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Dreamy Beach House in Kauai

By 01/13/2014September 22nd, 202170 Comments

I have known my client and good friend for many years now. I first met her when I worked at Benjamin Moore in West Vancouver.  She had just moved into a new house with her husband and was looking for wall colours. When I said I could come out to her house to help her choose them she was so happy and relieved. I ended up helping her decorate too.

She recently completed an update to her 90’s kitchen in her West Vancouver home! It’s the most beautiful transformation I have ever seen. You’ll see it in the white eBook I’m writing, I’m expecting it to be ready in March.

Then about 2 1/2 years ago, I helped her choose colours, finishes and furniture on-line sitting in her house in West Vancouver for the house they were building in Kauai.

When my friend and her husband bought the property here was what it looked like:


I saw photos of the finished house ages ago when we had dinner together but it was not the same as experiencing it for the first time in person. Terreeia, my Mom and I arrived at around midnight Saturday. We have the house to ourselves for 10 days.

Dreamy Guest House in Kauai

This is the guest house with the garage. Everything in this house reflects her good taste and attention to detail. There’s 4 bikes to use for cycling around.

Entry to Dreamy Beach House

When we arrived on Saturday night, we were like Kate Winslet in ‘The Holiday’ movie. I loved how she chose outdoor lights to illuminate the artwork in the entry hall.

Kate Winslet


Remember how she ran from room to room at the house in LA jumping up and down? She had just switched with Cameron Diaz who was in her cottage in London? Well that’s kind of what we did, haha.

Entry Hall

Here’s the full view of the hallway. The entire house, all the walls and the ceilings are all panelled in bead board.


I love this idea for collecting and displaying small treasures.

Robins Egg Blue

Robins egg blue!

Most of the furniture came from Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware as there are very few stores that ship to Kauai. My clients styling touches are everywhere. Love the hit of colour with the yellow guest towels.

All the vanities in the bathrooms are from Restoration Hardware.

Here’s the great room. I love the black windows!
Living Room

Here’s the linen sofa from Restoration Hardware. The cabinet she had custom made for the space and since most of the rest of the cabinets in the house came from there she copied the same look and feel.

vignette on bookshelf

I like how she di

Dreamy Beach House in Kauai

splayed the bowls from large to small in a row.

These bookshelves in the master sitting room you can see from the entry. She has games in the baskets on the bottom shelves.

Dreamy Beach House in Kauai

 Fun green glass jars.

The countertops are honed granite. And that’s the laundry room you can get a glimpse through the doorway from the kitchen.

The cabinets are SW 7006 and the rest of the house is SW 7004.

The lighting at night is so pretty.  Over the cabinets, underneath, and inside the glass cabinets. The appliances are integrated. And I especially love that the hood fan almost disappears, her appliances are GE Monogram.

Guest Bathroom

When we talked about which tiles to choose in the bathrooms, I suggested we repeat them and there are two guest bathrooms that are the same as this one above so we kept them identical.

I think too many people get caught up thinking each bathroom has to be soooo different. Keep the tiles classic and repeat them if there’s really no reason to switch them up and you’ll love your house much longer!

Here’s a closer look. All the countertops in the bathrooms are Carrara marble.

Guest Room

Here’s one of the guest rooms. Simple and beachy.

Master Bedroom

Here’s the master bedroom. The grounds are lit up at night with decorative lighting and it’s so pretty from this room. Here you can catch a glimpse of the pool.

Here’s the master bath with his and hers vanities opposite each other.

It’s completely open with a rain shower on the other side of the claw foot tub. There are doors here too and you can step right out to another patio.

Two pony walls on each side with the black hex tile connecting to the hardwood. Such a great way to design a no threshold bathing area and keep the hardwood seamless.

View of the Pool

Here’s a view of the pool from the house.


Terreeia enjoying the view with a Hawaiian Beer.

Here’s a photo of the pool in the morning after a hard rain.

Outdoor Shower

Here’s the outdoor shower. Can you see it?

Duck Spout

Look closely, the spout is camouflaged as a duck.

view towards the house

View towards the house from the pool

Breakfast Area

This is where we have coffee every morning. Great choice on the colour of the cushions, they get covered with branches and leaves and of course they get rained on constantly so the colour covers up everything.

view from the house

Here’s the morning view from those chairs.

Mom's Room

This guest room is where my Mom is staying, the entrance is off the lanai.

Another view of the lanai

Here’s another view. There are two identical palm trees flanking the lanai. I asked my client if they were already there and she laughed and said, ‘No, you should have seen this before we started’.

Acreage at the Beach House

Here’s the view of their acreage just past the garden.

Mom & Maria

Here I am towards the end of the day in a slightly blurry picture (I’m okay with it). I had to buy a bathing suit because I managed to pack everything but including suntan lotion, haha. That’s my Mom (Hellen) enjoying the sun behind me. It was her birthday yesterday.

