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Design an Amazing Living Room

Design an Amazing Living Room

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 Aloha Dreams

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4FEED A CROWD
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Designing the Perfect Living Room

NOTE: This is the fourth of a series of posts on designing and building a dream home.  We just happen to be doing it in paradise.   If you’re interested in home design, or just enjoy amazing home design pictures, follow us room by room in the Ahonui section of Aloha Dreams as we design and build our home.  The posts can be accessed in chronological order at the bottom of the page.

Design Principles

Although I’d agree the kitchen is the heart of the home, we still need at least one, if not several, comfy spots where we can relax and hang out with friends or even a good book for company.  Residents of Hawaii are fortunate in that there are often many places, including a shady lanai, which are perfect for this.  But regardless of this wealth of options, Hawaiian homes always have a living room.  The design principles of this room are no different than those of living rooms anywhere.  They may be executed differently, but in essence they are the same.  Let’s consider each design principle in detail, starting with function.

Function

Possibly you’ve heard the old saying “Form follows function.”   This is the first, and most important, principle in designing any room and too often it’s forgotten.  So let’s think about the function of our living room, or in other words, how we’re going to use it.   Are we going to be entertaining guests in it at some point?  How about wanting a cozy place to snuggle up with a great book?  Will there be a fireplace that we’ll want to sit in front of or gather round?  How about a TV?  Will we be watching TV in this room, or will we have a separate media room?  Will we need more than one TV viewing spot?  These are all important considerations for our living room.

The function of a room is supported by the furniture arrangement.  Too often contractors (and even architects) simply carve out a space and designate it as the “Living Room”.   And all too often the space allocated to these “Living Rooms” is entirely devoid of consideration of the furniture necessary to support the function.   Let’s think about one of the most basic functions of any living room – entertaining company.  We often have company over, and when we do, we need a place that is reliably clutter free to sit and talk with them.  While this will probably be out on the lanai at Hale Ahonui, there will be times when we’ll prefer to be indoors.  For those times we want a furniture arrangement in the living room which lends itself to conversation.

Next time you’re in someone’s home, look at their living room furniture arrangement and consider whether it lends itself to conversation.   If the furniture is in an L shape or, worse, a straight line, it probably doesn’t, especially if there are more than 2 people.   And this limitation on furniture arrangement is generally caused by the builder, or architect, not allocating sufficient space for the function of the room.

To allocate the correct amount of space for our Hale Ahonui living room, I’ve drawn it out on graph paper and then, in SketchUp.  I started with the furniture. I knew we wanted a conversation pit (sounds like something from the 60’s, doesn’t it?) to accommodate at least 6 people.  I also knew we wanted it in a semi-circle to facilitate easy conversation.  But we have an additional consideration.  We also want to accommodate TV watching.  We will have a media room/library in Hale Ahonui, but it will be a more private space.  We need a second location that multiple people can sit and watch television, so on one side of the ‘conversation circle’ (I like that term much better) we’ll incorporate a media wall.   Perhaps something like this?

So to support these functions, how about this for the living room furniture arrangement with the TV console running along the empty right side similar to the picture above?

And speaking of function, when you design a room, it’s also important that you measure and mark the location for each electrical outlet and switch.  You’ll want the outlets located where you plan to put the electronics and the switches located at each entrance to the space.  You’ll also want to determine the location of each heating and AC vent to ensure that it doesn’t detract from picture placement.   Next, measure the furniture you plan to use and place it in your floor plan. Generally, we’ll want the main furniture pieces directed toward the focal point, and we’ll want to keep the major traffic patterns open.   We also want the 2 main couches at least 5 – 6 feet apart and preferably about 10 feet.  In American culture this provides a comfortable conversation distance.

Here’s an interesting experiment.  Next time you’re in a pool where some people are sitting on steps around the edge talking with other people who are floating free in the pool, note the distance the floaters (who can place themselves wherever they wish) end up from the stationary people.  You’ll find it’s often about 11 feet.

Another consideration is tables placed so that each guest has a place to park their frothy Hawaiian drink.

Establishing a Focal Point

When you’re designing a room, it’s also important to visually establish a focal point.  Often that can be a dramatic fire place, or an attractive work of art.  Designing a home in Hawaii requires an entirely different mind-set.  When you design a home on the mainland, you think about the living room, the dining room and the bedroom.  And those things are all indoors, right?   Well not so much in Hawaii.  Given the year-round beautiful weather, very often those rooms – and especially the living room – have a sliding window wall which opens up the room to the outside.  Like this.

