Hawaii Home + Remodeling Magazine
Details International gives one creative homeowner a truly custom kitchen.
Article by Sabra Morris, Photos by Ryan Siphers
A little more than a year ago, homeowners Mike and Ginny McGaraghan found themselves standing in the middle of a less than functional kitchen. “It wasn’t well set-up, which was very frustrating,” says Ginny. “It was dark. The stove was small, so cooking was limited. And the counter was made of old tile.” To top it off, the cabinet configuration left much to be desired. “I had a corner cupboard where I would lose things way in the back,” she says.
It was time for a sweeping change. So the couple called Glenda Anderson, of Details International. The McGaraghans had met Anderson through a mutual friend who was also a former Details International client. Known for innovative designs that reflect clients’ individual personalities, Details International turned out to be the perfect design firm for the innovative and well traveled pair. “Ginny is so good with color, and she has a very creative side to her,” says Details International co-designer Nicole Puakea, who worked on the project. “I think it was also very important to her to have something unique.”
Like most good partnerships, this one started with a few productive conversations. “When Ginny came in, Glenda and I sat down with her, and we went over the basic layout and what her desires were,” says Puakea. “Then, as the process went along, we started getting the design together.”
The first order of business? Like many Hawaii homes, this one came with a wall that needed to be moved to accommodate the addition of a new island. Ginny had a special order. She wanted to be able to reach the island cooktop from all sides.
We can do it, said the team at Details, which, along with project contractor David ‘‘pommy” Lambert, of Legacy Homes, expanded the kitchen by moving one existing wall into the living room. The move created 2 feet of extra space in the kitchen—enough room for Ginny’s new island. The same wall was extended lengthwise into the dining room to accommodate more cabinetry as well.
To make the space feel even more accessible, the team widened a windowlike opening from which a view of the living room is visible. To add a focal point, project manager Matt Sike added three pendant lights, which he dubbed “jewelry” for the kitchen window.
Almost every surface in the kitchen was addressed. New Caesar stone countertops in Jerusalem Sand were added. “Everyone I have known in the past five years that has put a kitchen in has used granite,” says Ginny. “It’s lovely, but I wanted something different.”
“It’s a wonderful countertop because you don’t have to reseal it,” says Puakea. You just have to wipe it clean.”
The team also installed Contrada cabinetry by Downsview Kitchens. The configuration answered two of Ginny’s primary requests: the addition of a large appliance garage with plenty of off-counter storage space and a Magic Corner, a special Downsview feature, which allows items once tucked in the corner cabinets to be pulled out automatically and with ease. Ginny’s old drawer and cabinet pulls, which resemble natural twigs tied with twine, look perfectly at home with the new décor, so they were reinstalled.
Finally, the kitchen’s high ceilings allowed the designers to leave a large amount of space in between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling. There, the McGaraghans now display artistic treasures amassed during years of travel abroad.
Always the creative homeowner, Ginny opted not to use glass surfaces for the cabinet fronts and island. “Living close to the water, glass gets filmy quickly,” she explains. “Glenda sat there and thought for a while, and finally said, ‘I think I have something you might like.’” That something was translucent resin cabinet and counter surfaces in Tiger Thatch, made by a company called 3 Form. The surfaces are made of 40 percent recycled material, with natural reed pressed right in. The team installed backlighting inside cabinet doors to highlight the design.
Once the backing was installed, the Tiger Thatch surface became inspiration for the warm, natural color scheme. The walls remained their original muted green, while the cabinetry was painted in an inviting shade of pale yellow. The kitchen’s centerpiece, the island, is now a warm red. “It’s a color scheme I’ve used throughout the house,” says Ginny, who loves the resulting visual continuity.
All in all, the kitchen transformation yielded new creative ideas for Ginny and the Details International team. The process was both rewarding and innovative. The results are naturally beautiful.