, the home features water views through tall spotted gums into Elvina Bay and the Ku-ring-gai National Park. The home adjoins a bush reserve, idyllically located in a tranquil and private bush setting which creates a peaceful ambiance and provides a wide sense of space.
The property was extensively built from red ironbark, blackbutt and spotted gum timbers in a two storey solar passive design capturing the sun throughout the day yet excluding the summer heat with the use of expansive roof overhangs. The open plan upper level with high and angled ceilings completely opens via wide sliding glass and timber doors creating an extension of space from the living room to a huge entertaining deck and a sandstone terrace. The galley style kitchen and dining room are also located here along with a wood burning stove and a covered deck which is a great place to relax in a hammock to enjoy the view.
Adjoining the upper deck is the spacious main bedroom with a walk in robe and the main and a streamline bathroom with double shower and bath with both rooms completely opening out to the beauty and seclusion of the bush. The lower level consists of a second bedroom and an open studio or third bedroom which flows onto a lower terrace featuring a sandstone seat creating an inspiring space to have as a home office. The second bathroom and laundry are also located on this level.
This gorgeous property is currently listed at $720,000 from here.
This glorious, light, spacious and relaxed villa is perched on the hillside above Avlaki Beach, on the Greek island of Corfu looking out across the island of Kaparelli and the sparkling sea to the mountains beyond. The beautiful family house owned by a young couple with a daughter was designed by architect Norman Foster. Light and airy, you enter through the huge living area with double height pitched ceiling running the length of the house. Large glass doors allow you to wander in and out to the covered colonnaded terrace and enjoy the spectacular view from the outside sitting area.
The kitchen at one end has state of the art equipment and opens onto the BBQ terrace overlooking the pool terrace. At the opposite end of the house on this level is the large master bedroom suite with French doors opening onto a private terrace. The stand-alone office is also at this end. From this level, the glassed staircase leads down to the garden level where there are a further four bedrooms, a gym and a family room. All these rooms, apart from the gym, open onto a huge sunny terrace overlooking the gardens below.
The infinity pool has been built to follow the contours of the hillside and is positioned so that the view whilst swimming is breathtaking. Surrounded by further terraces with plenty of sun loungers, hammocks and dining area, this is really one of the main focal points of the house. The interior design is uncluttered and modern, cool white with contemporary furniture and fabrics sourced from around the world adding touches of color and rich texture. There are many interesting pieces including the Amazonian tree-trunk coffee-table, a Russian icon and a Touareg wood carving.
Kipseli House can be rented at a rate of $17,482 per week, from here.
This exceptional coastal home is the result of the vision of Hollywood film director Rob Cohen and his wife beneath the sacred volcano Mount Agung in Candidasa, Bali. Dominating the Pantai Jasi coast, and set amid a coconut plantation right at the water’s edge, the 6,265 square foot six bedroom, six bathroom villa is modeled on the royal residences of the Minang people of Sumatra, and built entirely from recycled timber. Designer Linda Garland revived the traditional Sumatran Minangkabau architecture. The main pavilion’s exterior facade is fashioned after an aristocratic adobe, stepping up at the ends.
The big house has been constructed of reclaimed ironwood utility poles. The open air living area is outfitted with 10-foot bamboo sofas designed by Linda, who decorated the space with the Cohens’ collection of Bali Aga statues and Balinese masks. From the master bedroom pavilion, spectacular views of both a man-made lake and the ocean can be enjoyed. Both the interiors and exterior of the building’s walls are comprised of plaited black bamboo and thatch roofs made from locally derived cogon grass. Throughout the complex, buildings were pegged together—not a single nail was used.
The ultimate getaway-from-it-all residence for a buyer who’s a beachcomber at heart, listed for an undisclosed price from here.
A second guesthouse features elaborately carved doors from salvaged scraps from an old Batak house on neighboring Sumatra.
A traditional rice storage house called a lumbung was adapted as one of two guesthouses.
Photos: Tim Street-Porter