Kūono Is a Modern Hawaiian Cabin You Can Rent

This stylish cabin getaway is hidden in a forest near Hawaii's Volcanoes National Park.

kuono cabin hawaii exterior back porch

Andrew Richard Hara

One can enjoy the outdoors in any number of ways: camping in a tent, sleeping in a trusty teardrop trailer, or perhaps in a tricked-out Prius. Of course, there's always the time-tested (and more comfortable) option of renting a cabin somewhere in order to fully unplug and reconnect with nature – an especially delightful treat if you're thinking of staying somewhere in the beautifully lush landscapes of Hawaii.

One gorgeous choice of accommodation is this Scandinavian-inspired modern cabin, which guests can rent by the night. Located within a forest of 'ōhi'a trees near the Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii, the 488-square-foot Kūono Cabin was a design collaboration between local architect Loch Soderquist and owner Jeff Brink, who runs an architectural visualization company. We get a quick tour via YouTube host Levi Kelly:

Topped with a gable roof that has been clad with metal, the cabin has been designed to blend in with its surroundings as much as possible. To accomplish this, the exterior of the cabin features cedar siding, which weathers naturally to a soft grayish brown, so that the structure blends in with the rest of the forest. Even the cabin's water catchment tank and pump house have been hidden and clad with cedar. The landscaping has been planted with native flora, and the driveway uses crushed basalt rather than asphalt. The retaining walls contain rocks that were unearthed on-site during construction.

kuono cabin hawaii exterior
Andrew Richard Hara

The cabin has a distinctive form inspired by the modern sea cabins of Norway, and has been designed to glow like a lantern at night when it's occupied. As Brink explains on Dwell:

"[The cabin is located at] a 4,000-foot elevation and a cooler climate. It’s all about nature. We wanted to do something different here with a more modern Scandinavian design."

To offer a bit of contrast and to signify the entrance, the cabin's front door has been painted a bright red.

kuono cabin hawaii night
Andrew Richard Hara

Stepping inside, we come into the small but functional kitchen, which includes a full-sized oven and stove, a microwave, a mini-sized refrigerator and freezer, and large sink. The modern cabinets have been done with wood to warm up the interior color palette a bit, and have plenty of space to store pots, pans, utensils and food. All that storage helps to reduce clutter on top of the counters too.

kuono cabin hawaii kitchen
Andrew Richard Hara

Right beside the kitchen is the bathroom, which has been painted a calm, bright white. There's a vanity and sink, a toilet and a tiled shower with glass door here.

kuono cabin hawaii bathroom
Andrew Richard Hara

Beyond the cabin's one partition wall, which separates the kitchen and bathroom from the rest of the cabin, we come into the living and sleeping areas.

kuono cabin hawaii living room
Andrew Richard Hara

It's an open plan here, with the queen-sized bed at one end, and a sofa-bed, small dining table, and television at the other. There are a number of artworks, made by local artists, adorning the walls.

kuono cabin hawaii bed
Andrew Richard Hara

One great feature here is the cabin's 14-foot-high ceilings, which give the impression of a much larger space. There's also a lovely ceiling fan here to provide a bit of air circulation.

kuono cabin hawaii living sleeping room
Andrew Richard Hara

Past the huge, sliding glass patio doors, we step onto the covered back porch, or lanai, as it's called locally.

kuono cabin hawaii view out to firepit
Andrew Richard Hara

The generous height and width of the glazing here permits one to feel the connection between the inside to the outside, whether the doors are open or closed, or shaded with the roll-down blinds.

kuono cabin hawaii lanai back porch
Andrew Richard Hara

Here one can sit and relax in front of an electronically controlled firepit, or take a soak in the cedar wood-lined hot tub, all with a view into the forest. Says Brink:

"Minimal yet comfortable, Kūono is meant to be a place of respite."
kuono cabin hawaii firepit
Andrew Richard Hara

Kūono's location not only offers a welcome interlude from the daily hustle and bustle of life, but also potentially some unexpected thrills, thanks to its proximity to Kīlauea, an active volcano that one can visit in the nearby Volcanoes National Park. To find out more, or to book a stay, visit Stay Kuono or Airbnb.