Andrea Bruley, Inc

Design Group & Retail Location

278 Beach Street 

Laguna Beach, CA 92651

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Finding Inspiration in Travel...Hawaii Edition

Updated: Jul 31, 2019

Summer is in full swing! The days are long with weekends filled with trips to the beach, barbecues, friends, and family. As we’re getting into the hot, dog days of summer, I keep reflecting back on a trip I took with my family to Oahu, Hawaii a few months ago where the weather was perfect, everyone was relaxed, and inspiration could be found around every corner.

I love to travel because I find it really opens up my eyes to new cultures, people and places. It allows me to view things from an entirely new lens, and suddenly I see inspiration everywhere…in everything from the beautiful hotels to the stunning scenery. It’s the perfect way to recharge my batteries, but I also bring back this inspiration to work, and find it makes its way into my designs.


Driving across Oahu on Spring break is no easy feat as the island definitely has its fair share of traffic and tourists. However, once the beauty of the greenery and the stunning turquoise ocean make you forget all about that. Traveling by car was the easiest way for my family to see a great portion of the island quickly. From a Buddhist temple to hip hotels, the island really offers a diverse itinerary.



Our first stop was a the 'Aholini Resort in the middle of the bustling city of Honolulu which made it very convenient to walk to Waikiki beach or visit the shops and restaurants that line the streets. The hotel is modern and chic, and they have a great sushi restaurant. Our family loves a good sushi restaurant!

I have a deep love for snorkeling. There’s an exciting element of putting on the mask and fins and swimming out to discover what lies beneath the ocean’s surface. Haumanu Bay was a favorite place to spend the morning. It’s on the east lower side and is very easy to get to from the hotel. As a protected marine life conservation area, it has some of the most beautiful and colorful marine life I’ve ever seen. Before the sun got too hot we hopped in the car and headed up the coast to Turtle Bay Resort on the north shore for a lovely lunch of crab cakes and a pink cocktail.



Aulani, a Disney resort, was our next home away from home. Staying here was a magical treat for adults and kids alike. They really left no stone unturned here at this beautifully maintained resort. The landscape is lush and brilliantly colorful and the rooms are all well decorated and designed. There were enough activities to keep our two boys entertained from the moment they woke up to the moment they closed their eyes, need I ask for anything else?! I found the spa to be a great place to recharge for a few hours. They have a large outdoor co-ed area with plunge pools, showers, and lounge chairs.


My husband and I were feeling adventurous and took a surf lesson. The weather was definitely not ideal with high winds making it quite tricky to maneuver and waves coming at us from all directions, but we enjoyed it all the same as it was a great work out and allowed us some fun bonding time.


The Aunties beach house was a great option for the boys to have some brotherly time and for us to get a break. We walked over to the Four Seasons for an appetizer and cocktail before dinner. The hotel’s restaurant Mina was fabulous with a hip and modern vibe and a GREAT happy hour.



I came home from Hawaii feeling refreshed and recharged, and I’m finding the inspiring sights and feelings of peace and calm come across in my designs. Sometimes it’s subtle…I’ll use a pop of turquoise in an art piece or incorporate interesting coral that reminds me of snorkeling into a design. Other times, I tap into that feeling of tranquility that was so magical at the Aulani Resort, and design a peaceful, spa-like bathroom for a client. The point is, when on vacation, I think our hearts and mind are more open to inspiration because we’re disconnected from the business of our everyday lives. Incorporating those inspiring elements into our homes can help us be transported back to that amazing vacation feeling and allows us to relive those beautiful vacation moments each and every day.



What vacations have inspired you? And how do you incorporate it into your home?