Shopping in the high-end market is a great way to spot the latest home design trends. You might be pleasantly surprised by what appeals to the luxury homebuyer today.

Indeed, according to the National Association of Homebuilders, 2014 design trends are less about conspicuous consumption or massive amounts of square footage. Today’s upscale home buyers are looking for amenities that indulge the every day experience living in the home, including some features that are extremely functional, even practical. So whether you’re looking to buy one of these ultra-luxurious homes for yourself, or you’re thinking about making renovations or perhaps selling your own home, these are the improvements that are getting the attention of buyers in 2014.

One such emerging trend is the gran-cave, which is a takeoff on the man-cave, specifically designed to accommodate either grandma or grandpa. This room may have wider, wheelchair-friendly door openings, grab bars in the bathroom, a roll-in shower, or simply be single-story, with no stairs or steps — in fact, aging baby boomers are increasingly making single-level homes a hot commodity. Gran-caves are typically connected to the main home’s floor plan, or might be completely detached, with its own entrance.

Tactile elements are also popular — the use of finishes and accessories with texture, including natural stone countertops or flooring, grass cloth wall coverings, glass, fuzzy or nubby fabrics, imported exotic wood, anything from nature.

There are also a collection of out-of-the-box amenities found in homes that are truly fully-loaded, including upgraded adornments such as wine storage, perhaps even a wine cellar and tasting area; the latest smart-home technology including electric car charging stations and the ability to control components of the home with an iPhone or tablet; or, an over-the-top outdoor space with perhaps the ultimate swimming pool with cool wow factors such as a lazy river or a separate pool for the dog.

For 2014, life at home is fun, comfortable, safe and has more creature comforts than ever before.

The featured homes here can only be seen by appointment, but here is a summary of some cool amenities in homes currently listed on Oahu.


55-147 Kamehameha Hwy Douglas Shanefield Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties

55-147 Kamehameha Highway, Laie
Listed at $9.7 million | Listed by Kai McDurmin (R)/Douglas Shanefield (RA)

This home, located on a secluded, crescent-shaped stretch of the sandy Laie coastline, showcases a trending home design concept that has caught fire with buyers. Dual master baths are all the rage — they are sensible, even essential, yet glamorous for the couple who has everything. His and hers bathrooms may seem excessive at first, but when you think about it, you begin to wonder why this utilitarian design feature took this long to really catch on. Each bathroom in this Laie home has its own soaking tub and separate shower, but a modified version of this type of design idea can be achieved even in a smaller home, with the use of one shared shower.

This lovely home also features a second master suite on the ground floor as well, which has the more traditional single bathroom attached.


61-785 Papailoa Road_1

61-785 Papailoa Road, Haleiwa
Listed at $15 million | Listed by Anne Hogan Perry (R)

Located on Oahu’s North Shore, is this high-tech, smart estate with an impressive 101 feet of sandy beach frontage. For a growing number of home buyers, smart technologies are a basic necessity, not simply lavish. The water on this property, for example, is filtered to remove bacterial, mineral, and soluble contaminants through a combination of carbon, reverse osmosis and salt filtering process.

Communication to the property is via a T-1 (1.5Mbps dedicated circuit). The entire network is firewall protected for security. All three structures on the property are interconnected through a structured wiring plant, creating one big network — the primary residence has full coverage Wi-Fi. Almost any function on the property can be securely controlled from an iPad.

Electrical power is via two dedicated transformers and in the event of a power failure, a large propane generator powers the property. The Smart House is by Creston, and up-to-date with 2013 standards.

While all of these smart features are completely invisible, what you do see is a space filled with a Zen-like, tranquil vibe, inside and out. In addition to being oceanfront, this home showcases an interior courtyard — another design trend you’ll start seeing more and more of, especially in single-family homes. Courtyards, like this one, featuring a swimming pool and relaxing living space, provides a private and safe outdoor living area.


4663 Kahala Avenue_DSC_5521

4663 Kahala Ave, Diamond Head
Listed at $22 million | Listed by Tracy P. Allen (RA), Beth Chang (R), Anne Hogan Perry (R)

An expansive veranda overlooking the sandy coastline and gardens — with the feel of a private rooftop deck — this postcard-perfect amenity offers plenty of room for quiet and solitude while being a top-notch venue for large social gatherings.

