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High Design Hits Hawaii

Home Made Simple designer Bridgid Coulter on styling this abode on the Big Island

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When customers drop by interior designer Bridgid Coulter’s studio in Venice, California, they’re there to get a taste of her sensibility, but they aren’t necessarily there to shop. “It’s more of an experience where you can come sit around,” she says of the outpost. “It’s very personal.” A visit to her studio is the beginning of a collaborative process in which Coulter customizes everything, even furniture, for clients.

“I’d been doing furniture design inadvertently for every project I designed custom for the last four years,” she says. “A couple of the pieces, I just kept having to do over and over. I started curating it into a very small collection.” Many of those staple pieces, like a “T” shaped bed for children, found their way into her most recent project, the model home at the Kohanaiki community on the island of Hawaii.

Coulter (whose husband is actor Don Cheadle) is a member of the exclusive resort community, and will be available to lend her highly personalized services to new residents who admire the model, whether that means recreating the sample home or going above and beyond with a palette tailored to the client.

“Sometimes, especially if it’s a second home, it’s hard to walk in and know exactly what you want to do,” she says. “The architecture is very Hawaii—casual, but kind of modern and elegant. That inspired me. It was a nice blank canvas. The main inspiration was the community here at Kohanaiki. It’s just eclectic, a lot of global travelers and people who are very family oriented.”

Coulter is also a designer on the Emmy award-winning show Home Made Simple on the Oprah network. “The relationship part of that show, being able to bring my design experience and talent to somebody who might not normally hire a designer is completely rewarding and a good way of giving back,” she says.