A Diamond in the Rough

A ragtag property gets a modern makeover by a real estate developer who never says never.

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kihei master bathroom
Light defines the master bath, from smoked-glass panels in the doors, to under-vanity illumination.

When it came time to furnish the home, Gal and Chelsea chose vibrant works of art to dial up the personality of each room, along with custom modern furnishings that complement Gal’s design. Comfort and functionality were priorities; the couple opted for cozy couches and chairs made of durable (and wet-swimsuit-friendly) outdoor fabrics.

Leathered quartz countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms, custom hardwood interior doors, and a breezy entrance hall dominated by one of the cupolas provide points of interest. What you won’t see here is clutter. Gal and Chelsea like to keep things clean and orderly; appliances, cords, outlets, and other utilitarian but unaesthetic items are hidden. It’s a smart home, too (and not just because it’s smartly designed). The lights, air-conditioning, Lutron-automated window shades and audio system are all connected to a “brain” tucked away in a closet. Every room has its own settings for lighting, audio and temperature, which can be controlled and monitored from an iPhone or iPad.

Maui homes
Gal kept the swimming pool’s original footprint, refinishing and upgrading it to a zero-edge pool.

Gal converted a tool shed on the property into an office and topped it with a cupola that matches the pair that cap the main house. The landscaped grounds — once in desperate need of TLC — are now immaculate. As he did with the house, Gal salvaged what he could in the yard. The eye-catching palm tree overlooking the swimming pool was so overgrown and rotted that people urged him to cut it down. “It had been neglected for years,” he says. But he saw its inherent potential, and within weeks, he had revived the palm.

Chelsea and Gal enjoy entertaining, and the guest-ready backyard features a natural-wood lānai, zero-edge pool, Jacuzzi tub, and more than 100 landscaping lights that illuminate the grounds at night. One distinctive aspect sets this home apart from Gal’s other projects: It’s not for sale. “It took about a year to finish the house, and when it was done, Chelsea said she wanted us to live here,” Gal explains. Although she couldn’t see the “it factor” at first, Chelsea sees it now. “This place makes me feel energized and calm at the same time,” she says. “It’s a work of art, but it’s not a museum.”

RESOURCES

Cohen Development Group
375 Huku Li‘i Place, Suite #204, Kīhei
808-280-1101 • CohenDevelopmentGroup.com

Cohen Landscaping & Design
375 Huku Li‘i Place, Suite #204, Kīhei
808-280-1101 • CohenLandscaping.com

In and Out Builders (general contractor)
375 Huku Li‘i Place, Suite #204, Kīhei
808-879-9181

Norm Wogan Design (interior design)
540 South Saint Andrews Place, #4,
Los Angeles, California
323-821-5515 • WoganDesign.com

Pacific Source (cabinets, appliances, doors, windows)
515 East Uahi Way, Wailuku
808-986-0380 • PacSource.com

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