Maui No Ka 'Oi Magazine September-October 2014 - September-October 2014
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A Passion For The Past

Inspired by Hawai‘i’s plantation era, Liliko‘i Lani reclaims the charm of yesteryear.

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Antique Table, Hawaii Plantation Style, Lilikoi Lani

In 2002, Robert Adolph purchased a property on a winding country road in Ha‘iku, intending to create a vacation rental. At the time, the parcel had only a cottage that had been built in the 1970s. “I wanted to build a house that was different from others in the marketplace,” he says. “There were plenty of two- and three-bedroom houses, but not many with four or five bedrooms.”

Trained in construction, Robert discovered he had a knack for home design. He admired Hawaiian plantation architecture, which features low-profile wood framing, vertical-plank siding, and spacious lānais. “There are classic examples of this type of architecture all over the island,” he says. “I drove around taking pictures of houses with design elements that caught my eye. I also saved clippings from architectural journals.”

Front Porch, Plantation Style Lanai, Red Dirty Paint, At HomeA surprising amount of thought went into the exterior’s classic green-and-white paint scheme. “I’d already chosen the shade of white I wanted,” Robert says, “but it was important to paint the house just the right green. I gathered leaves from the yard and stapled them to the exterior sheathing, then studied them over several days to determine which hue blended best with the home’s natural surroundings. I took the winning leaf to Sherwin Williams, and they matched it.”

Robert drew inspiration for the home’s wraparound lanai from the one at Hali‘imaile General Store. “I admired the contrast between slender pickets and big, bold handrail caps and posts,” he says. Here, too, his paint choice was meticulous. “The earth in Ha‘iku is mostly red clay,” he says. “So I painted the floor to match the red dirt. That way you don’t see footprints.”

Forethought also inspired the home’s mudroom. Robert envisioned guests picking fruits, vegetables, and herbs from the garden for their evening meal. “You need a place to sit and take off your shoes so you don’t track dirt into the house,” he says.