The Washington Post

American Style | In Hawaii, a home that opens to the outside



This is the first in an occasional series that will look at stunning homes throughout the United States.

Just look at any newly constructed house or even many of the renovated ones and you’ll see how popular “open concept” design — no walls to divide living, dining and kitchen spaces — is in the Washington area.

But in Hawaii, as illustrated by a $13.95 million listing on Kuikawa Place on Hawaii’s Big Island, an open concept has an entirely different meaning: As is typical of the architecture there, homes have accordion-like retractable walls to allow members of the household to catch tropical breezes. Only on rainy or cold days do you see the walls shut like the roof of a convertible car.

“Most of the Hawaiian homes have [wall] systems that open to the outside,” said Robert Kildow, principal broker and director of sales at Hualalai Realty. “We never close our great room door unless we’re on vacation.”

The 7,837-square-foot house is in the Hualalai Resort, an 865-acre compound that includes two 18-hole championship golf courses, a spa, a tennis club, a hotel and 325 residences. The homes range from $2 million to $26 million.

From just about any vantage point in the five-bedroom, seven-bathroom  house are views of mountains, a white beach and the ocean. “The sunset will stop you in your tracks,” Kildow said.

Built in 2007, the house has a media room with a 110-inch TV screen, an outdoor shower, a gym, an infinity pool and a two-bedroom guest house. The trim, doors and cabinetry are made of African mahogany wood and some of the floors are covered with custom-made Tibetan rugs.

The house has an added bonus: 672 bottles of various kinds of wine in a glass-enclosed, temperature-controlled display in the dining room that the sellers are leaving behind.

For more information, contact Kildow at 800-983-3880 or



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