HGTV looking for good DIY projects

KALAHEO — Look what they did. Carter Corey and Bruna Stude are a traveling couple who built their base home in Kalaheo out of things they collected from other countries. It was even built in Bali and brought over here in pieces on a barge.

“We got the door in Madura and some of the materials in the bathroom we got from Dem Pasar. I think it was sent over in seven containers, total,” said Stude.

The inspiration for the whole house came from the thick wooden door.

“It all started with this door that actually was a gate. We got it and decided to use it as a door. One side of the door reads ‘Seas of Luck’ and the other reads ‘Mountains of Happiness,’” Stude said. “When the light shines you can see through it because there are so many holes.” It seems as though they were destined to have that door, because they traveled the seas and built their base on a hill. They took the inspiration from the door and built the house around that.

“We put a frame around it and then went from there,” she said.

From there, they took pieces and materials they collected from around the world and used their experience from traveling on a boat to come up with the make-up of the house. A rice chest became a wine cellar. An old canoe became a bench.

Throughout the home, compartments for storage are built into the wall so they don’t take up space in the rooms.

“We’re used to living on a boat with everything being really simple and dealing with little space, so everything is built into the wall,” she said. “And a lot of what’s around the house are things that we collected and turned into functional things.” The house is completely made out of hardwood — no concrete or studded walls.

“What you see on the inside is the same on the outside,” said Corey. “Because this was a different project than the other houses (around the island), many of the contractors were kind of weary of it. So we were very involved in this. The Pereza family came in a helped us out a lot.” The house is built up high on a hill, and because of that, Corey and Stude couldn’t get heavy equipment up to the house.

“We were putting it up the way they did the pyramids, with everyone pulling on the ropes to lift up the wood,” Corey said.

The house took about a year and a 2006half to finish.

“We were joking thinking, ‘is there any piece of wood we didn’t touch three times?’” Stude said.

Their house is so unique that it caught the attention of producers for the new show for Home and Garden Television, “Look What I Did.” “This house is just beautiful,” said supervising producer Patrick Jager.

The concept for the show is to highlight projects people did without any professional help.

“There are a lot of shows where designers help you with projects, but these are people who did them all by themselves,” he said. “This is not, ‘I painted my bathroom,’ or ‘I put up some cabinets.’ This is ‘I put a roller coaster in my backyard. Throughout the show, you’ll see everything from the very weird to the very wonderful.” The crews for the show will be on-island at the end of this month to film segments for the show. They are also looking at houses on O‘ahu and Maui. The producers are also looking for another house on Kaua‘i to shoot.

“The thing I love about coming to Hawai‘i is it’s so much about indoor and outdoor living. I love the creativity the islands present,” he said.

Corey and Stude definitely got creative with their home, building it around a door, constructing it in Bali, shipping it over and building on a hill. They even took extra materials they didn’t use for the roof and used it for their terrace.

Look for their episode of the show run on HGTV this summer.

Lanaly Cabalo, lifestyle writer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or


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