This is the second in a three-part series.

Alan Nelson and his wife, Cyndi Keller, are in the process of watching Graham Builders bring their dreams for Alan’s childhood home on Spinnaker Isle in Hawaii Kai to fruition. Like so many homeowners in Hawaii, they love the idea of bringing Hawaii’s temperate climate, beautiful water and outdoor living “into” their home.

“We asked Graham Builders to design a home reminiscent of my childhood on the water in Hawaii Kai,” said Alan. “I grew up on the water and I work as a marine biologist. I have spent a lifetime enjoying all the gifts that the ocean has to offer, including surfing and just being in it! We wanted to incorporate the open, airy, wonderful fresh feel of our tropical Hawaiian waters into our home.”


In his book, “The Hawaiian Canoe,” the late Tommy Holmes described Hawaii as “a land of the most geographically isolated culture on earth, discovered and settled thousands of years before Captain Cook was born.” Were it not for the water, none of us would have ever found Hawaii. Alan and Cyndi asked Graham Builders to “build that age-old tradition” into their new home.

Simple but impressive touches, like corner windows, exceptionally high ceilings and a large window at the corner of the bathtub in the upstairs master bath, will offer more than just rooms with a view. There is not only the close proximity to the water, but the perception that the home is a part of it.

For example, soaking in the master bathtub will give one the sense of sitting in the middle of the water located just steps away outside.

The master bedroom will feature a lanai that seems to “float” over the water below. It is clearly set back from the water, but the views makai and down below make it seem to extend much farther over the water’s edge.


“We really wanted the Nelson-Keller family to feel their surroundings in a big way,” said Evan Fujimoto, Graham Builders’ president. “We designed as much see-through view as we could, without sacrificing privacy, and giving them the feeling that they really do live in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.”

“Everything about our Graham Builders homebuilding experience has been positive,” said Cyndi. “It’s exciting to see all the discussions and drawings as they finally become three-dimensional. We feel like this has been a group effort and that Graham Builders is just as excited about the project as we are.”

This story is part two of three that follows the Nelson-Kellers in their design+build journey with Graham Builders. The completed project will be unveiled in late summer. Stay tuned as you won’t want to miss the finished product!

Homeowners interested in learning more about the latest trends in design and renovation, as well as multigenerational living and sustainable building, can attend Graham Builders’ upcoming free “Building Your Home for Life” seminar on Saturday, May 26 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Honolulu Country Club. Reservations are required.


For a full schedule of 2012 seminars or to register, visit or call 593-2808.

CONTACT: 593-2808


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