Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Life Affirming Design and Decor

Design has been near and dear to me for most of my life.  Personal taste is subjective, and I am hoping to go beyond the surface here and explore emotional response to design and decor.
 My  first memory of self expression in the world of design was my insistence of choosing a new color palette for my own bedroom. I may have been 9 years old, but I knew without a doubt that a lavender hue was what I wanted to wake up to each morning.  Being an artist, my mom was  enthusiastic in her desire to paint and re-paint our walls, so I knew she'd be game. My sense of self was elevated with this lavender bedroom. Being able to effect change in my surroundings set the stage for a life of spirited decor and design. 
Color anchors a room, and it is the least costly way to transform space. Creamy plantation white walls are the calm  negative space that are so vital in successful art. Crown moldings, plate rails and large baseboards of my heritage home are highlighted with tones that I choose to set a mood .
My Kona Wing guests described the two rooms as a "happy" mood....I laughed when I heard that as Victoria had coined it the "Happy" rooms just the day before.

Recently, I took advantage of a quiet week and tiled the shower in the Hibiscus room. My wonderful brother, who has lent a hand many times throughout the years, spent three days in a shower stall to get the job finished for me.While he was setting tile, I got busy making some changes   to this space. Fortunately I have enough inventory to "shop" in my own home.   The simplicity in this room is complemented by the serenity of nature in the decor.
Light is as essential as water and air to an artist. I like to use mirrors to reflect the  natural light from the antique wavy glass windows .It adds sparkle without going overboard.

Viki and I spin stories as a room is taking shape. The Rose room was next in line for a lift.  It was a true pleasure to develop a scene that spoke of  history, function, and elegance. We combined Plantation era pieces simple in their lines and design, with an ornate carved headboard telling the story of a family treasure surviving a long journey to a remote Hawaiian island. The guest who arrived into the Rose room after this transformation  told me at breakfast that he was very content in the room. He said it conveyed an elevated sense of old Hawaii .I smiled knowing that the honest sincerity of my design and decor offered repose, a  comfortable home away from home. What more could I ask for?

 With Gratitude and Aloha,

Monday, September 17, 2012

Upcountry Farmer's Market


I finally made it to the Saturday Farmer's Market this last weekend. I've been wanting to go for awhile, but am usually busy making breakfast for my wonderful guests at Hale Ho'okipa Inn.. My morning off happened to be Farmer's Market day, so instead of  sleeping in, I decided to head up to the market early.

What a treat it was, lots of fresh flowers, fruit , vegies , baked goods, raw juices, plants, Indian food, and fresh fish.
I had fun visiting with friends and drinking tea in the early morning sunshine. My bags were stuffed with goodies,  lots of fresh greens, and  huge bouquets of flowers for the b&b and chicken curry for lunch .

This is the best Farmer's Market on the island, in my opinion. These are small kine farmers who grow for the markets and probably Mana Foods in Paia. There are several booths, and a very relaxed atmosphere.

Best to get there early, especially if you want fresh fish...this week there was Mahi-Mahi and Aku.

The parking lot market is located in the Upcountry Longs area, on the Kula Highway, near the Cottages at Kulamalu.. Lots of parking is available and the weather is usually perfect in this area above Pukalani. Pukalani means " hole in the heavens" and this spot is usually clear and sunny with a view of the north shore below.

If you find yourself with some free time on a Saturday morning, head up to the Farmer's Market and "Buy Local." It will put a smile on your face.

With Aloha,

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Night Blooming Cereus & Dragon Fruit

Aloha All,

This time of year one of my favorite flowers and fruits are gracing us with their beauty and bounty.
The Night Blooming Cereus is a spineless climbing cactus that produces large white blossoms with lush yellow centers. Their fragrance is quite intoxicating and perfumes the night air between mid- summer to early fall. The exotic flowers are short lived, blooming into the night sky and staying open and vibrant long enough for the busy bees of the early morning to collect their pollen and start the mysterious Dragon Fruit on it's path.
I thought one had to hand pollinate these flowers to produce fruit.
My Oahu guest told he as he was handing me arm fulls of this delicious and expensive fruit, that the bees and bugs do the work for him. I went to go check on mine, and low and behold, three little yellow Dragon fruit were growing!!! I was so excited! I just went back to check on them at sunset and noticed there was only one left. :( Maybe the ducks flew up on top of the orchid house and ate them? I don't know, but my excitement was short lived...I might have to bag them to keep them safe.

The meat is delicious, soft and moist a bit like a melon, but, they almost melt in your mouth.
"Broke da mouth" as we say..ono, yum..I'll keep trying to get fruit, and one of these years, I'll get to pick them off the top of my orchid house.

Thanks, Steve, for bringing the bounty from Oahu!
Lucky guests at breakfast these last couple of days.

Enjoy the garden, where ever it might be!

With Aloha,