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Calming Compromise

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

A designer can often play the vital role of referee when disagreements inevitably arise among client couples, carefully channeling two tastes into one cohesive result. But what happens when half the couple is the designer? 

Reiko Lewis of Honolulu-based Ventus Design says while she prefers clean, sleek, Italian lines, her husband favors a more Asian-inspired style. So when the couple made design decisions for their oceanfront property, Lewis was tasked with juggling the parts of both client and consultant. 

“What I ended up creating was a simple, yet sophisticated interior space that provided the perfect backdrop to showcase our art,” Lewis says. “It complemented the international design of the house’s exterior while reflecting our lifestyle.” 

The existing house, Lewis was told, had been built as a 1964 school project by University of Hawaii students studying under famed architect Vladimir Ossipoff. Despite its breathtaking vistas, the structure needed some serious up- dates. Lewis modernized the antiquated kitchen with solid wood cabinets and state-of-the-art appliances. Old carpeting was replaced with Brazilian teak flooring, and energy-efficient, layered LED lighting systems were incorporated throughout the house. 

To showcase the various pieces of the couple’s extensive Asian art collection, amassed during their business travels for former employer CNN, Lewis created an open layout that allowed for energy and views to flow from room to room continuously. In the same vein, the master bath’s serene Japanese spa, or “onsen,” includes a shower and sunken tub that offers striking views of the ma- jestic nearby mountains and clouds. 

And you can’t very well argue with that. 

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