Island Chic Bungalow

Island Chic Bungalow

Island Chic Bungalow - Step into the adorable Island Chic Bungalow in Kaimuki designed & styled by Jill Hatch of SugarCaneHawaii! It’s highly inspiration to know that if you want to you can design a rental on a budget and have it look this good! Please contact us to help you with your next design or spacializing project! 808.344.3464

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Aloha kakou!

I’m super pumped with FINALLY creating and publishing the first the blog that I have been creatively planning out in my head for over a year now! To finally see it come to fruition and to press “Save & Publish” is such an awesome feeling! Mahalo for sharing this journey with me! I hope you enjoy for years to come!

So this blog is dedicated to REAL living design inspiration taken from YOUR design perspective, yet narrated through MY lens of *Designing With Mana.

I am not going to bore you with too much of my rambling on about design because I think the pictures will speak for themselves. However I do hope to share my perspective of MANA within your home and that when we intentionally design our spaces, we benefit from our home as a sacred environment that has an energy that nurtures our soulreflects our spiritsupports us energetically and emotionallyleads to a heightened sense of peace and tranquilityopens up possibilities…and ultimately fills us with a daily sense of love, security, and well-being. How can a home do this and more you ask? Well I hope you enjoy the first interview I decided to publish to see how Mana plays a part in the daily lives of my sweet friends Lisa & Brendan & Keiki & ‘ilio, as I highlight some of the interview Q&A throughout my blog! Please feel free to book a consultation or learn more about our upcoming Designing With Mana Online courses with me by emailing me at xoxo Kamaile

(PS If you would like to be featured on our blog, please reach out at the same email address!)

A “Heart of the home” remodel

A “Heart of the home” remodel

Designing with Mana

“Kailua. Beachy. Boho.”

Interview with Lisa Keaney @injectables_hawaii.

Looking into the beautifully remodeled kitchen of Kailua residents, Lisa and Brendan Keaney, it’s clear to see that the mantra they adopted, “less is more”, not only helped them get through the whole design process, but it became the prevailing visual aesthetic throughout their home. Some say that a dog often looks like their owners… well I’m going to apply that same rule to homes & their owners! This sweet, clean, & inviting home leaves you wanting to just bask in relaxation coupled with good times and lots of laughter - most likely with a glass of wine in hand!

Living a life that revolves around two young kids, two full time careers, a newly introduced puppy (who also happens to match their decor lol), and a extremely active/outdoor/beach driven/time to socialize/memory making lifestyle… who has TIME to keep a house looking so good???? Well when I interviewed Lisa and asked her to look at her home from a perspective of “Everything is Mana” and how everything from designing to cleaning has an effect on the personal mana (life energy) of herself and her ‘ohana, this is what she had to say…


“When doing the demo I went through everything and got rid of a lot of stuff that we didn’t need. Over the years you buy things that you think are going to make your life easier, but they just end up taking space. I realized we just needed the basics… even down to the point that i got rid of all but one coffee cup. We don’t have people over for coffee much anymore, they come over for wine!”

Noho Designs: [If you can imagine that all things have a voice, whether it be energetic or an actual spoken language, how “noisy” your space becomes when there are too many things collecting in your environment. Scheduled space clearing can really tone down that “noise” and leave you feeling refreshed.]

“I only kept things that meant a lot to me, and serves function… like those cutting boards that my friend from Maui made me!”

Lisa basically gave herself permission to get rid of dishes that they had for the last 10 years so that she could “start fresh” and bring new energy (mana) into her new space. New mana & new intentions served on new dishes… what a concept!

Noho Designs: [Sometimes giving ourselves permission to “break rules” that we thought we had to adopt or keep, can set us free, including the stories we create about why we should hold on to things we simply don’t need or use any longer.]


“Basically I can’t focus on a task or project when everything is not clean first. When I get the basic cleaning out of the way, I can then tackle my day.”

Fact: [Psychology Today has to say this: “Mental clutter” is a state of mind in which you can't inhibit irrelevant information. University of Toronto's Lynn Hasher proposed a number of years ago that mental clutter is one of the prime suspects in the cause of age-related memory losses. Her research today (Amer et al. 2016) continues to support that proposition. If you’re unable to get through the material clogging up your neural networks, so the theory goes, you’ll be slower and less efficient in processing information. As a result, you’ll be incapacitated when it comes to short-term memory tasks, and even in longer-range mental exercises when you have to come up with information you should know, such as names of people, that you can no longer find within your disorganized repository of knowledge.]

“We have a nightly routine with the kids, that whatever they brought out to play with needs to be put away, it’s nice to do be able to do this together.”

“Because of who I am, I can’t go to bed at night without tidying up, however I LOVE waking up to a clean house in the morning, it really starts my day off right.”

Noho Designs: [Clearing the physical & mental chatter can allow you to really enjoy things like cooking a meal with intention & Aloha; Focusing on doing art with your keiki; Being present for yourself & others.]

