Life Affirming Design and Decor

Design has been near and dear to me for most of my life.  Personal taste is subjective, and I am hoping to go beyond the surface here and explore emotional response to design and decor.
 My  first memory of self expression in the world of design was my insistence of choosing a new color palette for my own bedroom. I may have been 9 years old, but I knew without a doubt that a lavender hue was what I wanted to wake up to each morning.  Being an artist, my mom was  enthusiastic in her desire to paint and re-paint our walls, so I knew she'd be game. My sense of self was elevated with this lavender bedroom. Being able to effect change in my surroundings set the stage for a life of spirited decor and design. 
Color anchors a room, and it is the least costly way to transform space. Creamy plantation white walls are the calm  negative space that are so vital in successful art. Crown moldings, plate rails and large baseboards of my heritage home are highlighted with tones that I choose to set a mood .
My Kona Wing guests described the two rooms as a "happy" mood....I laughed when I heard that as Victoria had coined it the "Happy" rooms just the day before.

Recently, I took advantage of a quiet week and tiled the shower in the Hibiscus room. My wonderful brother, who has lent a hand many times throughout the years, spent three days in a shower stall to get the job finished for me.While he was setting tile, I got busy making some changes   to this space. Fortunately I have enough inventory to "shop" in my own home.   The simplicity in this room is complemented by the serenity of nature in the decor.
Light is as essential as water and air to an artist. I like to use mirrors to reflect the  natural light from the antique wavy glass windows .It adds sparkle without going overboard.

Viki and I spin stories as a room is taking shape. The Rose room was next in line for a lift.  It was a true pleasure to develop a scene that spoke of  history, function, and elegance. We combined Plantation era pieces simple in their lines and design, with an ornate carved headboard telling the story of a family treasure surviving a long journey to a remote Hawaiian island. The guest who arrived into the Rose room after this transformation  told me at breakfast that he was very content in the room. He said it conveyed an elevated sense of old Hawaii .I smiled knowing that the honest sincerity of my design and decor offered repose, a  comfortable home away from home. What more could I ask for?

 With Gratitude and Aloha,

Nature's Colors and Textures


Today I decided it was time to get off my okole and get hiking again. I was sitting at my computer and my little dog Annie jumped up and started batting at my hand with her skinny little legs and cute paws. She would not let up..I got the message, grabbed my shoes and we headed up to the forest.

I chose the watershed forest hike and it was spectacular. Blue sky and bright green colors still moist from the morning rain. The  soft red earth filled with puddles were just starting to dry from the mid-day sun. It was quiet and I was drinking in all the colors and textures of the forest. Annie was following her nose as usual, keeping an eye on me, but really enjoying sniffing here and there, up and down each trail we chose. Sometimes I like to cross country it and cruise off the paths into the deeper forest.
One of the sights that  captivates me is the bark of the multi colored Euculyptis trees. My heart sings when I see these miracles of Nature.
Ahh, the end of a very sweet day...Mahalo ke Akua.
May the rest of the weekend be just as wonderful for one and all.

With Aloha,

E komo mai

E komo mai.......Come in, come in.

Welcome to a new Maui sharing spot. Here I hope to share my mana'o, my thoughts, with you. Mana'o is a Hawaiian word that I like a lot. It means "to think, to wish."

On Maui we have a very special listener supported radio station called Mana'o Radio. You can find it locally at 91.5, it is also on the web at The music is very eclectic as the d.j.'s are all volunteer.. Many of the folks at this radio station are musicians as well. If you want to get tuned into local events, listen to a great Maui station.

If you are a visitor to Hawaii, or a new resident, the Hawaiian language can be a bit tricky. Something that may help you correctly pronounce a daunting Hawaiian word, is apply basic phonetics. This will get you closer to sounding like you've been here before.

The Hawaiian language allows for one to take a moment and really look, listen and feel. There are many ways to describe the rain of Hawaii. It can be gentle, or strong, come from the mountain, or the sea. This is the in depth approach I hope to have as I share my mana'o , my stories and experiences of living in Hawaii Nei with you. I was not born in Hawaii, and the first 20 years that I lived here, I was in awe of the beautiful place I called home. I am close to completing the next 20 years of living here now. During this time, I have begun to scratch the surface of what it means to be "of Hawaii" . I am a part of the latest waves of immigrants fortunate enough to land on these shores.

I've begun to see deeper into the stunning, breathtaking beauty of Hawaii. The soles of my feet are now stained red from the clay soil of Maui. I eat and serve fresh fruit from my garden every day.I feel blessed, and, I am grateful. In Hawaii, we live closely aligned with nature . We spend a lot of time outside. For me, this is a more complete way to experience life. When we have Kona weather, it means our weather comes from the south. People can get a little edgy when the weather is Kona. Big, wild storms could be on the way, or, there is not a breath of air moving. The trade winds keep our Maui air clean and fresh. Without the trades, the "Vog", volcanic particles in the air from Madame Pele on the Big Island, end up blanketing most of the islands. This week we have had Kona weather, hopefully it will bring some much needed rain for the garden.

In this journal, I plan to serve up a fresh little slice of paradise to keep you coming back for more.

A hui ho, until later.