A Vintage Hawaiian Cottage Restored (with its Own Instagram Account)

When Brooklyn-based architect Roberto Sosa sent us photos of his renovated farmhouse in upstate New York a few months back, we were enamored. Recently we’ve been admiring another project Sosa sent our way, this one nearly 5,000 miles away in Paia, a bohemian surf town on Maui’s wild north coast. Owned by two veterans of the fashion industry, the two 1940s beach cottages—one a traditional Hawaiian plantation cottage, the other a stone carriage house, both surrounded by ancient trees and lush tropical plants—were recently renovated by a team of architects and designers who restored them to their laid-back Hawaiian charm. Today we’re taking a look at the main house. The best part? It’s available to rent. Join us for a tour.

Photography by Kate Holstein.

Roberto Sosa Beach House Exterior
Above: The “Beach Cottage” is tucked into a lush tropical garden, behind monkeypod trees.

In renovating the 1940s-era main house, George and Angela Hensler wanted to preserve the home’s history, taking cues from the area’s natural beauty and laid-back style. Together with Rene Holguin from LA-based shop RTH and Sosa (then with Aero Studios), they restored the original plantation wood siding, painted the exterior a custom dark green color, and added mahogany sliding doors. The effect: an indoor/outdoor home that looks one with the lush Hawaiian vegetation.

Roberto Sosa Hawaii Beach House Outdoor Porch Sitting Area
Above: On the wide porch, a lounge area, anchored by two Pierre Jeanneret caned teak chairs.
Roberto Sosa Beach House Bathroom Entryway
Above: A new screened porch, painted in the same custom dark green, overlooks the garden and provides a quiet place to read and reflect.
Roberto Sosa Beach House Living Area
Above: Inside, the team added new wood cladding throughout, painted in Benjamin Moore’s White Dove. (For more cottage-style cladding, see Remodeling 101: The Ultimate Wood Paneling Guide with Jersey Ice Cream Co.)
Roberto Sosa Hawaii Beach House Living Room
Above: The room is bright and open, thanks to high, exposed-beam ceilings, painted white.
Roberto Sosa Beach House Kitchen
Above: The kitchen features white-painted cabinetry and a sliding window above the sink.

In the kitchen, the team added a modern edge—poured cement countertops—to the cottage-style cabinetry. The fridge, a paneled-front Subzero, is disguised in a row of oversize cabinets, vintage green bottles included.

Roberto Sosa Beach House Bedroom
Above: In a bedroom, white curtains pull across double sliding doors for added privacy. The natural-fiber headboard is a “very old West Elm” find, the Henslers say.
Roberto Sosa Beach House Bedroom Detail
Above: Matchstick shades add to the neutral palette of white, teal, and wood.
Roberto Sosa Beach House Bedroom
Above: In a second bedroom, built-in shelving doubles as nightstands.
Roberto Sosa Hawaii Beach House Bathroom
Above: A bright and airy bath.

In one bath, a marble-topped vanity, large format cement tiles by Clé Tile. (For a similar subtle look, see our post A New Blue Delft Tile Line from a California Artist.) The built-in shelving for towels adds a luxurious, hotel-like feel.

Roberto Sosa Beach House Hawaii Shower Steel-Framed Door
Above: Steel casement windows find new life as a shower door. (Interested in installing something similar? Consult our post Remodeling 101: Steel Factory-Style Windows and Doors.)
Roberto Sosa Beach House Hawaii Shower Fixtures Detail
Above: A detail of the vintage-style brass shower fixtures.
Roberto Sosa Beach House Bathroom with Hexagonal Tile
Above: In another bath, hexagonal tiles from Daltile are laid in a stripe pattern across the floor and shower wall.
Roberto Sosa Beach House Bathroom Vanity
Above: A custom-designed sink by Sink Factory in Berkeley, California, with brass bath hardware by Chicago Faucets. Plus: soap on a rope, ready for vacationers.

For palm trees and beach views, follow Maui Beach Cottage on Instagram @beach.cottage.maui.

N.B. For a look at the property’s lush gardens, see Vacation Rental: Maui Beach Cottage with a Tropical Garden on Gardenista. We’ll be touring the carriage house, too, at a later date; stay tuned.

Ready for summer? Take inspiration from these beachside cottages:

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