Architectural salvage inspiration from Makawao, Maui

Pallet wood fitting room door and wall at Homme by Nature, in Makawao, Maui /
On Instagram, someone mentioned they were missing my Maui pictures.

Ouch. Yes. I know the feeling all too well. In fact, I’ve kind of been avoiding the topic for a few reasons.

One being, while editing these pictures, I had to swallow a few lumps in my throat. It’s like I broke up with this place, and I’m trying to get over ‘it’. 

I’m still trying to define what ‘it’ is. So before all this runs away on me, morphing into some rambling, off topic deep hearted wanderlust rant I don’t even understand myself yet, I wanted to take you for a tour of Makawao, Maui’s cowboy themed town.

That’s safer anyway. 🙂

Visiting Makawao, Maui's cowboy town /
Makawao is considered ‘upcountry’, in a more central part of Maui. It isn’t near beaches, but rather, in the midst of rambling growth among rolling hills.

And I just couldn’t go home without taking in a little tropical country and western.

Visiting Makawao, Maui's cowboy town /
Travelling to Mawakao is a little like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

You drive and drive down these (easy) twisty, residential and highway type roads, until finally, civilization. It feels like a little oasis in the middle of nowhere.

Quiet, quaint, casual, heavy with humidity, and muffled with tropical growth… everything I had hoped for.

With inspiration everywhere you looked.

Mini palm vegetation in Makawao, Maui /
Stone steps in Makawao, Maui /
 Our cement is cold grey. Their’s are warm earth tones, wearing YEARS of charm.

You couldn’t mix up that glaze if you tried.

A row of palm trees in Makawao, Maui /
A row of palm trees in Makawao, Maui /
Meters and plants in Makawao, Maui /
Now, before you think, ‘What in blazes is this picture of…” I asked myself the same thing while snapping. Then quickly diverted my attention back to mindless, normal wandering once onlookers appeared in my path.

I felt like a newborn, discovering everything for the very first time. Smitten with lush colour, growth… SO much growth, and symmetry, their ‘normal’ building along some road was beautiful in my eyes.


Bear in mind, on this particular day, my son wanted to chill at the condo, while I was BURSTING for adventure. So I had all the time in the world to take pics of whatever.

Let’s edit that to *BLISSFULLY weird.*

Hibiscus in Makawao, Maui /
Hibiscus in Makawao, Maui /
Heart shaped shrub in Makawao, Maui /
Rustic Anuhea Flowers sign in Makawao, Maui /
Tropical plants in Makawao, Maui /
Giant succulents in Makawao, Maui /
Giant succulents in Makawao, Maui /
Succulents on steroids. Goodness.

Tropical grocery store flowers for sale in Makawao, Maui /
Just your typical, run of the mill tropical grocery store flowers… aren’t they fascinating?

Stop sign with GMO message in Makawao, Maui /
Red pavement with green building in Makawao, Maui /
Red pavement with brick grout in Makawao, Maui /
Red concrete against green buildings. Stunning. Why aren’t we that brave?

Hurricane / distressed and metal store in Makawao, Maui /
I fell in love with this metal clad roofed building. The sideboards were very distressed.

Homme by Nature and town of Makawao, Maui /
And for the repurposers, wait until you see the inside of Homme By Nature…

Pallet wood wall and front counter inside Homme by Nature in Makawao, Maui /
The kind folks at Homme By Nature allowed me to take a few shots for you.

Homme is an upscale men and boy’s clothing store. (there’s another division for women) And the pallet wood wall and front counter sent me through the roof!

Suitcase table with hairpin legs inside Homme by Nature in Makawao, Maui /
Goods on a distressed pedestal black table and typewriter in Homme By Design, a store in Makawao, Maui /
Reclaimed pallet wood wall and fitting room doors inside Homme by Nature in Makawao, Maui /
Reclaimed pallet wood wall and fitting room doors inside Homme by Nature in Makawao, Maui /
Look closely… the fitting room doors were pallet wood ends.

And see the branch shelf hanger on the right?

I felt so at home here… 🙂

Driftwood front window garlands in Driftwood, a store in Makawao, Maui /
Another store I fell positively in love with was Driftwood.

Upscale and unique things to decorate with and wear. I have never wanted everything so bad in all my life. The goods AND the props!