Isn’t that gorgeous?   This sliding window wall is made up of large retractable glass door panels which retract into the wall to allow the home to open up to the beautiful setting beyond.   You’ll notice the ‘blank’ wall space to either side of the opening.  That’s to allow the panels a place to stack inside the wall.  I love the golden glow this room has. Don’t you think we want to incorporate that into Hale Ahonui?  Me too!

One of the hallmarks of a successfully designed room is a focal point.  That’s the feature you want to highlight and draw the occupant’s eyes towards.  When you have a window wall the opening definitely becomes the focal point of the room, especially if you have a view beyond it like this.

You’ll notice there’s minimal art in this room.  That’s because the view, or focal point, becomes the art work.

Creating a Cozy Scale and Space

Ever see a living room that just invites you to sit?  I’m talking about a space that whispers, “come in, kick off your shoes, and curl up here with a good book and something wonderful to drink.”  This is another important design principle.  Here’s an example of that kind of space.  Doesn’t this whole area just invite you to sit down and snuggle up?  Everything looks soft and inviting.   Without being too casual, the furniture looks like something you could get comfortable on, tuck your legs up under you and burrow back into the overstuffed pillows.

Like we discussed, you’ll notice it’s arranged for conversation.   I think this is one of the most inviting living rooms I’ve seen.  I think we need it!

Here’s another space that begs for a small group of 5 or 6 friends to sit awhile and chat (it’s called talk story in Hawaii.)   Can’t you just imagine you and your friends relaxing here.

Here’s another example.  Can you spot the similarities between these 3 pictures?

 

If you said the furniture in each picture is arranged essentially in a circle, reward yourself with a 3 Minute Virtual Vacation.

WOW Factor

The last design principle we’re going to take into consideration for our Hale Ahonui Living room is incorporation of a WOW factor.  If you’ve been following my AlohaDreams recipes and my Hale Ahonui design series by now you probably know I’m a firm believer that if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing over the top.  Why not?  Folks get a kick out of being made to feel special.  So whether it’s the guests at our table, or the guests in our home – let’s WOW ’em if at all possible.

With that in mind, I think we need a WOW factor for each room in Hale Ahonui.  Wouldn’t you agree?  So for our living room WOW factor, I can think of nothing better than a window wall view of the beautiful infinity pool melting seamlessly into the royal blue ocean beyond.   We can even flank that infinity edge with a couple of fire pots!   (I just love, love, love fire pots!!  More on those to come.)

Putting it all Together

So with all that in mind, what do you think about this for the view from the front door into our living room?

With this being the view once we’re in it.

I hope you’ll join me again next month as we design an incredible dining room for our Dream Home in Paradise.  Meanwhile…

Share the Dream on Pinterest

Want More Fabulous Design?

Kohala Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii

Hale Ahonui is on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. Here the sleepy towns and countryside of the real Hawaii remain unchanged. Nestled between the wind swept terrain of Kohala Mountain to the east, and the beautiful Pacific Ocean on the west, Kohala Ranch rests on the grassy meadows in between.

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Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

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Things to do Big Island of Hawaii
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AHONUI

Ever wished you could build your dream home?  Like amazing house design and home building ideas?  Me too!  Join me as I design and build a home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Follow along while I design each room. Enjoy a front row seat for the entire amazing construction process.  Let's play!

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Would you like to throw a Luau, but not sure where to start?   Want to know how to build a tiki bar and roast a pig?  Here's everything you need to have a luau.  How about a Christmas Feast or even a fabulous dinner for your neighborhood supper club?  You've come to the right place.    Let's party!

Designing the Perfect Approach and Entry

Designing the Perfect Approach and Entry

Cooking for a Crowd

 

 Aloha Dreams

   Fabulous Recipes, Cooking for a Crowd, & Dream Home Design

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Creating a Sense of Place

NOTE: This is the third of a series of posts on designing and building a dream home.  We just happen to be doing it in paradise.   If you’re interested in home design, or just enjoy amazing home design pictures, follow us room by room in the Ahonui section of Aloha Dreams as we design and build our house.  The posts can be accessed in chronological order at the bottom of the page.

