A Perfect Fit: Condo Makeover

Good things do come in small packages — with planning and care.

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Story by Sarah Ruppenthal | Photography by Erik Aeder

maui condo renovation
Arc Angel, an ethereal underwater image by Maui photographer Erik Aeder, dominates one living-room wall, continuing an ocean theme that begins beyond the condo’s lānai, and flows throughout.

A tour of Jeff and Rosanna Lucero’s oceanfront condominium doesn’t take very long. There’s one bedroom. One bathroom. One closet. “There’s not much to it,” Jeff laughs. “But that’s why we like it.”

The couple’s newly renovated condo measures a cozy 616 square feet (including the lānai), but the small space doesn’t cramp their style. “We don’t need a lot,” Rosanna says. “We like to keep things simple.”

The San Francisco natives fell in love with Maui while honeymooning in Kā‘anapali nearly twenty years ago. Jeff, a fitness consultant, was instantly drawn to the bevy of outdoor activities, while Rosanna, a bank senior executive associate, was smitten with — well, pretty much everything. “We were hooked the day we got here,” she says. “We vowed we would do everything in our power to come back every year.”

The Luceros have squeezed as many trips as possible into their busy schedules, ever since. “We were coming here so often that people started telling us to just buy a place,” Rosanna says.

Two years ago, Jeff and Rosanna decided to purchase a second home here, one they could rent out when they weren’t on the island. After they had spent fruitless months looking at properties along Maui’s south shore, their realtor took a different tack. “He asked us, ‘How much space do you need?’” Jeff recalls. “I said, ‘Not much.’”

So when their realtor told them about a small beachfront condo for sale in Kīhei, Jeff and Rosanna were immediately intrigued. “He said we couldn’t see it until the next day,” Rosanna says. “But when we left his office, we drove straight there to check it out.” The sun was setting as the couple walked through the building’s breezeway and stood on the lawn fronting the beach. “We looked up and saw people having a good time out on their lānais,” Jeff says. “That’s when we knew we’d found the right place.”

The next day, they toured the third-floor unit, and as far as first impressions go, the interior left a lot to be desired. “It was very dark and cluttered,” Rosanna recalls. It was also a time capsule: The condo, like the building itself, had been built in 1969, and as far as Jeff and Rosanna could tell, it hadn’t been updated since then. It was a far cry from the Luceros’ orderly, 1,200-square-foot Art Deco home in San Francisco, but the cramped quarters were offset by the unit’s unobstructed ocean views. “I was sold on the view,” Jeff says. “You walk in the front door and it’s the first thing you see. How does it get any better than that?”

Not long after the ink was dry on the sales contract, Jeff and Rosanna recruited Maui interior designer Tim Tattersall to oversee the remodel. The couple had already settled on a design theme inspired by one of their many hotel stays: the clean aesthetic of the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort. “We really liked the simplicity and functionality of the Andaz,” Jeff says. “It’s minimal and modern, but it’s also warm and welcoming. That’s the look and feel we wanted.”


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