When MUSEd Interiors was invited onto this project, there was a clear goal already set by Clifford Planning & Architecture LLC that this home was going to look different than what was already available on the Kohala Coast. “The question that we focused on answering was, ‘How do we look at the materiality of what someone is expecting for the interiors, but do it in a refreshing and practical way?’” says Krsta Matepi, principal of MUSEd Interiors. “The goal was not to be trendy or showy—I think most homeowners are becoming savvy enough to see through that—but provide a foundation of good design.”
Brass McGuire pendants hang above the grand quartzite kitchen island. Photographed by Ethan Tweedie
“It’s an important tool of the design concept process to spend time at the home location,” notes Matepi. When she first visited the site, she knew with the expansive view of the ocean that the owner would use the outdoor lanai for day-to-day living, which makes for more awareness to the exterior and interior needing to work cohesively. “There is a collective effort needed from the interior designer and architect to make a 6,000-square-foot home feel cohesive when you walk through it,” she says. “I worked closely with Hapuna Realty and Clifford Planning during the concept stage so that we stayed on the same page. The home’s exterior architecture has a mix of traditional and contemporary elements, such as an entry canopy made out of steel and glass, so we carried that mixed theme into the interiors.”
The primary bathroom includes both indoor and private outdoor showers. Photographed by Ethan Tweedie
“Hawaiʻi is its own inspiration. There is a common thread as to why we are all grateful to visit or live on these islands—the ocean, the beaches, the mountains, the air, the aloha and people we interact with—and I personally find that carries into most of my experiences with clients,” Matepi says. “Australian design is quite similar in how we also live outdoors, but there is a real sense of focusing on the living quality of a space here versus just trying to make a bold design statement.” By maximizing window and door sizing in every bedroom to provide a continuous flow for outdoor and indoor living, and using mostly layered, natural stone textures, Matepi and team created an inviting and relaxing interior.
Oversized polished travertine slabs in the primary bath make a statement. Photographed by Ethan Tweedie
The interiors incorporate clean lines and layered, neutral textures. “I wanted to continue the precedent that the architect had set for the exterior—this mix of traditional and contemporary elements— into the interior architecture and design,” explains Matepi. “I kept contrast to a minimum and really wanted to create spaces that felt relaxing and livable. I love this sense of livable luxury that I feel is unique to Hawaiʻi.” Bush hammered marble, limestone and coral are used throughout the islands, but Matepi mixed this traditional approach with lighter, clean design lines, revealing details and some refreshing matte and gloss finishes.
Dornbracht counter faucets are featured in the powder room and throughout. Photographed by Ethan Tweedie
For this home, the feeling of relaxation was reflected not only in the layered neutral palettes but also in the material pattern. “The natural stone for the bathroom vanity counters looks exactly like how a receding wave leaves the sand,” says Matepi. “It feels glorious to even touch.” It took Matepi months to source the oversized bathroom wall travertine slabs, eventually from Mexico, because she wanted them polished and with a linear pattern. “Travertine is usually made in a honed or brushed texture, so it was another way to play with that idea of refreshing the expected,” she notes.
Italian veneer cabinetry in a matte aged bronze finish was used for the entry foyer floating bench. “There is a deep recessed cabinet for shoes so the owner always has a place to throw those slippers without them taking up the door entry,” says Matepi. “This was actually a solution to a problem that the entire project team discussed because even as the realtor and architect knew, it’s a real thing in Hawaiʻi stepping over slippers.”
Recessed accent lighting at kitchen cabinetry illuminate. Photographed by Ethan Tweedie
“I think everyone who worked on the project, including the contractors, is happy that we created this exciting home,” says Matepi. “We are now working with the owners to bring each room alive with soft furnishings like fabric headboard and sofa designs that will anchor the rooms to balance the textured materials used for the interiors.”
Window and door sizing was maximized to fully enjoy the expansive view of the ocean. Photographed by Ethan Tweedie
The entry foyer sitting bench includes a recessed shoe cabinet. Photographed by Ethan Tweedie
Clifford Planning & Architecture LLC
Madreperola quartzite kitchen island countertop
Bathroom fixtures dornbracht.com
McGuire Furniture Rental & Sales Kitchen island pendants
Sub-Zero Group Inc. Kitchen appliances
Warren Christopher Flooring throughout