Philpotts Interiors

Lae Lae

Kamuela, Hawaiʻi, HI

This home is tucked away in a sleepy cowboy town on Hawai‘i Island. It was originally built as headquarters for a cattle ranch and later purchased by the famous singer Don Ho. Steeped in history and imbued with charm, the property also offers sweeping views of Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Hualalai and the Alenuihaha Channel.

The design reuses some of the elements of the original home, such as the lava rock base as well as exposed half-sawn ohia logs that now clad the master bedroom ceiling and the bar counter that divides the great room and kitchen.

Reclaimed hardwoods sourced from locally felled trees are used for finishes, cabinetry, countertops and furniture. These include an entrance bench made from an old growth lychee tree from Hāwī; a foyer and kitchen bar countertop of African mahogany wood harvested from the Hāmākua Coast; side and coffee tables made from locally sourced pheasant and mango wood; locally harvested jacaranda in the bathroom; reused redwood and Norfolk pine in the media room.

Furnishings are elegant, casual and, most importantly, substantial enough to be child and pet friendly. The color palette is earthy and subdued, letting the outside vistas reign. The overall effect is of a sophisticated mountain home in Hawai‘i that is beautiful and welcoming without being pretentious.