Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tour de Puna: Part II

Wow, thanks for your kind words regarding yesterday's post. You're too good to me! Seriously. Now I want a tour of your house. Send me pictures of your favorite spot in your home. Perhaps you'd like to post a House Tour via Instagram. That would be so much fun! Do you have an impeccable collection of books or a well-curated gallery wall? I want to come over. Please invite me. We can talk fabric, wallpaper, and dog ear pages of West Elm together. Oh, if only it was that easy!

While the Tour de Puna may appear polished, the journey to find this rental was quite the adventure. It tested our patience and left us frustrated for about 35 days. We moved to Hawaii with the idea that we'd live on the military base. Little did we know, this would not be an option. For 62 days, we lived in a hotel and the dogs stayed at a local kennel. It wasn't ideal, but it's what we had to do to make things work. For the first 1.5 months, we spent countless hours at the nearby Starbucks searching for local listings. We'd make phone calls and set up viewing appointments. We had to treat each appointment like an interview. I'd iron our clothes, and we'd arrive with references and credit information. We just wanted someone to accept our offer. We saw some pretty shoddy rentals, most of which start at $2500 a month. It was depressing to see how little you could get for such a high price tag. We ate a lot of soft-served ice cream cones to console ourselves. It was bad, really bad.

So what was the problem? Why wouldn't they take us on? Well, the main thing that worked against us was our dogs. We had not one, but two dogs. The fact that they were each over 75 lbs. was a major issue. We also had to take location into account. On a small island with few road systems, we wanted a place that wouldn't leave us in traffic for two hours a day. This is the norm around here, but you don't have many options when you live on an island. The market in Hawaii is a little different. The renters have all the power because housing is such a hot commodity. Within hours of listing a rental, it's common for the owners to get countless phone calls. You have to jump on a listing as soon as you see it.

After a little over a month of looking, we felt hopeless. We came across this listing and called the owner. He told us that there were already a handful of people who were interested in the property. We weren't sure if we should even give it a shot, but he encouraged us to stop by. We didn't want to get our hopes up. When we found out that the dogs weren't an issue for him, we felt all the more pressure to lay it on thick that we really NEEDED this. It was hard not to obsess about the possibility of finally finding  something. The location was ideal -- Flyboy would experience reverse traffic on his way to work -- leaving him with a 30-minute commute. It was also one of the first places we found that had a yard, even if it is a bit on the tiny side. The steep driveway to the house was the least of our worries. We just wanted a house. When we found out that he accepted our offer, we were so happy. We could finally live in Hawaii and enjoy it!

Overall, it's been a great place to share with family and friends. The view is my favorite part of the house. It's even taught me a thing or two about relaxing. But like anything in life, I'd be remiss if I didn't say there were pros and cons to living here. I've never been one to really exercise my right to use hash tags, but my favorite is #punaproblems. Perhaps sometime I'll share some of the comical things that have happened over the past year. There are instances when I wanted to cry (and I did!), but now it's so much easier to shake my head and chuckle. I don't think we'll ever experience anything quite like this ever again.
Master Bedroom
Can you tell I'm a big fan of positive reminders sprinkled throughout the house? 
The master bedroom is somewhat awkward in the layout, but we've made it work!
A little sitting area and some of my accessories.
My happy place.
This convertible sofa fills the space. I call it a reading are, but I've never actually read there. 
A gallery wall that's a work in process.
Chicken wire used to display jewelry and my flower pin collection.
Another stack of books.
The office AKA bloggie central.
It's a teeny-tiny room, but it works for now. The room houses my spin bike and our desk with some crafty essentials.
A shrine to Flyboy.
My little craft station that's rarely used. Pathetic, I know!
Be our guest room.
Gallery wall in the guest room.
Gallery wall details.
Well, I hope you enjoyed Part II of the tour. Sometime I'll take you on a tour of the exterior. It's a hoot! The driveway is hard to accurately convey through photos and videos, but it's worth a shot.

Happy Thursday, dear friends!

Pin It!


  1. Loved the house tour! And I am obsessed with your accessory area! So cute!

  2. Ashley, you're killing me! I seriously LOVE your style - and I'm convinced we would be besties. Your house is everything I want my home to be, well apartment for now :) Wishing I could come spend some time in your home to soak up your skill/knack for details! PS - In the picture of your craft cart, what did you hang to display all of those little cards on the wall? I've been wanting to do something similar, but love your display!

  3. So adorable! Love your little sitting room in your bedroom and the floor to ceiling windows are to die for!

  4. The more I see the more I LOVE, seriously stunning! It looks like an Anthro, so so pretty.

  5. Cutest house ever!! I love what you have done with your space! I recently posted my apartment too. I love small spaces and think decorating and making it functional is such a fun experience!

  6. I love to see how you've evolved from good 'ole Swell Rio. The place is stunningly adorable, and so Ashley, as expected. Love it! I can smell the deep clean from here! ;)

  7. shut up, gimme all your necklaces and that bust form STAT

  8. Ditto my last comment on Part I. Wow.

  9. Chicken wire to display all your necklaces?! Genius! Love the desk area and the guest room. Thanks for sharing your house with us!

  10. I can hire you to decorate my house when I get one, right? I'll fly you over here and you can go to town!! I absolutely love your home, thank you for sharing it with us!!

  11. Again, so so precious. Love all of your prints and adorable details. You all should be featured on apartment therapy or something!

  12. Thank you so much for sharing! So inspirational! I want to redecorate my whole house to look like yours!!