A Vibrant, Iconic Home Hits the Market in Hawaii For $9.8M

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By Michele Koh Morollo
Now listed for the first time, this colorful abode by design legend Ettore Sottsass offers the perfect excuse to say aloha to the Hawaiian life.

Designed by Italian architect and designer Ettore Sottsass, Casa Olabeunaga is a beautiful, vibrant home located in Maui, Hawaii. Commissioned by its current owners, Lesley Bailey—founder of jewelry and accessories brand ACME Studio—and her husband, Adrian Olabuenaga, the two-level abode is nestled on the top of a gently sloping 3,400-foot-high hill in Maui's sought-after Kula district, and overlooks the Pacific Ocean, as well as four smaller islands.

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A collage of brightly colored, geometric volumes comprise the Ettore Sottsass–designed residence of Lesley Bailey and Adrian Olabuenaga, proprietors of jewelry and accessories company ACME Studio. Completed in 1997, this home is one of few private commissions designed by the Italian architect, who passed away in 2007.

A collage of brightly colored, geometric volumes comprise the Ettore Sottsass–designed residence of Lesley Bailey and Adrian Olabuenaga, proprietors of jewelry and accessories company ACME Studio. Completed in 1997, this home is one of few private commissions designed by the Italian architect, who passed away in 2007.

Measuring at 2,748 square feet, the home features three bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths, and is marked by colorful and unusual details such as arched doorways, totemic, custom shelving, a cartoonish staircase with an oversized bannister, and a series of wall-mounted metal rungs in the master suite.  

A look at the Maui abode. 

A look at the Maui abode. 

The residence was completed in 1997 and is composed of a collage of abstract shapes with bold, contrasting colors. 

Renzo Brugola, a Memphis designer and cabinetmaker, built the custom bed and headboard in the master bedroom. Sottsass designed both, as well as the yellow storage units, adding a door and lock to one of them "for the purpose of putting in our love letters," notes Adrian.

Renzo Brugola, a Memphis designer and cabinetmaker, built the custom bed and headboard in the master bedroom. Sottsass designed both, as well as the yellow storage units, adding a door and lock to one of them "for the purpose of putting in our love letters," notes Adrian.

A large deck coated with Cetol finish from Behr extends into the home’s sloped site.

A large deck coated with Cetol finish from Behr extends into the home’s sloped site.

The property also includes a 1,500-square-foot wooden deck with a spa, a private courtyard with Italian terracotta tile floors and porcelain tile walls, and a 520-square-foot, two-car garage with an electric-car charging station. 

Materials used for the exterior include stucco, wood, metal, and concrete.

Materials used for the exterior include stucco, wood, metal, and concrete.

The unique residence features a 1,500-square-foot deck.

The unique residence features a 1,500-square-foot deck.

All three bedrooms are located on the second floor where they enjoy spectacular garden and ocean views. 

The house is sited on a 21,780-square-feet plot.

The house is sited on a 21,780-square-feet plot.

The living room encompasses white oakwood floors.

The living room encompasses white oakwood floors.

Wool carpet sourced from New Zealand has been installed near the stairs.

Wool carpet sourced from New Zealand has been installed near the stairs.

A look at the Miele double-oven, Dacor exhaust fans, fridge and cabinetry with Abet Laminati finish in the kitchen.

A look at the Miele double-oven, Dacor exhaust fans, fridge and cabinetry with Abet Laminati finish in the kitchen.

The blue and pink floor lamps were also designed by Sottsass.

The blue and pink floor lamps were also designed by Sottsass.

A private study area connects to the bedroom.

A private study area connects to the bedroom.

Double-pane windows with UV film are located in the ground-floor study area.

Double-pane windows with UV film are located in the ground-floor study area.

This bathroom features Grohe fixtures.

This bathroom features Grohe fixtures.

Alpi wooden veneers have been incorporated into the bedroom.

Alpi wooden veneers have been incorporated into the bedroom.

