Early summer in Kauai, HI. A gentle breeze dances across soft sand and waves the leaves of soaring palms. Morning sunshine creeps past the door frame on the first floor of Hale Nukumoi.
Early risers can be heard preparing their breakfast in the open kitchen, bare feet padding across the sand-coloured flooring. You wake to the sound of the ocean, gentle waves lapping the shore. The two L-shaped structures — the main house and guest house — are oriented toward the water to embrace breathtaking views.
Those used to having a morning swim are doing their rhythmic strokes in the outdoor pool located just behind the main house.
“The family had been coming here for generations,” says Stacy Stone, Principal of Stone Interiors. “A large part of the design program was accommodating their extended family and making sure everyone could have a comfortable spot in all of the gathering spaces.”
The design is open, casual, and unfussy with a focus on a comfortable, flexible space that speaks to the history and geology of the island. The home’s palette seems to spring from the land and sea: coral-coloured concrete, peeled ohia logs, and dark tile that recalls nearby lava flows.
Although the location of the residence is just steps from the popular Poipu Beach Park, both the main house and guest house make use of oversized sliding doors, a custom rain screen, and layered plantings for privacy. Lush, landscaped pathways sheltered by a canopy of coconut palms connect the buildings and maintain sightlines of the beach.
“We felt it was important that you could always sense the beach from anywhere on the property,” shares Ron Lutsko, Jr. of Lutsko Associates. “Large apertures through and between buildings keep you connected to the ocean. Even within some of the more intimate courtyards, the coconut palms are a constant reminder of the beach.”
The ideal spot to end the day on a quiet note would be on the second-floor patio of the guest house, which connects to the recreation room. The sun burns a fiery orange as it sinks into the sea — another picture-perfect day framed by Hale Nukumoi.
Walker Warner Architects design team
Principal: Greg Warner
Senior Project Manager: Thomas Clapper
Architectural Staff: Aaron Zube, Rob Campodonico, Philip Viana
Walker Warner Architects (architecture)
Stone Interiors (interior design)
Lutsko Associates (landscape architecture)
R.S. Weir General Contracting (builder)
Parts of this article have been reproduced with the kind permission of architects Walker Warner.
Photography by Matthew Millman