When Ross and Joey Teruya moved into Ross’s childhood home 11 years ago, it was like stepping back in time. 

The 1960s-era house looked much the same as when Ross’s parents, the original owners, raised their family in it. While the familiarity was comforting, aspects of the house did not fit today’s home lifestyle.

The kitchen was cramped, crowded and cut off from the rest of the house. The Teruyas created a makeshift pantry from an entertainment center just outside the kitchen to store items the cabinets and countertops couldn’t hold. The family of three would bump into one another while preparing meals and entertaining friends and extended family. 

“We wanted space and we needed storage,” says Joey Teruya. “After living with a kitchen that I felt trapped in if the refrigerator door was open, I wanted to make sure there were two ways in and out. I wanted to be able to have room for family and friends to gather and not be separated, to be able to hear the whole conversation, and see the TV without leaving the stove.”

More than a decade ago, Ross promised Joey a kitchen remodel for their 25th wedding anniversary. The couple diligently attended BIA-Hawaii home shows in the years leading up to their silver anniversary. As the year approached and they took the gift idea more seriously, they connected with Design Trends Construction, an award-winning, family-run general contractor. 

By then, Joey knew exactly what she wanted: an open-concept kitchen that blends many of the house’s original qualities with a more modern layout and look. 

The glitter in the island countertop and shimmer of the silver backsplash bring a playful look to the kitchen. Custom walnut shelves and the original wooden ceiling balance the cool color palette with warmth.

Design Trends Construction removed a 7-foot wall to join the kitchen with the living room, and  reconfigured the kitchen layout. The team also extended the length of the kitchen by removing a door to the outside, allowing more room for cabinets and appliances. 

Removing the wall allowed foropen airflow between the kitchen and living room. To create even more air circulation, Design Trends Construction reframed and enlarged the windows. The single-wall, tongue-and-groove construction from the original house is painted in the same color as the new drywall, leaving the character and sense of place from the Teruya family home intact. 

In the kitchen, custom open shelving in walnut complements the original wooden vaulted ceiling while the white cabinets match the painted-white support beams. “They add that rustic touch without going farmhouse-overboard, but the straight lines and edges also give it a modern feel,” Joey says.

The open shelving also warms up the otherwise cool tones of the space, Brenton Liu of Design Trends Construction points out. 

“I never realized how difficult it would be to choose and agree on a color scheme. Brenton was a big help in facilitating the selection process,” Joey says.

Liu explains that white and gray cool tones are trending. “The problem with designing in white and gray is it starts to look really monochromatic. When you pull wood in there, it takes away from that,” he says. “It’s a subtle accent but it makes a huge statement.”

The kitchen and island countertops are two different, but complementary, slabs of quartz. Both are in earth tones, but the island countertop offers a more playful, glittery look.

“I like that nothing ‘matches,’ but it does,” Joey says. “Although the island countertop is clearly the bling in this kitchen, I like how the counters are enhanced by the backsplash.”

The silver backsplash was the finishing touch that Ross installed after Design Trends Construction completed the renovation. The shades of silver are symbolic of the Teruyas 25th wedding anniversary, while also tying in the colors of the space.  

“This is the house my husband grew up in, and, though through the years we’ve made do in making this
our home, this renovation has really made it our home,” Joey says. “It’s a reflection of our taste, our lifestyle and our hard work.” 


Kable Lite LED fixtures are attached to powered cables and can be positioned in any direction.

WHERE TO GET IT

Appliances: Kenmore Elite
Backsplash: Elida Ceramica Volcanic Platinum Linear Mosaic Glass Wall Tile from Lowes
Cabinets: Canyon Creek Cabinet Co. Millennia, Graphite-Maple and White Sabre
Coffee table: Actona coffee table from INspiration Interiors
Countertop: Samsung Toluca Sand Quartz
Island Countertop: Cambria Berwyn Quartz
Flooring: Silverbell by Paradigm
Lighting: Kable Lite by Tech Lighting from Dial Electric
Shelves: Custom walnut shelves by Design Trends Construction
Sink: Apron-Style Farm Sink by Eclipse

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