Seaside Splendor

A Kapalua estate proves that contemporary luxury and nature don't have to be mutually exclusive.

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Elevating the master suite’s cedar ceiling several feet gave a greater sense of space and ushered in more light.

Craig says he spent ten minutes touring the interior and a few hours wandering the grounds before deciding he’d found “the one.” In the years that followed, he and his family became stewards of the land and the seabird colonies that call it home. Craig has contributed to conservation efforts to protect the pelagic ‘ua’u kani (which come ashore in June to lay eggs in burrows and crevices) from marauding predators. When he bought the property, it had just a handful of burrows; now there are hundreds—more than a thousand in the surrounding area—the largest colony on Maui.

In 2015, Craig enlisted Sara Harrison Woodfield, a Santa Rosa, California-based architect, to give the home a long-overdue makeover. He wanted a more contemporary look, which meant getting rid of old-fashioned details like the original wainscoting, heavy crown molding, and covered porches with Tuscan columns. He also envisioned a reconfigured layout that would take full advantage of the views, bring more natural light indoors, and integrate the estate with its coastal surroundings.

Craig and Sara initially intended “just a little remodel”: a renovation of the ocean-facing wing, christened the “great room.” But once Sara got started, the project took on a life of its own and became a down-to-the-studs transformation. She decided to reorganize and update everything—all materials and all building systems—and ultimately transformed 10,000 square feet of the interior, and another 10,000 outside (including the courtyard, covered walkways, outdoor rooms, patios and pool area) into simple, modern spaces.

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