Just as quickly as my tan lines are fading, so are my memories of my recent trip to Hawai’i hence the reason I’m promptly buying lots of Hawai’i home decor.
I got to house-sit an exquisitely eclectic house in the Diamond Head neighborhood (aka one of my favorite parts of the island of O’ahu) and L-O-V-E-D every detail of the place.
It was filled with classic Hawai’i style like a home version of the Royal Hawaiian. And, ever since I left, I’ve been lusting after any and every design and decor item remotely vintage Hawaiian in look and feel. In an attempt to bring home a slice of the laid-back, breezy style of Hawai’i, I’ve pulled together this collection of tropically spirited kitchen and tabletop items.
Here are a few easy ways to bring a piece of Hawai’i into your home:
The thing all of my O’ahu friends have somewhere in their house? At least one Japanese fishing float. The real deal vintage floats are handblown and date back decades and have an aqua blue color that looks like the water on O’ahu’s shores.
No matter which style you buy, they look amazing arranged in a bowl on a coffee table or hanging from an eave on your patio.
We all know that taking coral from the ocean is a huge no-no. But we absolutely love the delicate lacy pattern of coral. Luckily these let us bring a tad of that style to your dining table without any of the issues.
Yes, there are some ah-mazing tiki glasses out there but for the most part, they just feel too cliche to me. The slight design on these bamboo-inspired glasses add an understated note of tropical elegance even if your style isn’t all-systems-go tropical.
When it comes to local design, there are few brands that have the cache of Sig Zane. They have some of the most classic Hawaiian prints that they turn into high-end Aloha (aka Hawaiian) shirts.
Their women’s shirts are super classic and structured but look amazing tied at the waist over a bikini with a long flowing skirt.
If there’s only one dish that says “Hawai’i” to me, it’s the multicultural brothy noodle dish that is saimin. I love the idea of serving it in these noodle bowls that are simple but comforting.
When you go out to eat in Hawaii, one of the go-to finishes is the garnet red Alaea Sea Salt. Technically, it’s black lava salt that gets its red color from the volcanic clay from the island of Moloka’i. Try it on fish or even, my personal favorite, as a topping for coconut ice cream and chocolate.
Even though tiki culture isn’t technically from Hawai’i (it started in my home state of California) you can find a tropical rum cocktail almost everywhere you go. In my happy hour dreams, I’d have a whole set up of vintage barware including this seltzer bottle.
The maker movement is beyond happening in Hawai’i but one of the first independent local brands I came across was Indigenous soaps. With coconut oil, shea butter, and tangerine oil, the soap is super moisturizing and 100% natural.
I imagine filling this flower-shaped Kamani wood bowl with a slew of fresh fruit so that I can have a little glance of Hawai’i every time I pass by.
Even the bathroom gets a little dose of the islands when you set out this seahorse soap dish.
More Hawai’i Articles
- Honolulu, Hawai’i Kaimuki Neighborhood Guide
- Cook The Local Hawai’i Recipes When You’re Dreaming Of The Aloha State
- How To Find The Best Hawaiian Shave Ice
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Photo Credit: Opening photo by Rina Miele
Hawaiian Diacritical Marks: In an effort to be accurate and respectful of the Hawaiian language, we use diacritical marks in our articles on the region. For more about which marks are used in the language and how to find proper spelling, refer to this Hawai’i Magazine article.