 

Arrival

Our guests will get a initial sense of the place as they arrive at the gate.  Then more of the picture will unfold as they drive down the drive way and ‘arrive’ in front of Hale Ahonui.  Our front walkway and entry are the final, and perhaps most important, ‘first impression’.   It’s when they begin walking up to the front door that we really need to set the mood.  After all, we’re in Hawaii baby!

So let’s establish a sense of place.  We don’t have the $33 million required to arrange that initial picture, but I think we can still do something pretty cool.   For starters, we need to make the transition from a semi-arid grassland (complete with cattle and of course our piggy family) beyond the footprint of the house to a lush landscape.  It would be jarring to just do it abruptly, but the perimeter walkway around the house can serve as our demarcation zone.  We don’t want Easter Island figures or general Hawaiian kitsch, but we do want to make sure our guests know they’re not in Kansas anymore.  A good way to provide that all-important sense of place is with local foliage.  Something along the lines of this perhaps?

Or how about this?  I really like the clean, minimalist, zen feeling of the walk way.  Wouldn’t you just love to curl up with a great book and a frothy island drink on that hidden lanai over to the left?  (I’d love to curl up with a book almost anywhere)
Should we make it lush with more tropical WOW do you think?   This is nice.
I’d go for this, but that dark water makes me think of lurking crocodiles and snakes and piranhas, oh my!  Besides I’m betting it’s way too expensive.
Here’s a winner!

And Welcome!

Let’s talk about the actual entry for a minute.  We definitely want a portico.  In case that term is new to you, a portico is an open structure with a roof supported by columns.  It serves as an entrance to a home or building.  It provides your guests with a place to stand protected from the elements while they wait for you to open the door.  It also has another purpose.  It provides a nice, gradual psychological transition from ‘outside’ to ‘inside’.  Homes just feel more welcoming and cozy, less abrupt, with that transition space.  That’s one of the reasons folks feel drawn to front porches and lanais.   How about this?

It’s actually a porte-cochere (a portico designed to admit a car).   It’s nice, but it’s too big for our purposes.  We won’t have room for an actual porte-cochere.  We’ll need to scale it back a bit.

Do you like this one?  It incorporates the lovely zen walk way and we can add in more foliage.  I really like the way the wood provides a sense of warmth.  The door is understated and elegant letting the setting take center stage.  Here’s an interesting note:  the trade winds on the Big Island provide a welcoming breeze to cool the house, but two doors on the windward side can be an issue.  According to builders we’ve spoken to, the wind can sometimes whistle between the doors.  Maybe we’ll stick with one.

Entryway Design Principles

Before we step into the house let’s talk design principles.   The purpose of the foyer is to welcome our guests and bridge the space from outside to inside.  Foyers also provide the first impression of the inside of the home.  Have you ever noticed it doesn’t feel quite right when the front door opens abruptly into the middle of a living room.  We need not only a physical, but a psychological transition from the outside.

To accomplish these things, we should consider the following.

 

Gradual Transition from outside to inside

We employed this principle outside and we want to continue it here. To help with this we’ll have plenty of windows to bring the beautiful courtyard landscaping in.  There won’t be a lot of furniture in our entry way so this will also provide additional visual interest to our guests as they leave.

Sight lines and focal points

It’s at this stage we have to ask ourselves whether we would like to see all the way through the house to the ocean view.  This can be dramatic, and more importantly, convey the significance of the view in our overall design.  Because of that, it is here I think we want to deviate from the brilliant Disney ‘hidden view’ design guideline.  In Hawaii the homes are open.  The transition between inside and outside is very blurred.  With temperatures in the balmy 70’s and 80’s, who can blame them!  Let’s showcase the ocean view from the front door and entry way.  We want a WOW! in every room.  Our ocean view should more than do it in this one.

Gradual Transition from public entry to private spaces

The entry is the most public space in a house.  Just like we want a gradual transition from the outside to the inside, there should always be a gradual transition from the most public space (the entry) to the most private spaces (bedrooms and bathrooms).  Anything else feels jarring, although people may not realize the immediate source.  For this reason, entry ways open into living rooms.  Let’s keep the more private spaces unseen from the entry.  (And under no circumstances do we want a view into any bathrooms.)   Because we want an open plan design, the kitchen will be slightly visible from the entry, but only barely.

