at homeliving with style in west hawaiiInn-ChantingHolualoa Inn, History of HospitalityWest Hawaii TodayJULY 2009

July 2009At HomeLiving with Stylein West HawaiiPublisherRichard AsbachAt Home EditorKaren [email protected] DirectorSunny Pau‘oleHolualoa InnContributing WritersKaren AndersonKristina AndersonF a m i l y e s t a t e ’s h i s t o r yo f ho sp ita lityPhotographerGiselle ThompsonContributing PhotographersKaren AndersonKristina AndersonSunny Pau‘oleCatherine Tarleton1218on the cover4Sales & Marketing DirectorTracey [email protected] 2009 At Home distributedthe last Sunday of each monthin West Hawaii Today.Published on June 28, 2009Cover Photo Courtesy Holualoa Inn:Warm and cozy B&B invites oldfashioned camaraderieamong guests.Magic in Miloli‘iLittle Grass ShacksOff-the-grid in a n o c ta g o nT ik i huts m a d e f o r sha d efeatures:2at home in west hawaii/ july2009E d i t o r ’s C o l u m n . . . 1 1Discoveries.22In the Kitchen.26at home in west hawaii/ july 20093

Magic in Miloli‘iOff-the-gridin an octagonBy Kristina AndersonPhotography by Giselle ThompsonTwenty-five years ago, long before anyoneused the phrase “off-the-grid,” John Appbuilt his own geodesic dome in the remote Ortegaregion of Southern California. Living seven milesup the mountain, he installed a six-panel solarsystem that tracked the sun through the day, oneof the first of its kind. A dual-lighting generatorand 12-volt RV lights provided electricity for themountaintop mecca.It was an experience that prepared him well toequip his new upper Miloli‘i home with basicallythe same sustainable technology, updated by aquarter century of progress. Only this time, thehome is an octagon.The special house he shares with partnerDonna J. Mills is a showcase of very personalart, treasures and interiors by Donna, as well asstunning, precision-made cabinetry created byJohn, with the help of his friend Kendall Whiting.“The octagonal shape, like the geodesic, is veryfreeing,” observes John, who, as a formerThe homeowners designed their octagon-shaped house from plans they found on theInternet. “We bought the plans and customized them to work with the view,” said JohnApp, homeowner. The wraparound Trex deck provides plenty of outdoor living space.4at home in west hawaii/ july2009John App (pictured above) crafted exquisite koa cabinetry,furnishings and doors with the help of friend Kendall Whiting.They perfected much of it from scrap wood, sourced from asawmill in Ocean View, with impressive results.The central great room, with its 30-foot-high ceiling, leads to every room of the house. “The flow of the house is very freeing,” John said.“There’s a movement from room to room that is tangible.”at home in west hawaii/ july 20095

