10 Things I Love About This Artist-Designed Big Island Home

What do you get when you combine two artists, years of dreaming, and lush Hawaiian land? You get one of my favorite properties in all of the Hawaiian Islands. This summer, I had the privilege to spend a weekend in this artist-designed lush, tropical paradise. The greatest things in life take time to create and cultivate. There’s no hustle here. You can really feel, see, smell, and touch the time it took to create this home at the edge of an old-growth ‘Ohi’a forest in South Kona. I’ll always have a warm and fuzzy place in my heart for these five acres and the legacy home which was created here.

“Legacy is not leaving something for the people, it’s leaving something in people.” – Peter Strople

1. The Dream

The journey of this artist’s dream estate started several decades ago. After living on the island and opening an art gallery for several years, many life-long friendships were created. It was one of these friendships that introduced this couple to what soon became the site of their dream home. Friends who purchased a lot in this brand new subdivision at the time encouraged them to look into a lot as well. After checking out a few lots, they followed an old jeep trail through rose apple trees to the top of one last lot, hiked down through the Ohi’a Trees and ferns, and quickly fell in love. Over the next several years, they spent a considerable time and effort hand clearing, countless hours sifting through the pages of books on architecture, and creating this beautiful tribute to life in Hawaii. What was taken down was mostly put back into the home whenever possible. This is a home with character and with soul that you can really feel. The living art surrounding the property stimulated hundreds of creations by these two artists.

2. The Rock Wall

The first infrastructure to be put in place on these five acres was the rock wall. After searching around the island, the artists came across a local second-generation rock wall builder whose work was intricate, unhurried, and beautiful. It took 9 months to create the gently curving rock wall lining the path to the home. Niches were built into the wall by creating a wooden structure for the builder to work around, something that hadn’t been done before.

Front Entrance

Custom Niches

In Tune with Nature

3. The Floors

Maintaining the integrity of the land was very important throughout the process of creating this special place. The artist’s hand cleared only the space which was needed and left alone the natural beauty of the land when possible. Every effort was made to put what was taken down back into the home. Years were spent curing, milling, then curing again the ‘Ohi’a trees which were once where the house now stands. The wood was smoothed down into what can only be referred to as truly magnificent ‘Ohi’a floors. According to Hawaiian mythology, there were once two lovers named ‘Ohi’a and Lehua. ‘Ohi’a was loved by both Lehua and Pele, the goddess of volcanoes. When Pele approached ‘Ohi’a, he refused her, and in a jealous rage, she turned him into a tree. The other gods, pitying Lehua for her loss, turned her into a flower of the ‘Ohi’a tree. Just a few steps away in the surrounding forest, you’ll still find giant behemoth ‘Ohi’a trees as big as the span of your outstretched arms.

Rich Color

Elegant Grain

4. The Kitchen

The best kitchens are those that encourage gathering and preparing meals together. You’ll find hints of Mexican heritage in this kitchen from the imported Mexican tile expertly laid along the counter. You can almost smell the delicious scents of homemade roasted chocolate habanero salsa grown and prepared here. You can feel the love put into preparing countless meals here. Feeling of ohana where mother taught daughter to remember to slow down. Thoughtfully laid out, this kitchen inspires creativity and begs to entertain.

Designed to Entertain

Ohi’a Countertop & Floors

Hints of Mexico

5. The Lanai

One of the best parts of living in Hawaii is a climate that allows us to enjoy the outdoors every day of the year. Creating covered spaces to enjoy the outdoors comfortably year-round is very important. There are three separate lanai spaces around this home, each with their own view and purpose. Although all three spaces are great for morning yoga routines, reading, writing, and relaxing, the lanai at the front of the home encourages entertaining. You’ll have space for the whole family, dozens of friends, or for romantic evenings.

6. The Sunsets

Every day in Hawaii is different from the last. The same goes for the sunsets.

Feelings aroused by the touch of someone’s hand, the sound of music, the smell of a flower, a beautiful sunset, a work of art, love, laughter, hope and faith – all work on both the unconscious and the conscious aspects of the self, and they have physiological consequences as well. – Bernie Siegel

Incredible Sunsets

Sunset Over the Ocean

7. The Location

The location of these five acres is truly magical. Nestles in the hillside next to an old-growth ‘Ohi‘a forest at Waikaku‘u in South Kona, you’re embraced by lush, colorful forest and foliage on three sides. It’s easy to forget just how close you really are to the ocean. Seeing is believing, however, and expansive ocean views can be found throughout the property. Although it feels as if you’re miles away from everything, the beach, shops, and restaurants are just down the road.

8. The Spacious Bedrooms

There are three bedrooms spaced out for ultimate privacy throughout the home. All three have en suite bathrooms, high ceilings with ample daylight, and plenty of closet space. I enjoyed the private guest suite with my own lanai.

Custom Guest Suite

Intricate Details

Guest Bath En Suite

9. The Master Bathroom

Spacious & Inviting Master Bath

Bathtub Surrounded by Nature

Tiled Open Shower

10. The Garden

From flowers to food, there’s not much that won’t grow on these five acres. Hundreds of plants and flowers in dozens of varieties line the driveway up to the home. There is a greenhouse full of cucumbers, tomatoes, and more. Fruit trees have made a happy home here as have coffee trees. Garden boxes filled with peppers, eggplant, marigolds, and more make it easy to fill your grocery bags without leaving the property.

Beehive Flowers

Purple Anthuriums


Ti Leaves

Dozens of Varieties

Spotted Anthuriums

Rainbows of Color

Stripped Anthuriums

Pineapples with an Ocean View



Want To Know More?

Interested in making this home your own? You’re in luck! This unique estate just came on the market. Click here to view the listing.

For more information on the journey to protect the neighboring Ohi’a Forest click this link or visit the Hawaii State Judiciary website.

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November 7, 2019

A nice read. Thanks for sharing, Kelly.

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