Make it Maui but Modern


Stephanie Brown delivers a Hawaiian estate with classic and contemporary edge

In the living room, a pair of sofas from Benson is flanked by a pair of Flos floor lamps, topped by pillows by Croft House and surrounded by a pair of Paola Lenti chairs. Photos by Mariko Reed.
In the kitchen, the counter stools by Desalto complement the black steel island details.Photos by Mariko Reed.
Vessels by Heather Rosenman are scattered across a custom dining table in the dining room.
Photos by Mariko Reed.

“We believe each project should be a unique reflection of the client, and tell their story through meaningful and tastefully executed design details. While each and every project aesthetic may differ, the level of design, integrity, and service are consistent and integral to our process,” says designer Stephanie Brown, which is how she approached the design of an expansive Maui estate for longstanding clients.

Fluted marble adds texture in a powder room.Photos by Mariko Reed.
In the office the Latus Writing desk by Switzer Cult Creative faces a pair of U Turn swivel chairs by Inform.Photos by Mariko Reed.

The 8,000-square-foot home with over 2,000 additional square footage of outdoor living space is set on an elevated bluff in an exclusive neighborhood that allows for endless, unobstructed views. Brown collaborated with architect Weigang Marvick and Makena Builders on the ground-up build that was executed during the beginning of the pandemic. “I was actually in Maui doing some site visits (and a vacation) in March 2020, literally the week the pandemic began,” Brown recalls. “Following that trip, we oversaw the remaining build from Vancouver, working closely with Makena Builders via emails, calls and texts (even Instagram) to help answer questions.”

Brown’s clients wanted a luxury property that felt classically Hawaiian with modern edge and a variety of activity areas. The property includes a pool, a gym and yoga pavilion, a bocci court, pickle ball court, and even an orchard. “Archeological stone walls are preserved and interwoven throughout the grounds, providing a great connection to the area’s history,” she notes. “The home features traditional Hawaiian architecture, so our challenge was to creatively detail the interior in a way that would help tip it towards a more modern aesthetic.”

RH outdoor furniture fills one of the covered Lanais.Photos by Mariko Reed.
In the primary bedroom the Tara lounge chairs are by Arteriors, the lamps are by Studio Dunn and the bed is from B&B Italia.
Photos by Mariko Reed.
In the primary bathroom, the Hew side table is by DWR and the Skin surfboard is by Jeff Trotter.Photos by Mariko Reed.

Having worked on similar projects in the region, Brown and her team focused on incorporating rich wood tones that weren’t too warm for the continuous millwork throughout balanced by a muted limestone and off-white walls that enhance the natural light that dances inside. “We imagined a space that would flow seamlessly indoors and outdoors, with extensive use of walnut wood, limestone flooring, and a calming, neutral color palette, rich with texture,” she notes. “We also wanted to deliver a Hawaiian aesthetic, without being obvious or kitschy.”

Photos by Mariko Reed.
The gym has a connected outdoor shower.Photos by Mariko Reed.
Photos by Mariko Reed.
In guest room, the pair of full beds is from RH.Photos by Mariko Reed.

It is evident, Brown’s attention to detail is what sets this home apart from the rest. From the narrow walnut slat panelling throughout to the black steel frames in the kitchen and the organic handmade tiles, the subtle nuances deliver the desired contemporary Hawaiian feel while the furniture selections provide the perfect polish. “Planning the furnishings and decor of this 10,000-square-foot estate was a year-long task in itself,” says Brown. “We selected and coordinated furnishings from around the world, staying true to the use of muted, organic elements with an emphasis on a neutral palette with textural interest. While we included a few thematic decor elements such as surfboards, palm leaves and grasscloth wallpaper, we kept the palette neutral which helps everything feel a bit more elevated, luxurious and modern.”

Photos by Mariko Reed.
Photos by Mariko Reed.

“When it was time for the move-in in January 2021, pandemic travel restrictions kept my team from joining me for the final install,” she notes. “I had to jump through quite a few hoops (testing, quarantine) just to be there, and thankfully our wonderful clients and Makena Builders became my “design crew” to help put all the final furnishing and decor elements into place,” says Brown. “They were really thrilled with how this turned out. It was a very unique project with lots of detail and it all came together very nicely!”