Charmed at First Sight


Kula Maui designer bathroom

The staircase ascends to a bookshelf-lined landing that serves as a workspace for Polli’s crafting projects. The Smiths converted an upstairs guest bedroom into an office for Kent; overnight guests must content themselves with the second floor’s master suite, with its full bath, Jacuzzi tub, utility room with washer and dryer (to spare houseguests a trip to the laundry room downstairs), and a private balcony opening to ocean and mountain views. (So far, no one has complained.)

There’s no guarantee of sunshine in Kula, especially midday, when high-elevation clouds tend to form. Even so, the Smiths’ home is surprisingly bright. Daylight pours in through the skylight that dominates the stairwell and well-placed windows on both floors (there are windows in every bathroom, the walk-in pantry, and most of the closets, too). During the winter, nighttime temperatures can dip into the forties, so the original owners wisely outfitted the home with a gas fireplace in the living room, heater lamps in all three bathrooms, and subfloor radiant heating in the first-floor master suite’s bathroom.

One of the home’s most striking features is the gazebo, whose convivial seating and gas fireplace invite outdoor entertaining and stargazing.

Polli and Kent love to entertain, and family gatherings and games — from croquet to chess to Rummykub — take place on the lawn or on the covered lānai. A white coral-stone patio leads to lounge seating and an outdoor gas fireplace under a dramatic columned gazebo with a latticed geometric roof. A wooden stairway descends from the gazebo to a lush expanse fringed by flower gardens and fruit trees. “There’s no excuse not to be outside here,” Polly says. “We like to sit in the gazebo during the day and watch the clouds. At night, you can look up and see the stars and the moon.”

Since the Smiths moved in last year, they’ve only had to roll up their sleeves twice: Kent refurbished the detached two-car garage (which now houses the green 1952 Ford F1 truck) and added a fresh coat of paint to the deck of the back porch. “Other than that, the only thing we had to do,” Polli says, “was decide where to put the Christmas tree.”


Artel Inc. (architect)
808-250-1527 •

Cutting Edge Manufacturing, Inc. (cabinets)
1866 Wili Pa Loop, #B, Wailuku

Ferguson (plumbing)
335 Hukilike Street, Kahului
808-877-4460 •

Jurassic Stoneworks (countertops)
2000 Mokulele Highway, Pu‘unēnē
808-873-7742 •

Pono Building Co., Inc. (general contractor)
4230 Lower Kula Road, Kula • 808-870-7979 •



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