So this is where I’ll be for the next 8 days. My mom said “We really don’t need to go anywhere else do we?”.

As many of you know, I started writing this blog a little over five years ago and by accident, discovered that I had a LOT to say about colour, design and that I could write like I talk (which is how your blog should sound anyway). Before that, all the jobs I was in, I would walk around with a constant pit of anxiety in my stomach because I knew I wasn’t doing what I should be doing.  In the weekends my anxiety would be worse because I was always stressed that I wasn’t in the right job. I really suffered a lot, I’m not kidding.

It was one of the reasons I participated for over 10 years in personal growth and development programs but that was a different cut at self-awareness. Learning that I was 100% responsible for my life and everything that happens in it as well as learning how to communicate powerfully (well, that’s what I do here on my blog every day) was extraordinary.

It’s Penelope’s genius take on Meyer’s Briggs and her ability to interpret it powerfully that makes this course different from any old personalty test.  That’s what will give you all kinds of freedom in understanding who you are and taking your career to the next level. Really it’s a bargain at what we’re charging for it. Plus it’ll be fun.

So sign up here. 


I’m going out to lay by the pool.

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  • What a gorgeous home! Great colour and decorating. Enjoy the sun and the little bit of R & R you can get!

  • Angela Taylor says:

    Love everything about this house and the view is to die for!
    I’ll be thinking of you all in the warm sun while we shiver in the NW:)

  • Beautiful! Love the home and the grounds. Enjoy!

  • Gina says:

    Enjoy yourselves, ladies! It looks spectacular! Thanks so much for sharing the photos.

  • Amanda says:

    Wow! This is unreal. You are some very lucky ladies! The home is finished to perfection. How lovely…enjoy!

  • Beautiful! It is hard leaving such a gorgeous setting but the rest of the island is beautiful too and waiting to be explored. Have fun!!!

  • Mary says:

    Can you provide details about the hardwood flooring? I love the color, width and overall look. Thanks!

  • Kathy says:

    Love the contrast of the white beadboard with the black windows/light fixtures. What a lovely place to spend your vacation!

  • What an AMAZING place to stay! Lucky you!

  • Deborah McKenzie says:

    Ahhh….the smell of it. That is place where you easily are in a constant state of meditation without effort.
    I do love the exterior light fixtures on the art wall!

  • Great house!!! The fresh white walls with the black accent lights to show case the art is a fresh look. Love the details especially the ducky handle on the hose cut off. The contrast between the wood floors and the white walls gives it a super transitional beach look.
    Love it!

  • Cathy Z says:

    They (and you) absolutely nailed this house! From the black windows to the flooring to the bathroom layout and landscape design (sure I’ll shower under a palm tree!) – everything is SO perfect. I think I saved nearly every one of these photos for future reference 🙂

    Did you know the locals call the small rain showers that happen each day blessings? What a happy take on life.

  • Rog says:

    Looks tolerable for what it is. Love the two matching chairs in the living room.

  • Candace says:

    Can you provide information sbout the counter-height black stools at her kitchen island?

    What a beautiful home !

  • Mariko says:

    Wow, what a stunning house and gardens with fabulous views ! The white beadboard with the walnut floors and lovely decor are simply gorgeous. How lucky you both are….enjoy !!

  • Ellen says:

    Hi Maria,
    You’re very lucky to have a generous client/good friend who offers her vacation home in Hawaii to friends. The property and views are amazing and her home is beautiful. Thank you for sharing and enjoy! I signed up for the course last night and cannot wait to take it.
    Thank you for blogging.

  • jeanette says:

    Spectacular! Love the dark ceiling fans too!! Thanks for sharing this beautiful home in Hawaii with us..It’s a dreary, rainy morning here, but you just brightened my day:). Enjoy!

  • Marcia says:

    I love the decorating in this house so much that I’ve saved the pictures for future decorating reference! Something special is the white refrigerator in the white kitchen … with a stainless steel stove. Wonderful! A large stainless refrigerator might have been unnecessarily eyecatching, and the stainless stove is an attractive focal point.

  • LaJuana says:

    What a perfect home…every inch inside and out is ideal! BTW I believe the beadboard is common to the islands from my experience. I lived on Oahu courtesy of Uncle Sam and my ex back in the 70’s and it was rare to see double wall construction and/or drywall in most homes. They didn’t need the insulation so most homes simply had the boards as walls, no studs in newer (new at the time!) homes and visible studs in older homes, at least the ones I visited…and lived in as a low ranking military dependent. It surprises me when I watch the Hawaiian House Hunter type programs now and see drywall everywhere. Of course when I was there, there were probably 75% fewer residences than there are now. Know you three are having a lovely experience! Aloha Nui Loa!

