New to Hawaii, Heidi Blaire and her mother-in-law were window shopping at Kahala Mall when they discovered Plus Interiors, a locally-owned company that designs and manufactures custom cabinetry on island. Plus Interiors recently revealed its remodeled showroom, featuring a variety of new kitchen vignettes.
Heidi and her husband, Steven, had recently relocated from the mainland to Aina Haina. The original owners had taken great care of the house, which was built in 1953 with fine craftsmanship. The Blaires, as only the second owners of the house, wanted to update its kitchen with a modern, open floor plan and new appliances, while maintaining the house’s charming characteristics.
“We wanted something that fit with the character of the house. We feel like we’re the next caretakers of it, after the people who lived there for the last 60 years,” Steven says. “They’ve kind of entrusted the house and the property to us, so we should take the same care with it and not change the character or charm of it.”
They also wanted their kitchen to represent who they are and how their family of four uses the space, so some changes and updates were inevitable. When the Blaires bought the house, the kitchen had white appliances and white-painted cabinets covering the walls. It was closed off from the adjacent dining room.
Heidi scheduled a meeting with Plus Interiors’ kitchen designer Corrine Tadaki-Davis. “I went in with my little drawing of what I wanted to do. She sat down with me and put it onto the screen and made my drawing basically come to life,” Heidi says.
Steven did much of the demolition himself, removing a wall to connect the kitchen with the dining room, and removing the old cabinetry. He then installed new porcelain tile flooring and a cedar ceiling, providing a new shell for Tadaki-Davis’s cabinetry design.
They selected the new Plus Interiors’ Exotic Woodlines white shaker cabinetry that Heidi saw in the showroom, along with white Silestone countertops. “It helps if you pick your countertop and cabinet at the same time,” Tadaki-Davis says. The showroom has countertop and cabinet material samples clients can take home with them to help choose their preferred color combinations.
Tadaki-Davis’ design provided the Blaires with just enough cabinetry to meet their needs, which included more open space, display features and functionality.
“They have pretty high ceilings, and Heidi didn’t want cabinets all over the place, so we made her some floating shelves,” Tadaki-Davis says.
Heidi was originally attracted to the koa shelves in the showroom, but mahogany was a better fit for the Blaires’ budget while bringing the same warmth to the two-tone kitchen. Steven stained the cedar ceiling in mahogany, which complements the look of the shelves.
The floating shelves and upper display cabinets allow the Blaires to show some of their favorite pieces while introducing more color into the kitchen. A new china cabinet offers another place to display meaningful pieces; the Blaires have their wedding china on display on the top shelf, with storage for other dishes in the lower cabinet.
“It’s still simple,” Heidi says. “It’s enough that it makes it feel a little special.”
The Blaires are happy to have a new kitchen that meets their needs yet also complements the aesthetic of their older home. “It looks like it belongs with the house,” Heidi says. “I wanted it to be nice and make my life easier, but I wanted it to blend with what the house was originally.”
Where To Get It
Appliances: LG refrigerator and dishwasher in stainless steel; Samsung stove in stainless steel.
Cabinetry: Exotic Woodlines shaker in white, from Plus Interiors.
Ceiling: Cedar stained in mahogany.
Countertops: Silestone in white Zeus extreme, from Pioneer Granite & Marble.
Floating shelves: Custom mahogany, from Plus Interiors.
Flooring: Porcelain tile in gray and white.
Sink: Eclipse stainless steel single bowl, from Pacific American Lumber.