When the owner of this beachfront property on Maui was ready to have a new home designed and built there, he knew exactly who to call.

Delighted with the interior renovation of his historic, traditional plantation-style home several years ago, he returned to the same team of designers and builders for this very different project: a modern beach house that would be built from the ground up for his family to enjoy together.

The homeowner wanted the house to feel warm and welcoming for his active family of six. And he wanted a clean, minimal aesthetic with durable materials to withstand the wear that comes with a day at the beach and sandy, salty footsteps through the house.

The open-concept interior is designed for the family to use for different purposes throughout the day.

The first floor is designed for making memories together. The open-concept kitchen, dining and living areas all extend outside through sliding doors that tuck into recessed pockets, expanding the great room into a true indoor-outdoor space.

Despite its open connectivity, there are areas designed for distinct purposes, such as completing crossword and jigsaw puzzles in the living room, sitting down for meals together at the expansive dining table, and taking a seat at the inside or outside counter to talk story while meals are made in the kitchen.

The living room is a favorite space for the family to work on jigsaw puzzles
together and practice guitar.

“We wanted to provide them with different areas where they could gather as a large group or in smaller groups at different times of the day as activities are changing,” explains Rebecca Ivans Amato of Amato Architecture.

Outside, the cantilever design of the second story provides much-needed shade from the afternoon sun so the family can enjoy pupu and drinks on the deck before dinner.

The master bedroom’s cantilever design creates afternoon shade for the
outdoor dining table.

“One of the challenges with the western-facing rear of the house is you get this horizontal, intense sun for an hour to two hours in the afternoon, before sunset,” Amato explains. The trellis near the pizza oven and grill also has retractable shades to keep cool al fresco. “It allows them to have a nice place to sit outside and not have the sun directly on them.”

Inside, the kitchen is equipped with modern, top-of-the-line German cabinetry and appliances. Gina Dunker of Pacific Source refined Amato’s kitchen design to precisely fit the Bauformat cabinetry and Miele appliances, which go nicely together, she notes. The north wall is a focal point, with the Miele range and Broan hood centered within symmetrical glossy white cabinets and full backsplash.

The kitchen’s north wall is the focal point, with the Miele range and Broan hood centered within the symmetrical glossy white Bauformat cabinetry and full backsplash.

The cabinetry is outfitted in Bauformat Pamplona doors, including matching panels for the Miele refrigerator and freezer columns, dishwasher, wine refrigerator and U-Line ice machine.

The sliding window above the kitchen sink recesses into pockets, with a
pass-through connecting to the outside counter with additional seating.

The interior cabinetry is also white, a detail important to the homeowners that drew them to the Bauformat line. The upper cabinets have bi-fold and tilt-up doors, allowing the homeowners to maximize storage space, and sophisticated lighting integrated into the lower shelf of the upper cabinetry.

The lower cabinets are designed to have the clean appearance of two drawers using the C-channel system from Bauformat’s Purista line. Some have a smaller drawer within for cutlery, providing the organizational features of three drawers within the appearance of two.

The central dining table is large enough for the family of six and their guests to sit down to a formal dinner together.

“It really is exactly what we wanted to create: a super cool, fancy kitchen, but not fancy in a way you cannot use it. … It just works and accommodates the lifestyle and it’s easy, fun and smashing if you look at it. I really like it,” Dunker says.

While the main floor of the house is designed for entertaining and spending time together, the second story is intended for much-needed rest.

The master bedroom provides serenity from the first floor’s lively entertaining spaces. The homeowners have an ocean view and private lanai. The dark bronze window frames make a bold statement. ‘With so much white I felt we needed that yin-yang balance of elements of design,” Amato says.

Each of the five bedrooms has an en suite bath and an ocean view. The master bedroom is a true retreat from the entertaining and family spaces downstairs. Its automated roller shades open at the click of a button to reveal an ocean view, often with stand-up paddleboarders cruising by. The cantilever design that creates a cover for the deck below gives the couple the feeling of sitting as close as possible to the water, with windows on three sides, without leaving the comfort of their bedroom.

The walnut veneer with grain match on the Bauformat Bau Lux
cabinetry brings warmth into the design of the master bath.

The second floor has warmer tones throughout, as seen in the Bauformat Bau Lux walnut veneer cabinetry with grain match in the master bath. The wall tile mimics the waves of the ocean, and even the shower has a window with an ocean view, so the homeowners can always feel connected to the outdoors.

The master bedroom has ocean views on three sides, as well as a lanai for the couple to step outside. The Nichiha fiber cement exterior siding from Pacific Source has the look of wood, engineered for durability.

With the new home complete, all involved are pleased with the new beach house.

“The final result is exactly what the owner wanted: a fun beach place where we were successful to combine function and super high-end, sleek modern design without any stiffness,” Dunker says.

Additional Information 

About the feature image: The home extends outside to an expansive deck with an outdoor kitchen, dining table and Adirondack chairs to sit and dip toes in the pool.

Photo: Ryan Siphers

Architect: Rebecca Ivans Amato, Amato Architecture

Kitchen and Bath Designer: Gina Dunker, Pacific Source

General Contractor: David Vitarelli, Kawelo Construction

Project Manager: Michael Newbro, Makai Development

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