Tropical getaway overlooks breathtaking Kona Coast

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The corner game table is often used for breakfast and reading the morning paper. It’s views of the Pacific are unobstructed.

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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.

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The garden becomes a part of this tropical Guest Room. The walls are covered in woven fiber.

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Tropical gardens surround the Master Bedroom with it’s mother of pearl paneled walls.

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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.”

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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.

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Guest House Entry with a wood trunk bench carved in Bali.

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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

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