SUBJECT: THE REMODEL - Budget : Making Purchases : Him & Her : Repurposing

Lisa & Brendan unknowingly kept Designing with Mana at the forefront of their remodel when it came to budget. Although they had a ball park figure in mind as to what they thought they might spend, their motto was to get things done by a professional (this time), to have it look nice and stylish, yet keep the overall kitchen remodel affordable so it didn’t add to additional stress in their daily lives. Lisa shared that research, research and more reserarch not only saved them money without compromising style, but could have possibly saved them money they had to fork over from unexpected building costs when it came to plans and permitting.

Noho Designs: [I feel that when we use intention along with using our na’au (gut feeling), when making big decisions in life and especially when choosing items on a home remodeling list, or choosing the right professional for the job, it is important to weigh out the quality and mana (energy) of not only an item you place in your home, but the company who makes or builds that product. - Intention + craftsmanship = good mana in your home.]

Fact: [According to a report done by Zillo, home owners should typically budget in 10-15% of the value of your home to do a kitchen remodel.]

The money they did save in some areas allowed them to splurge in other areas like the purchase of their quartz countertops and a larger gas oven and range. “That was Brendan’s big weigh in, because he likes to cook. That, and he made sure that the countertops weren’t white. (Lol)” Lisa noted. She also noted that they worked pretty well together throughout the reno, but maybe that was because Lisa got to make most of the design decisions. (Happy wife… happy life!… just saying lol)

When it came to considering their own contribution to caring for the ‘Aina and repurposing, Lisa and Brendan made sure to try to recycle all that they could so that it didn’t end up in our land fill. Unfortunately, due to things beyond their control, they couldn’t re-use most of their tongue & groove for the rebuild, but they were able to incorporate a section of it into their kitchen island which really helps to tie in their beachy style. They were also able to save and re-sell large portions of their recently remodeled flooring that needed to be replaced as well as other things such as kitchen gadgets, hardware, cabs etc.

Noho Designs; [My Kumu always told me that “it only takes one person to create a positive epidemic.” So even if it’s just a small effort of keeping things out of our landfill, all those combined efforts will have a huge impact for our earth as well as our keiki and their keiki.”]

SUBJECT: STYLING & DECOR - Kailua.Beachy.Boho.

I loved the word that Lisa kept using to describe her home, and the little spaces that she created that lights her heart up… that word is “sweet”. It has a connotation that evokes feelings such as, pure, clean, cozy, inviting, and visually peaceful. As I had mentioned earlier, I feel like a home is a representation of the home owners and the all of the mana a family brings to a home and there is no exception here in this house. The beach life they have created together stemmed from not only a previous career in Brendan’s earlier days of being a boat Captain, and Lisa being a crew member, but also the love of surfing they both share that seems to be the glue that has worked in keeping their relationship and their family happy and healthy over the last 15+ years. It’s easy to see how this love of all things ocean plays a part in their design aesthetics within their home. As you can clearly see in the photo diary above, that the design style is seemless throughout their home. From art work on the walls, to mobiles hanging outside that frame the outdoor seating, their hand in creating things as a family have blessed thier home with the use of drift wood found on our local Kailua beaches.

Noho Designs; [I always ask my clients to share with me, where is THEIR mana within their home. Personal touches can really reflect the heart & soul of people within their spaces, brining good energy and big smiles every time you remember the memories and stories created behind them.]

Lisa’s Design Tips:

“I love using black and white photos on stretched canvas. It’s usually pictures that are memories we’ve made, and it’s an affordable way to change the look up from time to time.”

She also uses greenery everywhere to create a polished, clean, full of life design scape within her home. Her go to is cutting her larger than life monstera leaves for her entry way, along with the sweet smaller leaves for sprucing up for a house party on the kid’s art table. She has air plants everywhere! I personally loved how she incorporated them into her bathroom!

Her Boho style seems to be reflected in the carefully selected items placed throughout her house gathered over their travels, that seem to have a common theme of hand made, natural materials or textures, and white or off white for clean and unobstructed mana throughout the house.

Overall, I just loved the peace and calm that came over me when chit chatting with her in her home. You can really tell that it also brings her that same feeling when she comes home from a long day of work of being an ER Nurse coupled with working hard at building her own business @Injectables_Hawaii. With all that is going on in their busy lives, it’s a place she loves to come home to, and a home that replenishes her spirit.

*For help with your remodel, design, or spacializing needs please give me a call for a free phone consultation! I would love to coach you in how to combine organization, intention & beautiful decor into your home, creating mana that recharges your spirit on the daily!

**Lisa is offering a gift to all our readers of $10 a unit for her Botox services. A $2 savings per unit! Find her on Instagram @injectables_hawaii - mention Noho Designs and book your gift to yourself today! Lisa’s mantra “You should do what makes you FEEL good, do what makes you happy, do something you’ve never done before. Do YOU!”

