Story by Kathy Collins | Photography by Jonathon at JBR LIFE
In this sprawling, sun-drenched Spreckelsville beach home, love is everywhere. Literally. It’s the first thing you see as you approach the front lānai, spelled out in eighteen-inch-high wooden letters mounted on the wall.
Inside, from the spacious kitchen and dining area to each of the three charmingly cheerful bedrooms, “LOVE” is rendered in whimsical wall art. Like colorful Post-It notes on a bulletin board, affirmations of aloha decorate the walls of the children’s bathrooms. Even when the occupants are out for the day, the house seems warm and welcoming, alive with positivity. It’s almost as if the nearly-sixty-year-old dwelling is celebrating its narrow escape from demolition, grateful for the opportunity to harbor yet another Maui family.
Built in 1957, the plantation-style dwelling went through several owners before Jane and Jack Thompson married and took over the home that Jane had lived in since 1975, a year after her parents purchased it. Until Jack’s death in 2011, the couple enjoyed an idyllic island lifestyle, raising their children and, for twenty years, operating a bed and breakfast.
“It was always a great family house. Kids coming and going all the time. Our house was open to kids, friends . . . of course, that’s how the whole neighborhood was back then. It was, and still is, a special place,” Jane remarks.
She sold the house and moved to Kula in 2012, but the quaint charm of Spreckelsville and the desire to be close to dear friends lured her back to the beachside village after a year. She now resides a block away from her former home. Any pangs of wistfulness when she passes the house? Jane says no. It was the perfect place to raise her family and it served them well. “I’m so grateful for having been able to live there for nearly forty years. I hope the [current] family has as much fun in that house as we did.” She’s especially pleased that owners Kevin and Sabrina changed their minds about razing the structure.
“We bought it with the intention of tearing it down,” says Sabrina, “but the longer we were in here, the more we wanted to save it. . . . We decided to use what was here and build on that. We wanted to keep it beachy and casual, keep the kama‘āina feel.”
With a long-held passion and talent for interior design, Sabrina knew exactly what she wanted, and hired contractor Frank Zajac and Aloha Remodeling and Construction to carry out her plans. They significantly increased the recreation/entertainment space, extended the master bathroom, added a couple of outdoor baths and converted a fourth bedroom into a laundry. Wherever possible, Aloha Remodeling restored and enhanced the home’s original features, rather than replacing them; in the kitchen, modern appliances fit in perfectly with the old plantation-home drainboard and cupboards.