A Rustic Hawaiian Home Has a Treehouse, Swing Beds, and Lots and Lots of Gorgeous Greenery

updated Apr 30, 2019

A Rustic Hawaiian Home Has a Treehouse, Swing Beds, and Lots and Lots of Gorgeous Greenery

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Name: Jeanne Marie and family
Location: Holualoa on Hawai’i’s Big Island
Size: 5,000 square feet across five structures on a one-acre lot
Years Lived In: 30 years, owned

Visiting Jeanne Marie’s Bali-style tropical compound in the jungle of Hawaii is an experience. There isn’t really anything like it. The space is private and magical with multiple structures, each inviting and bold. There are outdoor showers, outdoor living spaces, indoor bathtubs, and ancient Balinese thatched huts to explore.

Jeanne Marie took a chance some 30 years ago and bought a property in the mountains of the Kona Coast on Hawai’i’s Big Island. She now has a magical compound refuge consisting of five structures landscaped with lush tropical vegetation in Holualoa.

Jeanne is an entrepreneur and designer who loves design and travel. She owns an import company as well as an interior design firm, J.M. Design, both based in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

Jeanne and her husband travel, mostly to Indonesia and Morocco, where they source the pieces they sell in their showroom as well as use in their designs. Clearly, Jeanne has an incredible eye for pieces with story and presence.

With very few exceptions, every piece of her home is reclaimed material found overseas on her travels. Jeanne says, “I really love authentic, true pieces with a story. It’s not like I am going to put something in my house from Pier 1.”

Because Jeanne believes “Hawaii is one of the those places where you can really live indoor/outdoor,” her home has bathtubs in the living spaces and bathrooms and living areas in the outdoor spaces. Pieces that speak to her are not “traditionally perfect, but in the right spot, they will shine.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Bali Modern.

Inspiration: Travel, story, quality, imperfection, fluidity.

Favorite Element: The jungle canopy.

Biggest Challenge: Finding the joglo (the Indonesian rice paddy structure); they are very rare. I found it mangled and in disrepair and brought Indonesian team members over to resurrect in Hawaii… the thatching is no longer able to be imported to Hawaii. It is very precious to have this hand-tied bamboo and grass thatch. Alang-alang is the name of the thatch roofing. It was quite the ordeal to bring that over and restore it on my property.

What Friends Say: “I have never seen anything like it.”

Biggest Embarrassment: My roof leaks and I am still dealing with it! Roofs are boring and I was on such a budget at the time and I did the best I could. It has leaked from day one.

Also, my kitchen. I don’t cook. That’s up next on my remodel list.

Proudest DIY: Everything? Nearly every piece in my home was hand chosen from my travels and brought back through my business. The home feels very personal to me. It’s the history of following my passion for travel and design.

Biggest Indulgence: The office above the garage that I turned into a treasure chest space.

Dream Sources: Any undiscovered back street mom and pop shop. It takes time and passion but finding a new small source is exciting and inspirational.


Large painting by Balinese artist
Lighting is contemporary blown glass
Basket lighting from Bali

Couch and chairs bought locally at Inspirations in Oahu leather
White distressed wall — Reclaimed wood from Java
Floor concrete
Architect is Gerald Brewster

Beds are all from reclaimed teak made by husband and carpenter team in Bali.

Koeler jetted tub. It originally had glass walls. I ripped them off one night. I wanted to be at ocean level. To see the horizon when you are lying down. To me windows were so reflective at night. Hawaii is one of the only places where we can enjoy indoor/outdoor living. There are no predators and amazing weather.

Thanks, Jeanne!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

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