 

Come in!  Aloha!

Once inside the entry way we need to consider the function of the space.  It is here we will be greeting people, welcoming them to the house and saying good bye.  In Hawaii folks remove their shoes when entering a home.  It’s a nice custom. We never insist that anyone visiting our home take off their shoes – though a large percentage of our friends and family automatically do.  We’ll need room for at least six people to take off and put on their shoes.  A bench would be a nice touch, don’t you think?  How about this one?

I like the rattan top of that one, but the structure seems kind of Scandinavian modern to me. I think we might want something a little more rustic.   How about something along these lines?

We’re going to have a lot of shoes piled up in the entry way.   Do we want a chest to put them in?  I don’t want to be obsessive about it, but they might look better tucked away.  Besides it would give us a great excuse to buy a wonderful Asian inspired chest like this one.   (Just sayin’)

So with all of that in mind…..

…. what do you think about this for the front of our home?

Hale Ahonui Front View

Welcome!

Join me as we walk towards the door.  Can you see the ocean?   I am using a Google program called Sketchup to design Hale Ahonui.  Have you ever used Sketchup?  If not, and if you like to draw or design, you owe it to yourself to download it.  I use the Pro version, but the basic is wonderful and very addictive.  You can draw a house plan in 2-dimension and simply expand it into a 3-D view like those below.  You can do cross sections, elevations, and square footage calculations for budgeting.  It is the bomb!

And once you’re in, this is the view of the foyer (No cool furniture yet.  We’ll need to do something about that!) and the front door.

I hope you’ll join me again next month as we design a fabulous living room for our Dream Home in Paradise.  Meanwhile…

 

Share the Dream on Pinterest

Join me next month as we design the living room.  Meanwhile…

Want More Home Design?

Kohala Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii

Hale Ahonui is on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. Here the sleepy towns and countryside of the real Hawaii remain unchanged. Nestled between the wind swept terrain of Kohala Mountain to the east, and the beautiful Pacific Ocean on the west, Kohala Ranch rests on the grassy meadows in between.

read more

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

First Impressions

First Impressions

Cooking for a Crowd

 

 Aloha Dreams

   Fabulous Recipes, Cooking for a Crowd, & Dream Home Design

1 HOME
2COOK A RECIPE
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First impressions

NOTE: This is the second of a series of posts on designing and building a dream home.  We just happen to be doing it in paradise.   If you’re interested in home design, or just enjoy amazing home design pictures, follow us room by room in the Ahonui section of Aloha Dreams as we design and build our house.  The posts can be accessed in chronological order at the bottom of the page.

Slow Reveal for Maximum Impact

First impressions are so important.  When our guests have finally pulled up and “arrived” at our driveway, what do we want them to see?   We have a magnificent ocean view lot, and we could show it to them all at once, but don’t you think a little mystery would be nice?  Walt Disney and his Imagineers understood this design principle perfectly.  People enjoy ‘discovering’ things.  There is a special thrill associated with finding a new and unexpected place.  If the view is hidden and unfolds slowly, it adds to the sense of anticipation, arrival, and the final WOW when the view is exentually revealed.  So what design principles help us to do this?

 

  • Short sight lines and pathways leading around a corner to an unseen destination are a great way to accomplish this.   They beckon you to explore.  There’s an explicit promise that the new view will be just as good, if not better, than the current view.  This is where your guests form their first ‘first impression’
  • The topography of our lot, sloping off at about a 15 degree angle, helps us to reveal the view slowly.  But we need to hide it initially.
  • Perhaps the best way to initially hide the view would be with a wall and gate at the entrance to the driveway.  What do you think about a wider version this one?

Just kidding. (But only barely.)  There is way too great a fire risk in the area with all the grasses.  However, something like this might be nice.

I’m not a fan of the white metal, but I really like the center gold design.  It’s a stylized bromeliad (a species of tropical flowering plants), one of the most famous of which, is the pineapple.  Did you know the pineapple is a symbol of hospitality and welcome?

Christopher Columbus, was said to have discovered the pineapple in 1493 on his second trip to the Caribbean.  (Apparently he preferred it to cannibalism).  Columbus brought some of the plants back to Europe, where they became a symbol of great wealth.  European gardeners had a difficult time recreating the required conditions for the fruit to thrive until the mid 1600s.  (The Duchess of Cleveland finally managed it in her hot house in 1642).  Soon the very fashionable pineapple became the gift of choice from royalty to their honored and distinguished guests.

