Oh, blog buddies, it's good to be home! I feel like I've been away from cyberspace for so long I can barely remember how to type, but I'm going to do my best to regale you with tales of my vacation forced labor camp experience. That's right -- we worked. A lot. But before I recount my time on the Hawaiian Gulag, I need to give a big shout out to Hello Gorgeous, Eye Spy, The Homebound and Even Cleveland, for filling in and helping me get some R&R. They did a super fantastic job, and I hope you enjoyed their posts as much as I did. My Mom and Grandpa just moved back to Oahu, bought a place on the Southeast side of Honolulu, and somehow managed to squeeze two lifetime's worth of furniture into one Hawaii sized house. Good times.
You have to walk up 862 stairs to get inside, but the glass walled views are worth it. Meanwhile, I am totally inspired to yank out all the "grass" in my front yard and gravel it up with some cute xeric bushes and crazy bonsai juniper shrubs.
My mom was a little obsessed with this gong, but it looks pretty swell with the freshly painted doors. She said they were pastel turquoise (along with gingerbread style matching garage doors!) when they bought the house. Yikes. Well, come on in:
They moved in about a week before I snapped these pictures, so everything may not be in its final resting place. But, my OCD to the max mom had us Hunny Bunny moving stuff every day so things are reasonably squared away. Apparently, before I arrived the original crystal chandeliers were, ahem, replaced with wrought iron ones. Let us not speak of this again.
My mom and I don't have the same taste, but I definitely think she has good taste; I'm sure I inherited a lot of decorating quirks from her. For example, I might give a tooth for that gilded wood mirror, which my sweet, cute little old grandpa talked an antiques dealer into charging him only $70. Tip: send your adorable, old relatives in to haggle for you. The antiques biddies think you're all young whippersnappers, anyway.
I can't say i agree with her on everything, though. I pretty much took this picture to A) show off the insane soapstone entertainment center, which barely arrived intact after being shipped back and forth overseas, and B) enlist the help of my bloggy friends in convincing her that lamp cannot go there. Can. Not.
Still, she can take credit for my brass fixation. And I will take that Bodhisattva and the tiny Hiroshige book.
My grandfather fought in WWII and went on to spend over 20 years in the Navy; he had an amazing eye for decor, which he purchased from far away places all over the world. I have lusted after this Japanese lamp for most of my life, but she looks so happy in her new home.
The dining room was tough to shoot without restaging it, and may I remind you folks that I was on vacation? Unfortuantely, I wasn't able to shoot the kitchen or bathrooms because they are just too ugly. The people who lived here before thought baby pink + baby blue = delightful! The kitchen is being renovated right now, and I bet the bathrooms won't last long in their current iterations. The sad thing is that they still look better than my bathrooms.
The best thing about the house is the view. Every single room has enormous windows and views of mountains, gardens or the ocean.
Yeah, like that.
We enjoyed fabulous ocean views while relaxing in the guest room. Of course, that was only possible after spending hours putting together that %$&*# bamboo bed. Kids, do not try this at home.
The much roomier master isn't too shabby, either. Unobstructed views of Koko Head Crater face the bed to help start your day. Although I would be tempted to just laze in bed all morning, staring out the window.
Although I like the house, I think I am most envious of the landscaping. Here in Austin, every hole you dig is a struggle, and you practically have to beg shrubs to live once planted. However, because we live in a temperate zone, we do share a lot of the same species, so I'm inspired to maybe plant some rambling bougainvillea.
Or maybe I should try to transfer my purple Ti plant to the ground and see what happens. And did I already menton that I'm liking this gravel idea?
I think I may have to hire someone to get a yard like this. These people really knew what they were doing, and the plants in Hawaii get so huge -- like they're on steroids. Are steroids for plants illegal?
That's pretty much it for my Hawaiian house tour, but I'm going to leave on a personal note:
That's my dear, sweet Mom with my cutie pie Grandpa (nice ladder in the background... told you we were working!). Yesterday was his 88th birthday, and I just wanted to send him lots of love from the mainland.
Like I said, it's so good to be back home! But helping out with my Mom's house has reminded me of how very much work we need to do on our own (getting very nervous that we won't meet our June deadline!), so feel free to badger me for progress reports on Casa Erin in the upcoming months.