Catherine Kwong Designed House – Minimalist Dream Vacation Home

The idea of ​​the Big Island of Hawaii may sound like an explosion of tropical colors and floral-print shirts, but it was just the opposite a young family had in mind when they hired based Catherine Kwong. in San Francisco, to design their new vacation home. the.

“When we took on the project, customers told us straight away that they were minimalists at heart,” Kwong explains. “It’s an easy thing to do in a big city loft, but we had to figure out, how did that translate into a house open to the elements? And how do you make it a kind of place where people want to relax? “

EXTERIOR The doors and windows of this Catherine Kwong home on Big Island, Hawaii, slide into the walls, creating a seamless interior-exterior flow.

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With a clean-lined foundation laid by Shay Zak of Zak Architecture, the challenge was to bring in furniture and decor that would make it relaxed, not austere. His answer: layer, layer, layer. “It’s a neutral color palette,” she says, “but it incorporates different types of media. The materials and fabrics all have a tactile hand, which makes it more comfortable. Even the white paint that was used on all interior walls was chosen for the sake of warmth, she adds.

And while the idea of ​​all white in a beach house occupied by two adults with two small children might cause some hesitation, Kwong assures that the pieces she chose, from beige hemp rugs to indoor canvas cushions and outdoor dining chairs, are totally family friendly. -friendly. “We made sure to balance the client’s minimalist aesthetic with how a beach house is actually used,” says Kwong. “This is not a place where people worry about following in the sand! ”

Who lives here

While vacationing on the Kona Coast, a couple with two young children fell in love with the area and decided to build a second home (now frequently visited).

Big room

Living room, Interior design, Bedroom, Ceiling, Property, Furniture, Building, House, House, Wall,

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Living room, Bedroom, Interior design, Furniture, Property, Wall, House, House, Ceiling, Table,

Matthieu millman

As the family tends to congregate in the kitchen, Kwong has integrated it into the main living room. The great room – and the rest of the house – is painted in a white that Kwong chose because of its warm shade: “The lighting on the Big Island is really bright, so we didn’t want pure white. We spent months testing the colors and ended up with Benjamin Moore’s Swiss Coffee, actually a super popular color that has a little bit of sweetness.

The custom dining table has been designed to seat ten people (and can accommodate a few more if needed). “We made it so big because the kitchen island was gigantic!” Kwong said. “The size also allowed us to make armchairs so that everyone had room to spread out.” They are covered with outdoor canvas so that spills can be easily wiped up.

To paint: Café Suisse Benjamin Moore. Cabinets: Henry built. Chandelier: Interiors. Fan: Boffi. Dinner table and chairs: Customs. Sofa and pillows: made to measure in Pierre Frey and Holland & Sherry fabrics. Wooden side table: Egg collective. Art: Sophie Tottie. Daybed: Former Jean Prouvé. Woven side table: Target.

Media room

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“This space is definitely kind of a cozy room after the beach,” says Kwong. “The goal was to create a comfortable and welcoming sanctuary, where the family could come together and spend quality time with each other.” The B&B Italia sectional was the first room guests chose – they already have one in their year-round house which has become a favorite place to relax.

Pillows: Target and personalized in C&C Milano. Art: Michael J. Spear. Tray: Nickey Kehoe. Wall lights: Orange furniture. Carpet: Holland & Sherry.

Girl’s room

Bedroom, Furniture, Bed, Bedroom, Bed sheet, Bedding, Bed frame, Interior design, Property, Mattress,

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Each of the bedrooms in the house has sliding louvered doors that open to a private outdoor shower and the main courtyard. She designed custom built-in upholstered headboards for each of them to add an extra layer of softness.

Art: Hugo Guinness. Bedding: The Line duvet, Rejuvenation bedspread, Target decorative pillows, C&C Milano personalized decorative pillowcases.

Guest room

Bedroom, Furniture, Interior design, Bedroom, Wall, Floor, House, Black and white, Bed, Table,

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“All of the rooms have a nice and comfortable ladder, but the ceilings are really very high, so we played with the scale of the artwork and the few rooms in the room to make sure we got it right.” , explains Kwong. The bedroom also has a built-in desk and shelves so that it can be used as a workspace if needed.

Art: Rachelle Derouin. Bed: From La Espada. Bedding: Parachute duvet, Matteo blanket. Pillow fabric: Pierre Frey. Candlestick: Pedestal table. Side table: James Persé. Towel ladder: Menu.


Property, Architecture, Building, House, Floor, Bedroom, Ceiling, Home, Column, Daylight,

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The main entrance to the house opens onto a central courtyard. Two different textures
basalt — alias — lava rock makes up the soils. Using the decor sparingly was a key part of Kwong’s design guideline: “We worked hard to create spaces that used little furniture, but all the good ones,” she explains.

Bench: Sawkille Co.

The weatherproof house

For a home that can withstand the elements, kids and adults on vacation.

Alaskan yellow cedar Popular with local builders because of its ability to withstand extreme heat and humidity, this wood has a clean, modern look.

UV glass All the art has been placed behind light filtering panels, so there is no risk of it fading when doors and windows are left open.

Basalt For the interior and exterior floors, Zak used basalt: a tough, dark gray lava rock native to Hawaii. “It stays cool in the heat but has a nice softness,” says Kwong.


Tree, Palm tree, Holidays, Arecales, Tropics, Resort, Outdoor furniture, Leisure, Woody plant, Sky,

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The tranquil pool overlooks an expanse of lava fields; from there it’s a brisk walk to the beach. Most of the outdoor furniture came from James Perse, whom Kwong chose because of its aesthetic similarity to indoor pieces.

Chairs: James Persé.

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