Mental Inventory to Clarity of Mind

Last week we talked about just simply taking mental inventory of what is in your home. I invited you to sit with areas that you look at on a daily basis and rather than think about what you need to do to "fix" it, I wanted you to just observe how items or spaces made you feel. Checking in with your na'au and asking whether or not the situation serves your highest good anymore really helps you start the process of bringing pono back into your life from a spiritual basis, rather than always from a logical mindset. Recognizing how certain areas, items, placement of furniture, etc. can make you feel will ultimately help to motivate you to clear mana, vs. feeling overwhelmed with a room. Perhaps that item needs to just be dusted off and placed in a new corner, or maybe the picture that you purchased with your last partner needs to be donated to a new home. It can be a refreshing experience when you can recongnize why you have made certain attachments to the way things are set up in your home. Remember the goal is mental clarity within your environment so that you can make space for more creativity, which in my belief leads to spiritual growth! 

mental cluter kitchen


Clouds the mind. Affects your mood. Adds to mental stress.

Goal for the week:

Start by writing down YOUR COMMITMENT to MENTAL CLARITY within your home. Do this by simply sending a text to your partner, your best friend or writing an actual physical note with a pen to paper and pin it on your bulletin board or fridge to serve as your mantra for the month.

clean white kitchen


Using symmetry in your design allows the mind to relax, de-clutter and attain visual peace. - (photo credit: cute&co)

Secondly, I invite you to make advancements in bringing about MENTAL CLARITY within your home by starting with a smaller area. This week/month choose only one room, or even something as "small" as a daunting daily chore like the making sure the dishes are done and put away at the start of every day to bring visual peace into your world. This way you are building your "clearing/cleaning" muscles at a gradual pace just as you would with a health or exercise regime so as to not exhaust the mind and body all at once!  I was just telling my girlfriend this week, that my life is busy, busy, busy, and there are days where I have to choose between the dishes while the baby naps, or finishing work projects that have imminent deadlines, all of which adds to my mental clutter and brings underlying stress into my environment. 

(TIP:) So one of my tricks is, I set out a goal for the day, week, and or month and COMMIT to just one chore that I know will make me happy. Last month I decided that I would start by clearing, organizing, and re-designing the space within my son's room (which also doubles as my office). I put away his clothes, moved furniture around, used a different bedspread, and organized his toys. I was elated with the zen outcome of the room when I was finished! I chose this room, not only because I had been neglecting it for months, but also because I knew that this is an area that would be much easier for me to keep VISUALLY PEACEFUL.  I also knew that when it's not as tidy and the clean clothes are piled on the bed and need to be put away, I can close the door until I can schedule some time to get to it. Although, when it is clean but the rest of the house is littered with toys, dishes, laundry and a to-do list that wont stop playing over and over in my head, I just open the door to my son's room, look in and let go of any tension, breathe and say aaaaaahhh.  Believe it or not, all it takes for me is a small moment of VISUAL PEACE that can bring me MENTAL CLARITY and PEACE OF MIND, which ultimately allows me the chance to ho'omana and elevates my spirit. Feeling recharged, I am able to close the door again (so it stays that way lol), and move through my day to enjoy the laughter of my son, work on a project, or just enjoy the process of life unfolding as it should without judgment. 

*Mana - life energy (Chi)  *Pono - balance/alignment  *Na'au - gut/intuition  *Ho'omana - recharge/energize

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Aloha Kakou,

I am happy to announce that I will be featuring new posts every week that feature tips on bringing pono into your hale! From cleaning tips, to design tricks I will keep the mana'o flowing on how to focus on the positive mana throughout your home. Below I share our Mantra that I created from the start of Noho Designs back in 2011, which speaks to what we are all about. I believe that if we change our visual environment, our minds can relax just a little further into the present moment instead of being bombarded by over stimulation. I was taught and often preachthat everything has it's own mana.  Whether it be the mana that we assign a certain object because of the way it makes us think or feel, or if it carries it's own mana because of thelife force that is at it's unique core, each object in our visual path can either help to stimulate, or relax our senses. Each scenario will always be of benefit within our lives, but it is up to us to choose which scenario best serves our highest good at that specific place and time in our lives.

So my first "to-do" is just to take mental and emotional inventory of how certain spaces, pictures, plants, pieces of furniture, toys, linens, etc, etc make you feel. That's it for now.. just a mental note is all that is needed to start our journey of bringing pono back into our homes. (From my Hawaiian perspective anyway) :) May 2017 bring the clarity we search for in order to bring about the creativity our soul needs to evolve!

Create Visual Peace
Visual Peace = Peaceful Mind
Peaceful Mind = Happy Life
— Noho Designs
Get a fresh start on your new year with a refreshing revitalization of the mana within your home! I invite you to treat yourself and your ohana to our "spacializing" services! Book myself or my Noho Designs team to come over to assess, create a plan, and start cleaning, organizing, & redesigning your space to bring the ultimate solutions for purpose & flow within your home...   all on your first visit!   Packages available for larger projects & or tailored to fit your needs!

Get a fresh start on your new year with a refreshing revitalization of the mana within your home! I invite you to treat yourself and your ohana to our "spacializing" services! Book myself or my Noho Designs team to come over to assess, create a plan, and start cleaning, organizing, & redesigning your space to bring the ultimate solutions for purpose & flow within your home... all on your first visit! Packages available for larger projects & or tailored to fit your needs!