Kid-Friendly Living, featuring Details International

From tots to teens, this kitchen is a crowd pleaser.

Article by Nicole Boynton, Photos by Olivier Koning

Issue Date:  (Fri) October 5, 2012

Designed to capture the essence of Diamond Head while being ample enough to feed a small army — the homeowners have six children ages 18 months to 16 years, who have 17 cousins — this kitchen is kid-friendly without compromising sophistication.


“We wanted the kitchen in the center of all the action. As a mother of six kids, I needed a large space so all the kids can be involved in the cooking and cleaning, and also just ‘hanging out’ and spending quality time together,” says homeowner Airi Kurihara.

Kitchen designers Glenda Anderson and Nicole Puakea from Details International combined low-maintenance design with plenty of prep, dining and cooking areas and indestructible
finishes to stand up to the inevitable spills, fingerprints and other mishaps that can come with a large family.

The designers were also inspired by the location. “Diamond Head is right here; I wanted to include the nature of the setting where the house is,” says Anderson. “The floors are made from basalt, or lava stone. Here we are on Diamond Head, which is a volcanic rock, and basalt is a volcanic stone,” she says. “It’s what Doris Duke used in Shangri-La.”

The kitchen is perfectly situated to take full advantage of the views through floor-to-ceiling mahogany sliding doors leading out to the poolside lanai, with more treetop views that stretch from Kapiolani Park to downtown. “We can enjoy the fireworks straight from our kitchen,” says Kurihara.


High ceilings, clean lines and custom-built soffits impart an airy, open feel, while the kitchen itself was designed to be spacious enough to prevent the kids from being underfoot. “Taking the size of the family into consideration, we wanted to have several work stations so there was ample room for preparing meals,” says Puakea.

The larger-than-life kitchen island has enough space for six barstools across from the main cooking area, where mom can cook in peace on her induction cooktop while watching her kids eat or play outside. “Mom is completely protected by all this surround of island cabinetry, so the kids can be running around while she is in there cooking,” says Anderson.

Mom’s cooking zone also has handy Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer drawers, custom-made drawers for spices and oils, large pots and pans, and trash, as well as a Lenova prep sink with an air switch. “We always put air switches in, it is much safer — especially with little kids — because they can’t accidently trip the switch,” Anderson says. Along the sides of the island are hidden cabinets to store toys, schoolbooks and other provisions.  


Glass cabinet doors along the sidewall lighten up the room. “The white cabinetry with the glass looks fresh and crisp. When you have a very dark floor and dark cabinets, you better brighten up the room — it will make it seem larger and cleaner,” says Anderson. LED lights were mounted in the glass cabinets and underneath. 

An appliance garage stores all the small kitchen appliances, while an enormous walk-in pantry, with double doors and 12-foot ceilings, provides enough room to sustain a family of eight. “In our busy, happy family, the kitchen is definitely the most important room in our house,” says Kurihara.



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