Perched 23 floors above the picturesque Honolulu shoreline, views of the ocean, mountains, and city architecture arrest the eye from every perspective. “Because of this unique vantage point, we wanted to bring warm textures and materials into the project while incorporating our clients’ modern and clean aesthetic,” explain Makoto Mizutani and Benjamin Luddy of Scout Regalia, the Los Angeles-based multidisciplinary design practice tasked with outfitting a 4,000-square-foot new construction suite as a comfortable vacation home while maintaining sleek sophistication.
To do this, the designers established a palette of custom furniture pieces, classic vintage finds, and distinctive finishes. “We designed the interiors to create a uniquely familiar space for our clients that could vacillate between formal and casual.” As the homeowners’ second residence, the family required a floorplan equally suited to entertaining business contacts as well as hosting visiting family members in the three-bedroom penthouse.
Timeless forms, such as a B&B Italia living room sectional, are done in contemporary finishes – like the navy blue leather on blackened legs. “It's a bold take on a standard and it just seems perfect for this space next to the ocean on the warm floor,” describes Mizutani. Earthy counterpoints of wicker and natural wovens, like midcentury Franco Albini rattan poufs, are reintroduced intermittently as a reminder of place - yet the aesthetic remains far from a stereotypical tiki island scheme. “The couple didn't necessarily want that, and the site didn't necessarily speak to that even though you have a view of the beach,” Mizutani shares.
Through a collaborative process, an ideal course was charted integrating both formality and relaxation, exploring color and material, and identifying singular pieces that would incorporate the organic feeling of the island while remaining crisp, airy, and elegant. “The client wanted a space with nice pieces rather than architectural surfaces,” Luddy reveals. “We chose to go with a clean white wall to let the views and beautiful koa floor speak harmoniously with the furniture.” Selecting the proper finishes for decorative elements proved essential in striking a clean modern mood, as the deep, rich hardwoods - a main feature of the space - tend to give off a more traditional impression when paired with darker finishes. “We found that more often than not, we needed to politely contrast and use lighter woods to accent the floor,” Luddy continues. “Not try to compete with it, but also not stand in the way of it.”
The designers enhanced the dynamic tension between traditional and contemporary appearance with custom casegoods tailored to the spot. “We always think about furniture design as miniature architecture projects,” says Mizutani. “We go about it by understanding our client’s needs, how it's appropriate to the site or to the interior, and working with that balance.”
With an original composition of custom works, exclusive objects, and time-honored furniture, Scout Regalia created “an exemplary project combining the pieces we've designed and sourced,” says Mizutani, “And having those two aesthetics meet together.” All overlooking the stunning natural setting, its vital influence is strongly supported.