Permanent Vacation, featuring Evans Construction
A retired couple live the dream and turn their beach home into a primary residence.
Article by Lennie Omalza, Photos by Olivier Koning
Issue Date: (Wed) November 7, 2012
When George and Florence Fujiwara purchased their Waialua property in 1973, they only planned to use the existing cottage as a beach home. The family lived in Mililani for years, but George has deep roots on the North Shore. “He’s been designing this house in his mind from the beginning,” Florence says. She isn’t referring to the little dwelling that once was — she’s talking about the brand-new home created by Evans Construction after the original house was knocked down — and it’s vastly different from what they called their summer home for nearly 40 years.
The Fujiwaras, a retired couple with four children and eight grandchildren, demolished their original beach house in the fall of 2010. The home was built in the 1920s and its time had passed.
Thankfully, by the end of 2011, their new house was completed and they were calling Waialua “home.” George, together with two other architects, Mits Aruga and James Takahashi, designed the home to accommodate the environment, as well as the entire Fujiwara family. “We knew what materials to use so that it would last for generations,” Florence says.
The home is constructed mainly of solid concrete, marine-grade stainless steel and vinyl, to withstand saltwater and varying weather conditions. George also made special considerations for several low-maintenance features including high-quality Pella windows. By placing the glass outside and the screen inside, the ocean’s moisture doesn’t dirty up the screens as much as it would if they were reversed. Both lanai also have large overhangs that keep the windows clear of saltwater spray.
Upstairs, hardwood floors from Pacific Imports International, and downstairs, tile flooring from Sunset Tile and Stone, are easy to keep clean. The African mahogany cabinets in the kitchen, custom made by Evans Construction, go from floor to ceiling, eliminating another space to clean. “I like it because you don’t have to worry about the dust,” Florence says. The Corian countertops from Insolid are also both beautiful and easy to care for; Florence loves the movement in the design and that the surface is seamless and never has to be treated.