By the late 1600s and early 1700 the Colonial pineapple trade solidified the pineapple’s place as a status symbol.  Because the sea trip from the Caribbean to the colonies was hot and humid, much of the fruit rotted en route.  This made the fragile pineapples expensive and rare.  Colonial hostesses scrambled to acquire the scarce supply of fruit for their tables, and the trend grew.

Welcome Guests!

According to legend, New England sea captains returning from the Caribbean with their cargo of fruits, spices and rum would spear a pineapple on a fence post outside their home letting friends know of their safe return.  The pineapple was an invitation to visit, hear his tales, and share his bounty.  Over the years area innkeepers added the pineapple to their signs and furniture as a sign of welcome.

Eventually any guest invited to a party where a pineapple was on display, knew that no expense was spared in guaranteeing his enjoyment.

Yeah, we definitely gotta have a pineapple.

Maybe we can also incorporate something with a little more tropical drama?  This is lovely.  I really like the plumeria tree to the right. And those pots are fantastic.  We could widen it to accommodate a car.

The lava rock walls would give the pig fence something nice to terminate into.  PIG FENCE????  Yes, pig fence.  There are numerous wild pigs roaming the Big Island.  Without a pig fence, these guys (and their whole extended piggy family) would likely become our new best buddies.

So we’ll need a lava rock wall, something like this, at the entrance.  Isn’t this beautiful work?

Once you clear the gate, you’ll see this.  Was it worth the wait?

Own the View

As you continue down the driveway and begin turning to the west, this will be the view.  It’s the view you can see currently from the cul de sac without the wall.   It’s a 3 acre, pie shaped lot, widening towards the ocean.  It slopes off to a gully at the base.  This is incredibly important because it provides us with an un-obstructable view.  If you’re buying a lot like this with a view like this, it’s key that you ‘own’ the view.

See all those small green trees in the background?  They’re kaiwe (pron. key-AH-vey).  They are a species of Mesquite and, as such, are great for barbeque fires.  They were introduced to the Hawaiian Islands in 1828 by Father Alexis Bachelot, the leader of the first catholic mission to the islands.  He planted a kaiwe tree on the grounds of the Catholic Mission in Honolulu.  Within 12 years the progeny of that initial tree became the principal shade trees of Honolulu.  They soon spread to the neighboring islands, including the Big Island.  We will be removing all but the large one in the foreground to clean up the view plain.  (I’m sure I’ll find something to do with the wood…)

This is the view you’ll see as you continue down the driveway.

We’ll want to start introducing some tropical impact at this point.  How about something like this?  I really like those mass agave plantings at the bottom right.

Due to the slope of the lot, the house will be situatated to the left and ‘below’ the driveway kind of like this.

The driveway will end in a turn around circle or pad like this.  I really like that plumeria tree to the left of the garage.

Due to the orientation of the house on the lot, the end of the driveway will form this kind of angle relative to the garage.  There will be terraces along the south side of the driveway, similar to this.

Exterior Color Scheme

The exterior colors of our home need to be very warm and inviting.  I’m thinking a golden cream color stucco for the walls that almost glows when it’s lit, and rich orange/brown mahogany for the trim.  Kind of like this.  Check out those wall sconces too!

I definitely think we need some of those large outdoor copper Hawaiian wall sconces, don’t you?  How about these?

House Design Software

I’m designing Hale Ahonui using Google SketchUp.  It’s pretty amazing.  If you have any interest in drawing, you really should check it out.  I use the Pro version, and will be showing you some great interior views of my design with several of its features, but the basic version is very flexible on its own.  So here’s what I’m planning for the front of our house.  What do you think?

 

I hope you’ll join me again next month as we design a fabulous entry way for our Dream Home in Paradise.  Meanwhile…

Share the Dream on Pinterest

Want More Home Design?

Kohala Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii

Hale Ahonui is on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. Here the sleepy towns and countryside of the real Hawaii remain unchanged. Nestled between the wind swept terrain of Kohala Mountain to the east, and the beautiful Pacific Ocean on the west, Kohala Ranch rests on the grassy meadows in between.

read more

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

Kohala Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii

Kohala Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii

Cooking for a Crowd

 

 Aloha Dreams

   Fabulous Recipes, Cooking for a Crowd, & Dream Home Design

Sign-up for Fabulous Recipes!

