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Dream Homes with History: The Plantation Style

From thatched-roof palaces built by indigenous Hawaiians to Romanesque-style civic centers inspired by Medieval cathedrals, architecture on the islands is in a constant state of evolution. And when it comes to residential construction, there’s no limit to design possibilities that blend both tradition and innovation.

If you’re looking to build a new home rooted in history but fully capable of embracing modernization, a Plantation-style design might be the perfect blend of classic and modern aesthetics. With the traditional single-level low profile and split-pitched roof, this style is easily customizable for families of any size, can accommodate sustainable building initiatives, and provides plenty of natural light.

Whether you value the traditional aesthetics or feel drawn to the updated variations of a Plantation-style home, here’s how to make the most of this mainstay in Hawaiian architecture.

Embrace the peace and calm created by a single-story home designed to blend into the environment. Original Plantation homes relied heavily on shade provided by surrounding trees and plants to help keep homes cool— and to provide privacy. The use of natural building materials like wood rafters and stone porticos acted as additional camouflage while keeping building costs low. As a result, modern versions of this style are ideal for homeowners hoping to create their own unique oasis, one that’s both subtle and sustainable.

Utilize traditional layouts for modern purposes. Plantation-style homes embraced outdoor living and open concept floorplans long before modern architects introduced them to mainstream markets. The iconic split-pitched roof extended beyond exterior walls to provide protection from both sun and rain, and allowed residents to keep the windows and doors open during light rainfall. Open layout floorplans maximized airflow, and large porticos expanded communal living spaces and provided an ideal space for large celebrations. Today, similar layouts increase energy efficiency and allow for large families enjoy time together without increasing overall square footage—further evidence that good design always outlasts constantly evolving trends.

Lastly, blend old and new for a home that’s timeless and sustainable. Plantation-style homes are ideal templates for customization, and easily adapt to green building methods. From installing solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, and water-reclamation systems, to incorporating windows and skylights to capture natural light, your home can maintain the essence of the Plantation-style and enjoy all the benefits of environmentally friendly design.

Whatever home design you choose, from Plantation-style to ultra-modern, Home Planning Hawaii is there to guide you toward the right professionals for your project. In addition to helping future homeowners find the right architect or contractor, we offer free online estimates for new builds and renovations, and assistance in navigating Hawaii’s complex building permitting process. Contact us today and take the first steps in building your dream home.

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