Based in San Francisco, interior designer Nicole Hollis has created a stunning family home on the island for a couple originally from Southern California.  The clients had fallen in love with the Kona coast, and when the opportunity arose they seized it to create a retreat for their children to form a bond with the land.

“Really reflecting what Hawaii means to them was a major goal of the design,” says Hollis in an interview with Lonny.

“The surroundings were paramount, and the indoor-outdoor approach was extremely important.”

It was vital the link between Hawaii’s historical past and the family’s modern lifestyle was maintained throughout the design.  A series of seven open pavilions were conceived which has a strong connection with the landscape.

“I spent a lot of time at the site before and during construction, understanding the landscape and working closely with the architect.”

The surroundings influenced the choice of puka lava–tile flooring and coral-block walls that are found throughout the home.  A balsa wood table was commissioned by a local surfboard marker, and artist Michele Oka Doner’s chandelier and lighting, both are inspired by the landscape and Hawaii’s iconic pastime.

The designer embraced a neutral colour palette and made an effort to avoid adding clichéd tropical motifs and wicker furniture, often associated with a home in paradise.  Instead, cork, richly grained timber, natural fiber rugs, and rough linens were used throughout the interior.

Boldly, Hollis used a sleek basaltina stone counter-tops to evoke the feeling of lava fields.

“The experience of the property from indoors to out and back again is very fluid.”

The project strikes the perfect balance between nature and contemporary clean-cut style, with the flow between the indoors and outdoors strong throughout.

“There is a very modern embrace of materials and textures, a study in contrasts, and an emphasis on the Whites’ family dynamic,” the designer says.

“But it was important to create tension between the elemental and elegant.”

See more of Nicole Hollis’ work here.

Photos by Laure Joliet