    • My parents lived in Navy housing in the early 70’s. We live here now. All the older homes (built during the boom right after Hawaii became a state) are still single wall. We lived in housing for 2 years and found out we’d be here a long time, so we ended up buying an older home and have renovated the whole thing. It has been a ton of work! All the new stuff they show on TV are out west in Kapolei/Ewa Beach. Most of the homes where you lived are still the same (although all the housing has been rebuilt once or twice!) You’d be surprised how much it’s changed here! Aloha, Jennifer

  • Barb says:

    Have a great trip!!!!

  • Fran says:

    Wow, this home is gorgeous! Love the attention to detail, with the Asian inspired roof, the beadboard walls and ceilings and black accents throughout. And with views like that, it would be really tempting not to go anywhere. Hope you have a wonderful time. Happy birthday to your mom!

    • Alex says:

      the roof line is not Asian, it is a Dickey inspired split pitch roof line which was popularized by the acclaimed architect Charles Dickey. The split pitch roof serves many purposes and is beautiful as well. The origins and history is quite interesting but it’s primary objective is deep over=hang for sun protection and rain run off. It also can and often does extend over outdoor living areas to define the “lanai.”

  • franki says:

    Whoa! This is fantastic!! Thanks for the “tour” and I, too, wanted a “built in fridg, etc.” and have the GE Monogram…love it! Now…off to the ocean for you!! franki

  • Jane W. says:


  • Mary says:

    Maria, can you tell a bit about the white e-book you are writing? Thanks, it really caught my attention…plus I would love to Virginia’s other kitchen after these gorgeous photos!

  • Stacy says:

    It is a very peaceful place to visit (or live). I got married on that unforgettable island. Love how well done and clean looking the house is. Enjoy!

  • sandyc says:

    Love everything about that house but especially those dark-framed windows and especially in the master bedroom looking out onto that gorgeous view. I’m grateful for my own dark-framed 8′ wide ones looking onto the greenbelt. I’m so happy you, Terreeia and your mom are there and each enjoying a lot of little pieces of heaven every day. Thanks to modern technology that lets us share with you.

  • Heaven, you’re in heaven…oh Wow Maria, these is absolutely beautiful…the setting, the home, the views. Have a wonderful holiday, and Happy Birthday to your Mom!

  • Jennifer says:

    Maria, it looks beautiful there! Like your client, I have a ceiling fan in my kitchen too. I really like how the kitchen island pendants are positioned around the fan. I have been wondering how I could add pendants in addition to my fan. I really hated the thought of giving it up. Enjoy your vacation!

  • Sarah says:

    Hi Maria,
    What great photos – the next best thing to being there. :o)
    Can you tell me what the fabric is, on the two arm chairs in the living room? And are they brown? Really like how they work with the linen sofa.

  • Carrie says:

    Love, love, love the house!! What a beautiful property to vacation at! I too love Restoration Hardware and actually purchased their paint fan deck so that I could match it up to your BM neutral paint cards so I can find the right neutral that matches my RH slipcovers and drapery! Thanks for letting us peak in on your vacation!

  • Liza says:

    Maria, what is the rule regarding using white carrera marble, and off white paint? I’m so confused. Also, do you happen to know whether the wood floors are solid wood or a laminate? I recently moved ro Forida, and all the flooring people here tell me that I can’t have solid wood because it will warp in the humidity. It’s humid in Hawaii; so I was wondering if they have any warping? I loved this post; and I felt transported and peaceful just reading it!

    • Maria Killam says:

      Great question, we wanted the colour to be the same throughout and we could do that because the vanities were all stained wood. The flooring is hardwood, I don’t see any warping!

      • As far as warping goes, this beach house is new and probably had really good foundation sealing as well as high quality wood rated for humid areas and proper installation. If you are worried about humidity in general, you need to really acclimate your wood (weeks, not days) as well as buy high quality stuff that has several layers (turned 90 degrees for each layer, get to know what you’re looking at) to help prevent warping. Good luck!

    • BillP says:

      Hi Liza,
      I also have a home in FL. Most Florida homes are built on concrete slabs. Hardwood flooring is not recommended when it is placed directly on the concrete because of the moisture in the concrete. If you have an “old Florida” style (think Key West), an elevated house with air circulation below, real wood may be used.

  • Dianne says:

    I am so excited by these photos I can hardly contain myself while working today. I have a house about to be built and was struggling with interior finishes and window styles. Really love the wide bead board and was considering using it horizontally in some rooms for accents (bath, laundry, bedroom) but didn’t want to appear to ‘country’. I love the entire house with it though. Also was considering black window frames but didn’t want it to look too commercial or cold. They are a big commitment. We are building a simple retirement home near the West coast and want the open, airy feeling that this beautiful home has. I am so afraid to make these big decisions though! Seeing these photos truly inspires me to pursue what I have in my head. Thank you for the timely post and sharing this beautiful home!