Wallets and purses in Driftwood, a store in Makawao, Maui /
Ridged tin can planter and reclaimed wood desk top in Driftwood, a store in Makawao, Maui /
Black leather dream catcher in Driftwood, a store in Makawao, Maui /
Black leather belts in Driftwood, a store in Makawao, Maui /
Silver rimmed cups and saucers in Driftwood, a store in Makawao, Maui /
I just KNOW coffee would taste better in these silver rimmed cups!

Please do not ask me why I didn’t bring one home. I don’t even have an answer.

I was in shock… you know when you love everything you see, you’re too stunned to take action?

Rope backdrop in Driftwood, a store in Makawao, Maui /
The rope backdrop in the storefront windows was captivating.

I never knew rustic could look so chic.

Rustic shelving with log ends in Driftwood, a store in Makawao, Maui /
Repurpose styled reproductions in Driftwood, a store in Makawao, Maui /
I loved the ‘repurposed’ reproductions. Toolbox, padlocks, antique scissors… huge bottle caps?! 

Need it all. Please send. Thank-you.

Classy wood and fur fitting rooms in Driftwood, a store in Makawao, Maui /
The fitting rooms were so charming. Who wouldn’t want to snuggle their bare feet in that fur skin carpet?

Just the feeling of this area… the wood. It must be the wood.

Giant spools of twine in Driftwood, a store in Makawao, Maui /
Giant wooden spools… what a cool way to store twine!

Rustic sisal styled hassocks in Driftwood, a store in Makawao, Maui /
If these two would have fit in my suitcase, they’d be coming home. SO COOL! 

Driftwood was absolutely fascinating, and once again, allowed me to play total tourist and snap away. Thanks so much guys!

And before we put this one to rest, there’s one more thing to put on your “I MUST” list should you ever venture Makawao’s way…

Deep fried long johns, a locals favourite in Makawao, Maui /
A local told me to book my visit around the local bakery’s hours and pick up their deep fried long johns.

I only bought one for on the way home. This proved to be a VERY BAD MOVE. 

Buy a DOZEN. IF NOT TWO. You won’t be sorry! 

Mahalo, Makawao.  I love and miss you. Until next time….

Visit more Maui 2015 adventures HERE.

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Categories: DIY, Junk Drawer, Reclaimed wood projects, Travel
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15 thoughts on “Architectural salvage inspiration from Makawao, Maui

  1. Thank you for sharing your fabulous trip! I love your pictures of uptown! So were the electric meters for apartments or for business? Looks like a charming place to live.

  2. Such clever ideas in those stores! The doors were a great use of pallet ends. I love “long johns”, and remember them fondly as a kid in Pennsylvania. Who knew Maui would have them.
    Carol b

  3. Oh,forgot to mention that my brother makes amazing, beautiful furniture from Hawaiian wood (forgot the name), anyway I believe you can see some of it if you Google Randy Watkins…worth a look.

  4. Lots of inspiration here! I think you might have been thinking of creating something with a row of old electrical meters when you took that one photo. Loved the interiors of the shops…and, whatever they were, the huge bottle caps could be replicated with aged tart tins.

  5. Your post brought tears of remembrance as my daughter & I were in Makawao in May. Your description and pics said and showed it all! The bakery & grocery store across the street were like stepping back in time. Like you I can’t describe or explain what makes me want to return to HI (been to Kauai, Maui, & Oahu), so now need to see the Big Island. Always thought it was out of my budget to go there, but my 30ish. daughter introduced me to hostels, packing beach lunches, & shopping thrift stores for clothing & souvenirs in HI.

  6. Oh Donna, these photos are absolutely stunning…you’ve got me knocked right out here! Is it odd that I’m getting some kind of cool vibe from the pic with the row of meters, too? Something about it grabs me, but I’m not sure what…maybe the symmetry? I just wish I could drop everything right now and head directly to Makawao so that I, too, can tour these charming shops with their awe-inspiring repurposed decor! I’m really crushing on hair-pin legs lately so I’m really loving that vintage suitcase turned table at the moment! Heck, I just love it all and wish I could live in one of their dressing rooms…but then, I don’t think the patrons would appreciate that too much…hehe!

    I’m soooooo glad you decided to share this part of your trip with us and all of the amazing pix…thank you!

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