Adjacent Condos: Worlds Apart Design-wise in Hawaii

A tale of two condos: how one designer from the mountains created two luxurious Hawaiian beach-front condos. The best of both worlds, from mountain to sea, bringing projects to life, with all its challenges is a way of life for Slifer designers. Senior designer Frances Karsh recently completed two very unique, different, yet similar, projects in Hawaii.

The projects had similarities: the footprint of the condos mirrored each other, not extremely spacious but set in lush Hawaii. That’s where the similarities end. Frances gave each condo a completely different look and feel. “I worked with the same layouts in both condos but configured the spaces very differently,” she says. “Although I was in Colorado, I worked closely with both owners. Communication is key on a long-distance project.”

The condo is on the beach with stunning views, which were positives from the start. But island fever took hold when it came to sourcing and accessories that could feel dated and not at all what the clients wanted. The two-unit building’s condos were tight on space, so bringing the outside in was important.

One of Fran’s challenges was the fact of sourcing and ordering from afar, working with clients via email—but, she’s quick to point out, it was a challenge she thrived on, proving working from the mountains is not only possible but also rewarding bringing about two perfect and different Hawaii homes.

The owner of one unit wanted a Zen feel, incorporating Asian aspects, contemporary design and clean lines. The owner of the unit next door wanted a beachy feel but didn’t want the seashell, whitewashed, typical beach look.

Fran sourced furnishings and accessories from across the United States and kept on the shipping companies to make sure deadlines were met.

The Zen Approach

The kitchen and dining room feel spacious with light-wood flooring, modern ceiling fan, the glass-top table that is visually easy on the eyes without taking up coveted space; white-upholstery chairs that have the dark-wood legs. The Zen feel continues with the sedate yet texturized backsplash, apron sink and contemporary cabinets.unit6jr160615-045

The living area extends outside overlooking the black-rock beach and comfortable, chic loungers.

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Indoor lounge chairs from Lexington Home feel reminiscent of the beach but don’t overwhelm the room, providing additional seating that is not bulky. Contemporary and clean; light colors and textures with colorful accents.


The master retreat is just that – clean lines and neutral colors. The shape and color of the bench, from Lee Industries – made in North Carolina,  complement the colors and styles throughout the rest of the house. The owners fell in love with the wooden Adriana Hoyos bed.


The Lexington sofa  ties the room together, providing a Zen feel with it wood-accent arms and cozy natural down pillows.


The final product is a home that inspires contemplation, is a retreat from the real world; a study in neutrals but is far from a vanilla-bland home.


Upscale Beach Appeal

The sister unit is bold where the other is sedate; the owners sought out color, texture and patterns to bring life to the beach-front condo.

The eye is naturally drawn outside but it can’t help but stop and take in the gorgeous herringbone patterned rug, sofa with ottoman and bright-yellow pillow. The Kenneth Cobonpur (SP) oval chairs in a hand-woven rattan add whimsy to the home. It mirrors the barstools in the nearby kitchen.


The condo has an open concept layout, so all the furnishings and accessories coordinate without being matchy-matchy, Fran says. She chose the barstools to coordinate with the dark wood beams overhead. The white of the kitchen enhances the beach-feel of the home, light white, contemporary overhead pendant lights for more light and sleek subway tiles complete the look.


Obviously, upon arriving in Hawaii, everyone rushes outdoors. This patio is an extension of the home with faux porcelain tiles that look like wood for durability and are just pleasing aesthetically, white ceiling and bar-height stools. Adjacent, however, is a comfortable indoor-outdoor sofa and table from Zuo Modern to extend dinner hour well into the evening.


The mast bedroom feels open and spacious thanks to minimal furnishings. Those there, however, are lux with interesting lines.


Read more about this special Hawaiian project in at home magazine.… and remember, we can travel anywhere and work onsite, via the internet or what suits you.

Photos: Joern Rohde
Courtesy: High Impact Homes, LLC

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