  • Janet says:

    I could move in tomorrow. Lovely!

    Thanks for sharing the two SW colours you used for the kitchen cabinets and the rest of the house. The kitchen is so very pretty. There seems to be a light pinkish cast.

    Have a wonderful time!

  • Susan S says:

    It doesn’t even seem real! I’m awestruck! Are you guys black and blue from pinching yourselves? I see what you mean by the reference to Kate Winslet’s character in the movie. The house is FABULOUS and I want to personally thank the owners for allowing you to share it.

    P.S. Have you begun looking for property? 🙂

  • Deborah McKenzie says:

    Are the fixtures that appear black really black or are they bronze. I also was wondering what the slate black color was on the doors and garage. I remember your post on hardware, that comes off reading black.

  • Margie says:

    The house and surrounding property is spectacular. What area of Kauai is the house located? Do you know if she is going to be renting it out when they are not there?

  • Stacy says:

    Gorgeous! One thing I noticed is that the rain gutters and down spouts are the same color; it still looks nice of course but I thought the down spouts were supposed to be the same color as the house. Maybe these are copper or custom?

  • Victoria says:

    So thrilled to see your client’s lovely home in heaven on earth Kauai — and the wonderful seamless work you always do in coordinating colors. Love it all! Let us know if your client leases their home. We are still thinking of going back again for our anniversary and are looking at leasing a house this time.

    And how funny that you didn’t pack a bathing suit! I was going to e-mail you and let you know that’s all you need other than sunscreen and a sarong and sandals for the restaurants.

    Now relax and breathe and enjoy!



  • Victoria says:

    Just saw your reply to a post that they don’t rent out their home. I can understand that. I probably wouldn’t want to do that either.

    Thinking about the Know Yourself seminar. Sounds intriguing and helpful. I’ve always loved taking those tests, but never know what to do with them afterwards. Maybe the seminar would help me in my next chapter of life as I have been contemplating what’s next — other than traveling the world with my wonderful husband and retirement. But I still want to know what I am supposed to do when I “grow up!”

  • Franny says:

    Oh Maria, the house is soooo beautiful, you are so lucky. It must be a dream come true. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Kathi says:

    Oh Maria, you lucky girls,I still dream of Kauaii, I went to a wedding at the Ritz Carleton 2 years ago,you must go on the Zodiac tour,we saw whales,dolphins,went inside a cave for jut a minute, explored an old Hawaiian village that most tourists never see,it was one of the most favorite days of my life-thanks for sharing the fabulous pics of this incredible house! some people sure know how to live!

  • Beth says:

    The grounds are pretty.

  • This is completely at dream house! So happy for you to be there. Looking forward to the webinar. Too bad you can’t stay there to do it from Kaua’i!!!

  • Mary says:

    Awww. It seems so relaxing. Beautiful home!

  • Joanne G says:

    Enjoy your time in Paradise! And thanks for referencing the SW colors. It’s helpful to see paint in different rooms and applications.

  • ML says:

    So interesting that the walls are all painted SW 7004. It looks like an exceedingly pale gray. I looked it up on Sherwin-Williams and the name of that shade is “Snowbound.” I suppose they chose it to counteract the hot days on Kauai?

  • Vicky says:

    Beautiful. I love that whitened to paint my walks that color. My floors are natural but over time look a bit yellow would this color compliment them

  • Nancy says:

    Love your friends house in Hawaii
    Love that is has no Sheetrock
    What was used on the walls is the ceiling bead board?
    The outside is also very stunning is it white and black
    Love the whole house timeless
    I love reading all your pies learning so much
    The hardest for me is understanding the dirty clean color
    Like is white a clean color. So you wouldn’t use a dirty color with white
    What is black?
    I get that cream would be dirty
    So us wouldn’t use cream and white right
    Keep on posting you are the most interesting decorator I have ever tuned into

    Thanks nancy

  • Natalie says:

    Can you give me info. on the black bathroom tile? Looking all over for it! Thanks!!!

  • Elisabeth says:

    What color grout is used with the tile? Does the black hex have the same color grout as the white hex? And how about the subway?

    I am building a house. I know I want mostly white tile but the grout color is stressing me. Seems like darker grout makes sense in a bathroom. Thoughts?

  • megan says:

    Could you please please tell me the brand of that black tile, and is it truly black, or more of a charcoal? I’m looking for something just like it. Thank you!

  • Debra Rigby says:

    I am finally ready to have my classic white
    Kitchen!! I am a designer and my husband
    says he hates white kitchens and can’t believe
    I’m not choosing something dramatic!

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