This spacious deck is an ideal setting to soak up the Hawaiian sunshine.

This spacious deck is an ideal setting to soak up the Hawaiian sunshine.

A peek at the surrounding lush landscape.

A peek at the surrounding lush landscape.

Italian terracotta tile flooring and porcelain tile walls have been used for the courtyard.

Italian terracotta tile flooring and porcelain tile walls have been used for the courtyard.

Idiosyncratic touches—including a recessed fireplace and a tall, ladder-like series of towel rungs—also mark the adjacent bathroom, outfitted with a fireplace near the tub.

Idiosyncratic touches—including a recessed fireplace and a tall, ladder-like series of towel rungs—also mark the adjacent bathroom, outfitted with a fireplace near the tub.

Casa Olabeunaga is one of seven residences designed by Sottsass, and one of the only three Sottsass-designed homes in the United States. 

Adrian designed the Basic coffee table.

Adrian designed the Basic coffee table.

Giotto shelves, a Treetops floor lamp, and an Olivetti chair—all by Sottsass—furnish the home office. Adrian designed the desk, and the painting is by Nathalie Du Pasquier, one of the original Memphis designers.

Giotto shelves, a Treetops floor lamp, and an Olivetti chair—all by Sottsass—furnish the home office. Adrian designed the desk, and the painting is by Nathalie Du Pasquier, one of the original Memphis designers.

The majority of the loose furniture in the residence, as well as the built-ins, light fixtures, glassware, objects d’art, and even stationary, were custom-designed by Sottsass. 

Shop the Look
BLOCK Flip Perpetual Calendar
BLOCK Flip Perpetual Calendar
Perfect for hanging on the wall, this beautiful die-cut calendar is fashioned to reveal pops of bright color from the pages layered beneath. Spiral binding lets you flip to a vivid new page each day, in perpetuity.
MEMPHIS Milano Tahiti Lamp
MEMPHIS Milano Tahiti Lamp
Designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1981, this exuberant lamp features a bright, pivoting ducklike head mounted on a confetti-patterned base.
Block Mountain Fold Desk Clock
Block Mountain Fold Desk Clock
Inspired by the classic Japanese paper-folding art of origami—but rendered in smooth powder-coated steel—this minimalist desk clock creates shifting interactions with light and color throughout the day.
Sottsass designed much of the inside furniture, including the vintage Hawaiian Koa lounge chairs and Hyatt side tables.

Sottsass designed much of the inside furniture, including the vintage Hawaiian Koa lounge chairs and Hyatt side tables.

Through their jewelry and accessories brand ACME Studio, Lesley Bailey and Adrian Olabuenaga collaborated with Ettore Sottsass, as well as many of the other principals of the Memphis movement, starting in the 1980s. When they purchased this property by the sea in Maui, they reached out to Sottsass to see if he would consider designing a home on it.

Through their jewelry and accessories brand ACME Studio, Lesley Bailey and Adrian Olabuenaga collaborated with Ettore Sottsass, as well as many of the other principals of the Memphis movement, starting in the 1980s. When they purchased this property by the sea in Maui, they reached out to Sottsass to see if he would consider designing a home on it.

Sottsass labored over the project in multiple dimensions and mediums, but always with a flair for style, as seen here in a vivid watercolor painting of the home.

Sottsass labored over the project in multiple dimensions and mediums, but always with a flair for style, as seen here in a vivid watercolor painting of the home.

Sottsass also created the organic landscape design, which is based on permaculture theory. 

The gardens include a "tiny little forest" that obscures the home from the street level, and a small, oblong pond in the backyard, which is inspired by the shape of a Tylenol pill. 

The gardens include a "tiny little forest" that obscures the home from the street level, and a small, oblong pond in the backyard, which is inspired by the shape of a Tylenol pill. 

Casa Olabeunaga is now being listed for $9,800,000 via Island Sotheby's International Realty

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Related Reading: Thank Sottsass for the Most Memphis House Imaginable