Photo by Kristrina Anderson“ I am privileged to be ableto work with ‘Queen Koa’and other beautiful woodsuch as mango and ohia herePhoto by Kristina Andersonin Hawaii.” — John AppMahogany flooring blends beautifully with porcelain tile from Tile Warehouse. Sliding shojiscreens were custom made by Kona Shoji Design.Marine Corps pilot, flew helicopters in Vietnam.“There are no corners except where you make them,and the octagon style gives you lots of leftover space;you don’t lose space until you get to the top. It givesan open, welcoming feeling.”John explains that going off the grid in Hawaiiwas not only more desirable, it made more sensefinancially. For less cost than bringing HELCO powerto the house, the couple purchased a state-of-theart solar system. Now set with 21 solar panels anda huge inverter, the system has enough juice to runthe entire household as well as John’s fully equippedwoodworking shop. Add a repeater for cell phonesand Internet, plus two large rain catchment tanks, lotsof vegetable gardens, and voila, a nearly 100-percent,off-the-grid lifestyle.Inside the home, style was not sacrificed forsustainability, thanks to Donna’s phenomenal senseof color and placement. Planning the position ofeach room with the architect, Donna designatedJohn topped his handcrafted koa cabinets with an ohia lattice counter and a glasstop. Beneath the ohia is copper sheeting distressed for a patina effect. Sparklingbacksplash tile and trim are from Bella Pietra.Donna’s tribal motif includes her collection of Southwesternbaskets, vases and art. Douglas Fir beams were primed tolook like mahogany.A wealth of talent can be found in Ocean View, where Johnand Donna purchased cement stepping stones with petroglyphdesigns created by Brad Pitton of Brad’s Tractor Service.6at home in west hawaii/ july2009everything from lighting and carpet to tile and décor.The art of woodworking has always been near toJohn’s heart, and a tour through the bathrooms andkitchen reveals his outstanding, gallery-quality effortsin koa cabinetry. Learning woodworking through nightclasses at Palomar College, John honed his expertisemore thoroughly after moving to Hawaii from SouthernCalifornia a few years ago. John, who has a degree inclassical archeology, says it is a particularly specialhonor to work in koa.“As woodworkers, we start with a rough-sawn boardfrom the sawmill. This is a treat for us as this woodwas created by a living life form over 30- to 40-plusyears. Koa is even more so since it is born the queen ofHawaii’s forests. So we feel charged with preservingand presenting the beauty of each piece of wood.”For both bathrooms in the house, John created uniquevanity counters with ohia lattice tops covered by glass.Under the lattice, copper sheeting serves as a decorativebase. In the master bath vanity (John’s favorite) isBed from Koehnen’s Interiors; pillows by Donna.Another of John’s custom koa vanities with ohia, copper and glasscountertop. The couple found the brass dolphin fixture at theOcean View Swap home in west hawaii/ july 20097

copper sheeting that John and Kendall “distressed”themselves one fortuitous afternoon.“To get the patina effect, we used battery acid,vinegar and bleach and let it sit for two or three hours,”he recalls. “We didn’t know what would result untilit was done.” Fortunately, it worked. The startlinglybeautiful copper piece complimenting the koa alsopicks up metallic flashes of color from the backsplash.Vessel sinks of frosted green glass enhance the paletteeven further.In the kitchen, and indeed, throughout the house,John’s beautiful woodworking is on display in the formof tables, bowls, sideboards and doors. He says hetreats cabinets as art pieces, searching for the specialsoul of the wood to work with.“I don’t want every cabinet to look like every othercabinet — that would be boring,” he said. “When I starta piece, there is sense of awe and excitement when IAZADI; 9.653 in; 5.25 in; Black plus three; 000005548r48at home in west hawaii/ july2009Vegetable gardens and orchards help support the couple’s 100-percent, off-the-grid lifestyle, madepossible by a 21-panel photovoltaic system that provides plenty of juice to run the entire household.To create the outdoor fireplace, a wood frame was built around a pre-fabricated fireplace, which wasthen stuccoed. John created the tiled chimney gecko and hearth. Lanai furniture from ChampagneSpa & Lanai.see the grains, the curls and the fiddle-back patterns forthe first time.”Donna, an avid collector of Southwestern baskets,pottery and paintings, brings a touch of Santa Fe charmto the home with her unique sense of decorating, fabricand textiles. Donna and John, who met on,once considered moving to Santa Fe, but were put offby wintertime single-digit temperatures.The warmth of Hawaii won out after they visited oneyear and fell in love with South Kona. Later returning,they found the five-and-a-half acre property and builtthe house over the past five or six years. In additionto designing the interiors, Donna planned the gardens,landscaping and the outdoor fireplace and sitting area,which echoes a Santa Fe spirit.“It’s so calm and peaceful,” John says. “We just lovebeing a part of this wonderful land and feel privilegedto have our home here.” AHKALOKO FURNITURE; 9.653 in; 5.25 in; Black plus three; 000005507r1at home in west hawaii/ july 20099