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Haleiwa Haven

Old pals team up to turn a shambled kitchen into a winning design.

It didn't take much convincing for this Oahu resident to buy a house and lot in the laid-back town of Haleiwa. After all, she'd been planning to set up a North Shore home sweet home for quite some time. "I saw the ad in the Sunday paper, made an offer the next day and that was it," she says.

The kitchen's new, open space and massive granite countertops make a perfect entertaining scene, unlike its gloomy, partitioned "before" photo. Photos by Macario

But the house wasn't quite so sweet. Though it stood on prime property, the house was in bad shape from 14 years of rental abuse. The kitchen needed the most work, with its chipped tile and worn cabinetry screaming for help. Plus, walls divided the kitchen, living room and dining room, hiding the beautiful view. She got to work as soon as she closed the deal.

While brainstorming remodeling ideas, she attended a Building Industry Association (BIA) remodeling show, where a familiar voice called out to her. It was Randall Omoto, designer for Homeowners Design Center, with whom she had played soccer 10 years before. Homeowners Design Center is a family-owned and-operated company, providing one-stop remodeling services, from cabinetry to flooring. Needless to say, she took advantage of her good fortune and hired Omoto to remodel her new old home.

Canyon Creek's Cornerstone, burgundy shaker-style cabinetry suits the homeowners taste for deep, rich woods.

When asked about his first reaction of the house, Omoto laughed. "Well, you saw the before pictures," he jokes. "However, it showed a lot of promise."

Since the view was priority, tearing down the obstructive walls and opening up the space came first on the list. "We wanted to create an entertaining area. One where you could cook, eat and mingle with people in one open space, with a full view of the deck and lake below," says Omoto. "However, we had to make sure that when we removed the impeding walls, the house would still be standing." Once Omoto determined that the hallway walls weren't structurally supporting the house, they came down.

For the new, open space, the homeowner chose dark cabinetry to match her dark wood furniture. She replaced the old, scraped, duct-taped cabinets with Canyon Creek's Cornerstone cabinets, in a deep, burgundy shade. The simplistic, Shaker-style cabinetry brings out the richness in the wood, allowing its beauty to speak for itself, free of fancy trim and hardware.

For the countertops, the homeowner had only one rule: It had to be granite. "I'm a geologist, so for me, it couldn't be anything less than real rock." Omoto had just the ticket. The light-colored, Shivakashi yellow granite, provided by Pacific Stone Center, contrasts well with dark cabinetry. The stone also contains little specks of garnet that match the cabinets perfectly.

At the time of this photo shoot, the homeowner still needed a few final touches to her new entertaining area and mentioned she was shopping for draperies. Again, Homeowners Design Center came to the rescue.

Omoto says that, in his past five years of design experience, he has noticed that homeowner/builder projects often go awry because too many people are involved. However, Homeowners Design Center is not only about cabinetry and design. The company arranges for countertops, flooring, appliances and the final touches. "The homeowner doesn't have to run around to different places for different things," says Omoto."With us, they deal with one person, lessening the chance for error."

This kitchen is now a far cry from its rusty rental days. "I love it & everything transitions so well together," says the homeowner. "In the upcoming months, I'll definitely put it to good use."

SUPPLIERS
Designer: Randall Omoto, sales manager, Homeowners Design Center

Backsplash: Shivakashi yellow granite, from Pacific Stone Center

Cabinetry: Canyon Creek Cornerstone shaker cabinets in burgundy, from Homeowners Design Center

Cooktop: KitchenAid, from Pacific Appliance Group

Countertops: Shivakashi yellow granite, from Pacific Stone Center

Dishwasher: KitchenAid, from Pacific Appliance Group

Disposal: Insinkerator, from Home Depot

Faucet: Delta, from Ferguson

Flooring: Alloc Chesterfield laminate, from Homeowners Design Center

Hood: KitchenAid, from Pacific Appliance Group

Microwave: GE Profile, from Pacific Appliance Group

Oven: KitchenAid, from Pacific Appliance Group

Refrigerator/Freezer: KitchenAid, from Pacific Appliance Group

Sink: Elkay, from Ferguson

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