4 Interior Design Tips for your Kauai Home

4 Interior Design Tips for your Kauai Home

  • Susan Higgins
  • 10/23/22

You’ve purchased a home on Kauai – congratulations! Now comes the fun part of designing and decorating your new property to truly make it your own. Whether you’re handling the project yourself or hiring a professional interior designer, here are four basic guidelines that can help you get started on the right foot. 



1. Consider How You Will Use Your Home

Designing around the purpose of your Kauai home can narrow down your options. Did you buy a “forever” home for you and your ‘ohana, or do you have plans to use the property as a short-term vacation rental? Or, perhaps you plan to rent the place out long-term?  

If your home is a place to settle down and enjoy time together with your family, you’re free to design to your personal tastes and needs. Paint the kitchen walls green if that’s your jam! Keep the space comfortable – livability should be your number one goal. 

On the other hand, if your property splits time between your family and seasonal renters, it might be a good idea to favor your renters over your tastes. Vacationers love coming “home” to an authentic island atmosphere, so you can’t go wrong with traditional plantation design. Paying homage to its origins in the sugarcane, pineapple and rice farms, this style plays heavily with exposed architecture, Asian-inspired decor, natural textiles and native plants. You can also add accents with curtains, pictures or ceiling fans that enhance the home’s connection to the outdoors. 

And, whether it’s a home for yourself or for renters, it’s a good idea to invest in stylish and highly sturdy furnishings that can withstand the wear and tear of daily living. 



2. Make Small, But Significant Changes

Creating a brilliant interior doesn’t always require spending thousands of dollars for a complete makeover. In many island homes, one or two bold additions or a handful of subtle accents or accessories are all needed to enliven your living space. 

Offset dark woods or patterns with airy window treatments, light textiles or accent pieces. Going Balinese style can be a great option. You can intersperse dark materials with vibrant tropical colors and foliage, brightening an otherwise moody aesthetic.

Tired spots can find new life with wow-worthy wallpaper. Play with different textures, including bamboo, canvas, fabric, foil, or grass cloth, that incorporate patterns that evoke an island or coastal vibe. Want to enhance a kitchen or bathroom? Consider similar design strategies with backsplashes or accent walls.



3. Add Touches of Aloha with Local Designers

While it can be more affordable to purchase home décor from big box stores like T.J. Maxx or Ross, purchasing select pieces from Hawaii-based designers can elevate your Kauai luxury home in a special way. If coastal chic is your vibe, SoHA Living sells pillows, wood signs, picture frames, stationary, kitchen accessories and more. You can shop online or swing by their store on Kauai at the Shops at Kukui’ula, in the heart of Poipu.

We’re big fans of Noho Home, too. Designer Jalene Kanani pays homage to her Hawaiian heritage by creating sophisticated home décor like dining napkins, tablecloths, duvet covers or shower curtains. Shop online and visit them on @nohohome via Instagram for updates on new merchandise.



4. Don’t Forget the Lanai

When you live on Kauai, you live outdoors. Make the most of your outdoor space (and Kauai’s good weather) by transforming the lanai into a comfortable additional living space for family and friends to gather. A coat of fresh, neutral paint can provide a quick and easy update and work as a crisp canvas for additional accents like colorful plants, vibrant lighting fixtures and bold patterns for seat cushions and accessories. 

Regarding furnishings, depending on your home’s overall style, both light and dark wood or wicker pieces can add a sense of sophisticated livability to your lanai or backyard area. Always look for sun and water-resistant furniture materials. Aspire Furniture in Lihue, Kauai is a great place to start!


If any of these tips spark inspiration for you to begin exploring options for real estate, you’ll need an experienced realtor who knows how to navigate the Kauai real estate market. Contact Susan Higgins today to learn more about how she can guide you along your home buying or selling journey.  

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Whether you're a local resident in Kauai or just starting to dream of finding Kauai real estate, Susan Higgins is a fantastic asset to her clients.

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