I first moved to Maui back in 2004, wide-eyed and hungry, fresh out of college in NYC. I didn’t take to the slow pace and lack of hustle right away. It took me years, actually, to feel the vibe and appreciate the Aloha spirit. So I traveled and moved around and got my city fix elsewhere. I never imagined that I would make Maui my home in the traditional sense of being a home-owner here. The real estate market is a bit daunting in the Islands. But I think our little family has reached the point of wanting our own plot of land and a modest home to hang our hats. We’re starting to look and its really exciting. So now I’m keeping visual notes on a simple home design for some day down the line.
“Söderöra is a summer house by Tham & Videgård Architects in the Stockholm archipelago. The exterior is covered in black roofing felt. The interior is covered in white wood panels and features a central open living space and two bedrooms, a bathroom and a storage room in each of its four corners. The ceiling skylight allows for a lot of natural light.” via Design Milk
We are finally turning our little house into a home. It only took us 4 days to find a spot and we love it! Our blue cedar-on-the-inside cottage is up a windy road in Kula where the air is chilly in the mornings and come nightfall, we can wear our sweaters. Lo is all layered up to keep warm. We are just 1 mile from our favorite French bakery and not too far from the beach. It may take a while to settle in but it feels like home!
our blue cottage and fenced in yard! first thing we did was take down those old floral drapes in the kitchen. I’m all for shabby chic but…
the view from our front door. so pastural.
my morning coffee date on the (now empty) lanai.
our singular piece of furniture found on craigslist! for the most part, craigslist in hawaii is a joke— completely overpriced junk but we scored this pottery barn leather couch and added a bit of southwestern flair.
the pile of books that patiently await the perfect bookcase. we just may have to build one.
the kitchen nook where our cookbooks and food mags sit.
our first sunday brunch at the table: scrambled eggs, roasted sweet potatoes and greens.
bathroom wall art.
more wall hangings: the pregnant hula girl tattoo flash was a gift from J when I was pregnant in hawaii last winter. she reminds me of Paz de la Huerta‘s character in Boardwalk Empire.
Lorea’s makeshift bed in those first few days spent unpacking.
the country road that takes us home.
I wish I could take credit for the mashup of words in the title but alas it is the New York TImes T Magazine writer Lynn Yaeger. She is affectionately describing the entire floor of an 1850s East Village building that designer of idiosyncratic home wares John Derian calls his own. His apartment has undergone a makeunder of sorts. “Derian is anxious to execute his nonrenovation renovation, a series of serious tweaks that will respect — revere, even exult! — the spirit of the artists, the garment workers and the other long-vanished New Yorkers who were his predecessors.”
He even built a new, enclosed kitchen in roughly the same location as the original, using a 19th-century sink and countertop. The space is a mix of antiques and Derian’s own adaptations of 18th- and 19th-century pieces.
Small talk hasn’t come easy for me these past few years. Answering the simple question where is home gets a bit long-winded. We are finally on the road back home to Maui, heading further and further west. Lorea and I touched down in Chicago for a lovely visit with my friend Olivia last week. We first met in New York outside of the dorms as college sophomores, depressed and home sick and became the best of friends. We are both in much better spirits these days. I’m her first friend to have a baby- I couldn’t wait to share Lorea with her.
Olivia was a fashion designer in New York and is now studying interior design (her thesis is childcare immersion in the workplace- interesting stuff). She lives along Lakeshore Drive in one of the prettiest neighborhoods in the city. She has the most insane views of Lake Michigan. Her bookshelves kept me well-occupied. Those framed animal prints are from the online shop 20 x 200. And that is a real Picasso that hangs above her retro dresser in the living room! I couldn’t stop laughing at that pen on your face cartoon print. It was a postcard that she bought in London and had framed.
We started every morning with a walk with her faux Frenchie Lola. Chicago is known for its pristine parks and brownstones covered in ivy. We grabbed a coffee at Elaine’s Coffee Call at Hotel Lincoln and hit up the farmer’s market across the street for a grilled cheese- the best Wisconsin cheddar around!
We ate our way through the windy city. We majorly indulged at Maude’s Liquor Bar one evening. Who orders oysters in the Midwest? We do. So happy to see La Fin Du Monde on the menu- my favorite beer of all time. The most delicious meal was an early dinner at La Colonial in the Gold Coast neighborhood. The flavors transported me to Southeast Asia and the vibe was total 1920s opulence. The highlight? A huge coconut macaroon topped in chocolate sauce for dessert. I’ve yet to kick my sweet tooth from pregnancy.
Olivia has a deep love for French Bulldogs. Those cool Bonjour prints are by artist Kelly Puissegur over at Retro Wale. She also has a nice cologne collection. I fell in love with Hunter by MCMC and bought it for Jason. So earthy and delicious. London artist Martin Creed has a year-long residency at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. I like what he had to say about the size of the piece MOTHERS that sits outside of the museum. “It had to be large because mothers always have to be bigger than you are” and because “it feels like mothers are the most important people in the world.” Till next time, O.
I love having that one song in my life that sounds on repeat and comes to define a time and place. I hit play and its time travel. When I was pregnant, it was Lia Ices and I can’t seem to stop listening to Grown Unknown. Lia is a beauty. Her voice is something else, man. Love is Won kills me….
O you know I need your mystic mind
For you are leading us towards the un-blind
We know that magic is a part of life
Love is won when we aren’t bound by time
When we have animals, we’ll start a tribe
you’ll be the shepherd as we all head towards the un-blind
Fell into the fault and now we feel too deep
O Love is won when we’re bound and still feel free
Lia at home in upstate New York photographed by Emilano Granado via Design Bureau.