1 HOME
2COOK A RECIPE
4FEED A CROWD
5DESIGN A ROOM
6PLAN A PARTY
3 EXPLORE

Kohala Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii

NOTE: This is the first of a series of posts on designing and building your dream home.  We just happen to be doing it in paradise.   If you’re interested in home design, or just enjoy amazing home design pictures, follow us room by room in the Ahonui section of Aloha Dreams as we design and build our house.  The posts can be accessed in chronological order at the bottom of the page.

Local Beauty

The northwest area of the Big Island of Hawaii is known as the Kohala (pron. Ko-HA-la) coast.   It is here that Hale Ahonui is located.  The Kohala coast offers a wide cross section of the best of Hawaii. The southern part of the area is home to world-class beaches, resorts, and golf courses, while the northern part has Hāwī (pron. Ha-VEE), and Kapaʻau (pron. Kapa-OW), several of the most charming small Hawaiian towns you could ever hope to find.  Here the countryside of the real Hawaii remains unchanged.  Nestled between the wind swept terrain of Kohala Mountain to the east, and the beautiful Pacific Ocean on the west, Hale Ahonui rests on the grassy meadows, reminiscent of the Kansas Flint Hills, in between (you can take the girl out of the prairie…).  It’s an incredibly beautiful area which contains many of the unique things to do on the Big Island.

Local Abundance

Given the similarities with the Kansas Flint Hills, it’s little surprise that the Big Island produces the lion’s share of Hawaii’s beef.   In recent years Hawaii has become more focused on locally grown food.   The year-round growing opportunities, bountiful harvest from the ocean and large pastures all support this trend.  Although the statistics from the USDA Hawaii Field Office are no longer available, it is estimated one-fourth of the Big Island’s cattle are now sold for local consumption.

The Kohala Coast is truly a food lover’s paradise.  We’re blessed with an amazing abundance of fresh, local ingredients: from Mahi Mahi, Ahi, and Opakapaka fresh off the boats in the Kawaihae (pron. KAW-wah-hay) harbor to an unbelievable selection of local fruits such as the rare white pineapple, dragon fruit, guava, and passion fruit.  We even have succulent macadamia nut-fed wild pigs from Parker Ranch just down the road (sigh).  In the months ahead I will be sharing luscious recipes enabling you to recreate this bounty, and more.

The elevation of the Kohala Coast ranges from 120 feet above sea level at the Akoni Pule highway to 5,400 feet above sea level at the summit of Kohala mountain, providing varied climates and terrain to suit every preference. The panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean to the west, the three mountains Hualalai, Mauna Loa, and Mauna Kea to the south, and Kohala Mountain to the northeast, are truly breathtaking and magical.

Hale Ahonui

Hale Ahonui is a 3 acre lot at the 1,000 foot elevation, and as such we enjoy an average temperature of 73°.  The highs can get up to the low 80°s during the day, and in the evenings it can get down to the mid 60°s.  We selected this elevation in part because of the panoramic views but also because of these temperatures.

I found the Kohala Coast when I was googling vacation ideas one day several years ago.  After concluding that the Caribbean was too hot and Mexico was too fraught, I ran across a picture similar to the one above and immediately fell in love.  (And immediately booked the trip).   While on the Big Island, we happened upon a realtor who was aware of this lot.  We purchased it on the spot.

Here is the ocean view from Hale Ahonui currently.

And if I’m able to do the calculations correctly, here is what I’m anticipating you’ll see from the house as you’re heading out to the pool at sunset.  Not too shabby, huh?   So grab a fruity drink, kick off your flip flops (they call ’em slippahs in Hawaii) and join me as we design and build Hale Ahonui!

Build a Home in Hawaii

Join me next month as we design an amazing entry gate for Hale Ahonui.  Meanwhile,

 

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Kohala Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii

Hale Ahonui is on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. Here the sleepy towns and countryside of the real Hawaii remain unchanged. Nestled between the wind swept terrain of Kohala Mountain to the east, and the beautiful Pacific Ocean on the west, Kohala Ranch rests on the grassy meadows in between.

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Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

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