A “Light and Bright” Hawaiian Home

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Tropical office (Image credit: Submitted by Kait)

Name: Kait, Dane and their two chocolate Labs
Location: Central Oahu, Hawaii
The basics: 1 year, owned1,400 square feet

Kait and her husband had to hustle through the competitive Hawaiian housing market to find a home that met all of their needs AND the needs of their dogs (i.e. a yard). Settling on an adorable home, a quick ride from the beach, Kait has decided to take her time decorating, finding pieces that are right for the home and not just right for right now.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: Aloha! My name is Kait and my husband Dane and I live in a suburb of Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii with our two chocolate Labs, Judy & Bill. We have lived in Hawaii since 2012, but were finally able to buy our first home in 2016. Real estate in Hawaii is not cheap, so we knew we would have to venture out of the city and away from the coastline to find something in our budget (and with a yard so the dogs would be happy!). We settled on a beautiful two story home about 20 minutes from the beach. Though it is located in a tree-lined suburb, we wanted it to feel like a tropical oasis on the inside. We chose neutral mid century and modern pieces, tied together with bright tropical colors to bring our “light and bright” Hawaiian home together.

What is your favorite room and why? I love my office, which is great considering I spend so much time in it! I work from home as a writer, so I knew that my office needed to be a space that felt comfortable and welcoming, yet capable of getting down to business. The tropical wallpaper and bright pink leopard chair spark my creativity, while the white plantation shutters allow tons of natural light in to make the room bright and airy at all times. My office looks out over our yard and lanai, so I can see the dogs playing in the afternoon, as well as my gorgeous banana, papaya and citrus trees. When I need a break or am suffering from writer’s block, I grab a cup of coffee and curl up in one of our vintage pretzel chairs (made famous by Paul Frank) on the lanai to recharge.

If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? The layout. We knew it would be a struggle as soon as we bought it, knowing that the kitchen is upstairs. I don’t mind it at all day-to-day, but sometimes carrying groceries up the stairs is…a workout! That said, I do really like that our kitchen opens up to our great room, which is perfect for entertaining and being present with guests, while also prepping food.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? A fair trade basket for my fiddle leaf fig plant. I had long admired the look of the baskets and when I stumbled across a boutique in Honolulu’s Chinatown brimming with boho home details – I had to stop and take a peek. I wound up bringing home two baskets – one for my fiddle and one I keep banana leaves in. Now I’m wondering how I can get my hands on some more! My husband and I are heading to Indonesia this summer where I’m hoping to shop the markets for fun and unique finds.

Which fictional character would be most at home in your place? Definitely Megan Draper from Mad Men. Megan is classic, but knows how to have fun and makes a mean cocktail. I think her strong sense of self and colorful spirit would be most at home at our house – plus she and Don Draper honeymooned at the Royal Hawaiian!

Kait’s words of wisdom: Be selective in the pieces you choose to decorate with, which is a lesson that took me a long time to learn! This was our first home purchase together, so I wanted the details to be intentional, not something that felt forced solely to get things “put together” and “looking like a home”. I wanted all of our decor to be a direct reflection of our life together and the island that we love so much. We’ve been here six months and our guest room isn’t fully complete yet, because I’m still hoping to pick up some pieces at estate sales and vintage shops that I haven’t been able to track down yet!

Thanks, Kait!

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