What’s the buzz word in design? MINIMALISM. It’s that freeing of clutter and excess in an effort to live a rich and more involved life away from stuff. Editorials call this the exercise of a life in balance. On Kauai, design is increasingly influenced by a consumer who wants to fly from and file away the stuff that overwhelms.
Minimalism Kauai-style begins with trends to smaller homes that expand via the covered lanai. With the world’s best weather, homes here emphasize the importance of the lanai via pocket doors that vastly expand the livable space. Many prefer a seamless look by electing to extend a hardwood floor such as ipe (ironwood) from the interior through to the exterior and even around the pool or spa.
Minimalism also means pushing areas that require constant clean up and attention to the exterior. The most common decision in this regard is the shower. Why shower indoors and clean for mildew when the air, wind and sun will do the trick without effort? Outdoor showers are becoming increasingly expected. Developers, such as DR Horton responded to the demand by including outdoor showers in all but 1 of the first 12 homes constructed at its new Poipu Beach development: Emerald Homes at Wainani. Plans for future phases include the same approach.
Less furniture, few accessories, clean and coordinated kitchens and baths deliver a spotless look that requires ample storage options. Digital storage, finished and insulated attic storage, dual purpose walk-in pantries that include full size laundry options have all come to the forefront of home planning. In addition, furnishings that adapt from wall cabinet to murphy bed and window seats that convert into an extra twin will easily accommodate the wave of out of town guests.
While the Kauai home gets smaller, the highly valued garage may be getting bigger. Begin with the necessity of at least one 4 wheel drive vehicle and add the obvious bikes, beach chairs, surfboards, SUPs, kayaks, camping gear, towels, bbq, extra refrigerator or freezer to name a few. The active lifestyle expands the tax on the garage, and we see the next wave of must-haves including this often-ignored space. Minimalism on the interior works. Yet, items in the garage move off property daily, and so much so, that clients are now planning their souped-up garage to include the storage required. Add to the garage an outdoor shower, a half bath and consider guest quarters above.
Whichever way you take minimalism on Kauai, you will reduce possessions while emphasizing the elements that provide for doing. As you make these selections, you will collect the benefits of these decisions, and that’s a collection worth keeping.