Sydney is full of stories about the myriad finds the Smiths have made on their property, leftovers from those days and even earlier. And salvage is prominent in the cottage’s restoration and décor, from recycled kitchen counters that Sydney carefully pieced together, to a leaded-glass door with a sugarcane design, rescued from an old plantation house destined for demolition.
Turned posts from the sides of an old baby crib became a railing on the stairs to the loft. The banister on that railing is made from monkeypod trees that Maurice saved from bulldozers when McGerrow Camp in Pu‘unēnē was shut down after the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company closed its plantation villages. Maurice bought a sawmill and put the wood to use.
Much of what’s now in the kitchen was originally headed for the dump. Assorted sample cabinets from a showroom that was closing somehow work together even though they don’t match. The chopping block was part of the bar at the old Blue Max nightclub in Lahaina. Cupboards and drawers open with green glass handles made from melted-down Coke bottles.
Outside on the deck, rectangular white tiles line a wall. Some of the tiles had broken, but no problem; Sydney edged them with river stones that seem to flow into the breaks, and found matching commercial stone tiles to create an elegant wall treatment. A birdcage from Sydney’s collection became part of a light fixture; she and Maurice found the little lamps in the bathroom in the dirt under the house.