High-fashion meets picturesque views in this rare modern home in Honolulu, Hawaii, listed for $23 million. The owner, a socialite and designer, and her husband, a scion to a prominent Japanese family, have lived in Hawaii for decades. Honolulu served as the perfect home base for the couple, who used to spend half the year in Japan. When they first found this specific property in a private, gated community, the owner says it was “destiny.”
“We first walked through the home with architect Jeff Long when it was being built and thought it was the most fabulous place,” she says. “The lot was incredible and the views were insane. We bought it within a few days. After Covid-19, we gutted the house and redid everything. It was well-built and had great bones. Now, it’s totally up to date and beautiful.”
From the outside, the home looks very private and minimalist—and that was by design. Inside, the home is bright and filled with natural light, featuring the highest-quality European finishes, classic furniture from world-renowned designers and notable art. Situated on a half-acre lot, the home has five bedrooms and six bathrooms with grand entertaining areas, a pristine kitchen and a pneumatic elevator to get you to each level in style.
The owner had a specific vision for the design, which was an East meets West feel. Unlike the traditional Hawaiiana and Bali-style design that Hawaii’s architecture is so synonymous with, this home stands out for its modern, high-fashion flair. For the last decade, the owner and her husband have spent half the year in Paris—they are moving back to the East Coast to reduce travel time for their European jaunts—and have become regulars at the fashion shows and part of the fashion world.
“Fashion is a big part of my life, so I wanted to incorporate fun pieces that are part of the fashion world and make it playful,” she says. “But the underlying decor of the house is classic and timeless. I didn’t want the interiors to overpower the view.”
At first glance, you might notice overt fashion influences, like Louis Vuitton trunks and wall installations, but for the owner, it is all in the details.
“I have collected bits and parts of boutiques and incorporated them into the house, whether it be upholstering a wall with Chanel Lesage fabric or a Louis Vuitton canvas, I wanted it to seamlessly be part of the house in a tasteful way,” she says. “Even with the furniture, I wanted to incorporate fashion by making a chair out of a Chanel jacket with an Hermès Petit H handle.”
Above all, she wanted a home that blends Japanese and American culture—something that Honolulu is known for.
“‘Japonisme’ is a French term for the influence of Japanese art and architecture on western artists in the late-19th century. From Monet, Vincent Van Gogh to Degas, they were greatly inspired by Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints,” she says. “Modernism as we know has roots from Japanese minimalism and various parts of Japanese modern architecture was greatly influenced by western architects like Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright.”
The art she has is predominantly from Japanese artists and designers with a western touch, like Noguchi, Maasami Teraoka, Takashi Murakami and Hiroyuki Matsuura. She also sourced furniture from classic luxury brands, like Mies van der Rohe, Molteni, B&B, Eames, and Cassina, among others. Even her outdoor furniture features custom cushions from Hermès and her guest bedroom has a custom Bottega Veneta daybed and a Fendi desk. All closets are by Molteni & Dada with artisanal designer touches.
No room was an afterthought. The Snaidero kitchen was designed by Pininnfarina, Ferrari’s design company, and overlooks the ocean and Diamond Head. The movie theater has leather and French linen walls. The bedroom and bathroom cabinets are by Snaidero. Some other elements include the limestone staircase, limestone walls and leather walls in some rooms. The home is being sold fully furnished.
As this is Hawaii, no home is complete without an outdoor oasis. The backyard includes a saltwater infinity pool and expansive pool deck is ideal for soaking up the Hawaiian sun. The neighborhood offers 24-hour security, and the home also has automated metal shutters from a company in Germany that offers a lock-and-go lifestyle.
“It’s been beautiful living here. It’s very secure and very private,” she says. “I like that you can’t tell much about the house from the outside. It’s like living in a penthouse.”
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