Who is the best interior designer in Honolulu? Here are 15 candidates. Vote for your favorite and tell us the interior designer we’ve missed, too.
The breathtaking natural beauty of Honolulu is hard to surpass, but the interior designers of the city do an amazing job at making the scenery inside just as beautiful as the island itself. The designers here draw from an appreciation of nature, global perspectives, and an understanding of Pacific culture to create incredible interiors.
If you’re looking for a decorator with talent, expertise, and style, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled the top 15 interior designers of Honolulu for you to consider. They are listed here in no particular order. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite in the poll below!
With two decades of international experience and partnerships with many hotels, chains, and resort owners, Reiko is well known in the hospitality interior design industry. Reiko’s award-winning designs for the Royal and Presidential suites at the Hotel Grande Bretagne in Athens was featured in Architectural Digest. She manages her company and projects by applying four core Japanese values – Wa (Harmony), Kei (Respect), Sei (Purity) and Jaku (Serenity).
Mary Philpotts McGrath
Mary’s design aesthetic is to connect her clients to their environment. She is the founder of Philpotts Interiors, winner at the ASID 2014 Design Excellence Awards for three different designs. Mary is the author of a best-selling book, “Hawaii: A Sense of Place.” In addition to her design accomplishments, Mary is a successful artist and printmaker.
Jamie is the design director of Jamie Jackson Design. From an award-winning SoHo restaurant to the Kauai home of actors Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor, Jamie’s design talents are coveted all over the world. She has lived in Hawaii for over a decade, and owns homes on both Oahu and Kauai, gaining an intimate knowledge of the island lifestyle. With worldly experience and local knowledge, Jamie can help you design your pacific home.
Shari Saiki Kitashima
Shari’s rooms are a juxtaposition of materials and textures. Her travels throughout Europe and Asia, combined with her island roots, lead her to create interiors that are both composed and sensual. Shari is the president and principal designer of Shari Saki studio, and she also owns the lifestyle store Mesh. It is inspired by the architecture, cuisine and culture of Shari’s global adventures.
As a young designer, Mallorie lived and worked in DC at the Washington Design Center. From that experience to her current endeavors in Honolulu, she has developed an appreciation for the limitless beauty that surrounds us and all things posh. The lifestyle blogger and interior designer is inspired by her interior decorator mother, who instilled in her a passion for design and laid a strong design foundation at an early age.
Liz is a former national president of the esteemed American Society of Interior Designers. She holds a degree from Briarcliff College, and continued her education at the Parsons School of Design in both New York City and Paris. The Honolulu native founded Liz Howard Designs in 1975. She previously worked for Western Contract Furnishers, and was an owner of Howard’s at the Greenery from 1977 to 1982.
Shelly Riehl David
Along with designer Carl David, Shelly is a principal of the fashion forward global firm, CIH Design. Shelly was named the winning designer on HGTV’s Designer’s Challenge Show. Her work has been featured on the cover of Texas Home and Living and MPLS St Paul magazine. Shelly has also had her designs published in HGTV’s “Design for Happiness” and “Room of the Month” online articles.
John is an accomplished interior designer and architect, with clients that include Hollywood elite and Wall Street magnates. His work has been showcased in national publications like Architectural Digest, The Wall Street Journal, and Better Homes and Gardens. John earned a Master Degree of Architecture from Tulane University, and currently partners with Gregg Wilson to create superlative designs for Maienza Wilson.
Nancy’s design mantra is “to make your home work for you, not the cover of a magazine.” She is a past president of the Hawaii chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers. Certified for aging in place design, Nancy believes in quality furniture and proper ergonomics for the young and not so young. Her firm, Universal Interiors, offers full design services and educational seminars.
The Hawaiian native has a love for travel, in particular, to favorite locales London, Paris, and Brussels. Her fascination with European architecture, design, and fashion influence her design aesthetic. With degrees in both fashion merchandising and interior design, Lenore has enjoyed a wide range of work. She seeks out affordable sources for design materials while producing high quality, elegant spaces.
In 2005, Katen founded Bloom Again Interior Design & Staging. Her design approach is to combine beauty and functionality with environmental sustainability, and is always on the look out to recycle or refurbish materials. Her philosophy both minimizes waste and reduces cost, while still achieving her client’s design vision. Katen spends her free time creating unique pieces of functional art from rescued furniture.
Jillian Inouye Guthmann
Jillian spent 20 years as fashion designer and creative director for the Italian couture house Tristano Onofri in Germany. Now returned to the islands, her international style inspires charming residential and commercial interiors. Her firm, Inouye Interiors, specializes in home styling and luxury staging. Jillian’s systematic approach and exciting designs are greatly appreciated by her clients.
Joan earned her degree in interior design from the University of California, which included two years of study in Lucerne, Switzerland. She partners with her architect husband in Robinson-Whitaker Design, and is the co-owner of Designer for a Day. The company specializes in quick turnaround for affordable interior design services. Joan is active in the community, and has been published in Honolulu Magazine, Hawaii Home and Remodeling, and Island Home.
The Oklahoma native came to Hawaii for a vacation and never wanted to leave. You may recognize her from her time on the air with TLC’s Trading Spaces, Drill Team from A&E, and co-hosting talk show The FAB Life with Tyra Banks. Known as “your home girl next door,” Lauren is committed to out of the box thinking and avoids cookie cutter trends. She also shares budget friendly design solution on the Affordably Fabulous segment for local station KHON 2.
Tonya is the founder of T-Green Designs, an environmentally conscious interior design studio. As a certified LEED Green Associate, she is mindful to reuse existing materials and minimize pollution. She started her first company ten years ago in Chicago, and has completed projects from Illinois to Hawaii. Tonya’s experience ranges from small budgets to collaborating with design firms on large projects.
Image courtesy of Flickr user John Fowler.