A pool with waterfall, separate guest suite, as well as a full bedroom and bath on the first floor are some of the trending amenities redefining home design this year.

This ample 1.284 acre lot, with Kahala ocean frontage, lends itself to letting your imagination go wild, whether it’s adding to this already spectacular home, or building new. If it is a trophy property you’re looking for, this offering has lots of possibilities and is tough to duplicate. No matter which direction future interior design trends may take, this ample locale will never fail to entice.


210 N Kalaheo

210 North Kalaheo Avenue, Kailua
Listed at $24,950,000 | Listed by Tracy P. Allen (RA)

Next on the list: A home on the Kailua coast that oozes four-star resort quality —another feature high-end buyers will seek out more and more of over the next several years. The exotic grounds of this lovely estate feature an interior courtyard with cascading waterfalls, gorgeous tiki torches, lush landscaping to provide incredible privacy, a resort-style pool that looks more like a natural lagoon, complete with a rock island for sunbathing. The result is a residential oasis. Residents want to feel as though they are living in a four-star hotel, according to the National Association of Homebuilders, and builders and developers are responding.

From the retreat-like garden courtyard are views that span the turquoise waters of Kailua Bay, the Mokulua Islands and the ocean.

To maximize these views, the home’s interior was created with expansive walls of glass looking out from anywhere you sit. The views, as well as the sophisticated yet pampered beach house-chic character, are innate to of every square inch of living space.

The tactile use of moss-rock interior walls lend a serene, connected-to-nature feel to the interior. Additional use of moss rock enhance the courtyard and highlight the indoor-outdoor theme.

According to the NAHB, this blurring of lines between inside and outside, popular here in Hawaii for several years, is no longer limited to warmer climates and is now trending across the country.


4812 Pohakuloa_2

4812 Pohakuloa Road, Molokai
Listed at $3,950,000 | | Listed by Susan Borochov (RA)

As soon as you walk in to this estate, located on Molokai in the neighborhood of Maunaloa, you’ll have the warm feeling of home.

There has been a huge resurgence in the use of grass cloth, especially here in the islands but on the Mainland too, to create that local, tropical, paradise-found feel. Here, the ceilings are adorned with naturally woven sea grass as a design element, which, along with the rich wood beams and plank floors, warms up the island-style space. The slight variation of colors of both the ceilings and the flooring are natural and authentic, just the way Mother Nature created them. And just the way you’ll remember them.

There is something very calming and peaceful about the tactile materials selected for this home. It’s no wonder the use of these types of products is on the rise. For green options, think eco-friendly, sustainable bamboo. This natural resource is rapidly renewable, especially when compared to hardwood. Typically a less costly choice than hardwood, bamboo still has natural touch.

This fabulous rustic retreat boasts almost 30 acres of beautiful prime oceanfront parcels with its own beach cove where residents and guests fish, surf and paddle board. The lot is large enough to build several additional bungalows, if desired, for rentals. The home’s style has a Plantation flavor, influenced by design elements from the past, but with a modern flair — another popular trend making the way into new construction.


4439 kahala

4439 Kahala Avenue, Kahala
Listed at $13.5 million | Listed by Tracy P. Allen (RA), Beth Chang (R), Anne Hogan Perry (R)

Build your dream home from scratch.

A prime piece of Kahala beach frontage is a rare find. This property measures 35,428 square feet, is oceanfront, and cleared and is ready to build on. The lot includes 97 feet of ocean footage with an extraordinary opportunity to combine with four other adjacent oceanfront parcels for a total of 531 feet of frontage.

The opportunity to build a Kahala oceanfront home to exactly your specifications may never appear again. There is only a finite amount of oceanfront property in the world — and in Kahala, there are only 46 lots fronting the ocean, and even fewer vacant lots. This gem is a blank canvas, waiting for the right artist to create a masterpiece of fine living. Indeed, a homeowner’s dream come true.

The advantages, and the potential, are endless.


210 N Kalaheo_h


It’s always fun to see what other people, other designers and architects are doing, and what the end result looks like. If you’re currently shopping in the high-end, these properties are some of Oahu’s finest. If you’re remodeling, take your time and find what styles and materials resonate with you and feel right. And remember, these trends can easily be mimicked and/or scaled down and implemented in homes or remodels of just about any price range. But stay away from going trendy just because it’s trendy. Make your home a wonderful reflection of you.