A friend told me she thought that my bungalow would be a beautiful place to fall in love…
I returned to Hawaii knowing that I wanted to live simply and love greatly. I longed for a small abode I could call my own. The nature surrounding me would be the focus; the house would be secondary. Little did I know that I would find a way to create my dream living environment: a dwelling that mirrors the beauty and elegance of nature nestled within the tropical landscape of my youth; a home that fosters love in all its forms.
In 2015, I returned home to the Big Island of Hawaii after nearly twelve years away. I had left initially to attend college in Portland, OR, then stayed on the mainland to live and work in other parts of the country (Wisconsin, Texas, DC, California) with Latin American and European travel and a cross-country road trip thrown in. A few months before my thirtieth birthday, I felt a distinct awakening of self and a sudden yearning for home – not just to return to where I was from, but to create a home of my own, and I wanted to do it in Hawaii.
This past spring, with the help of many, I created my tiny bamboo paradise on a piece of land I call Aka’ula (Hawaiian for red sunset). Adding to the thrill and challenge of being a first-time owner-builder, the build process was documented by a TV production company. The episode (episode 3!) chronicling my Tiny Bamboo Bungalow build aired on HGTV’s Tiny Paradise on July 10, 2017. One of my favorite parts of being involved with the show was being encouraged to add some unique features to my home. (Well, I call it one of my favorite things now that it’s all over – it felt like a lot of pressure at the time!) One idea I came up with was to make my own rain chains. Since the show aired, lots of folks have asked me about them. For those folks and for those of you who haven’t even heard of a rain chain, here you go.
What is a rain chain?
The purpose of a rain chain is to direct rainwater from your gutter to the ground. In many cases, a PVC pipe does that job, especially if the goal is to collect the water. However, if the water doesn’t need to be gathered, a rain chain is an aesthetically pleasing option to lead the rain from your roof to the earth, reducing unnecessary splashing while creating a calming, fountain-like feature for your home.
David Sands (Co-Founder and Chief Architect at Bamboo Living). My father tagged along, too. I had been on a tour of the lab previously, but I was extra excited this time because Blue Planet’s Blue Ion batteries had just been installed at my new off-grid bamboo home!As Big Island residents will tell you, this really is a big island. With countless unique communities and micro-climates, there is always somewhere new to explore. A recent island journey brought me to Pu'u Wa'awa'a Ranch in North Kona. Pu'u Wa'awa'a is home to amazing scenery, roaming livestock, a tight-knit community, and Blue Planet Energy’s state-of-the-art research lab. I drove over to the ranch with