“I fell in love with [Hawaii],” Crystal, 37, says exclusively in the latest issue of Us Weekly. “The waterfalls, the scenery, everything.”
Crystal began house hunting on the Big Island in 2021, a few years after Hugh — the legendary founder of the Playboy magazine empire whom she wed in 2012 — died at 91. The former model confessed she “needed a change” after living in the Playboy Mansion for 10 years. She told Us that she will open up about her experiences living in the infamous home in her upcoming memoir, Only Say Good Things: Surviving Playboy and Finding Myself, which will drop in 2024.
“I was in that bubble for a decade,” she tells Us. “Building in Hawaii was a process of finding out what I like and what I want and who I am. It’s been a healing journey.”
During her search for her dream home, she came across an abandoned 6.5-acre lychee orchard that she saw a lot of potential in. Crystal restored the sprawling orchard and transformed the land into her tropical dream property.
She partnered with Paradise Tiny Homes, a company that builds small, eco-friendly houses, to create a place that wouldn’t disrupt the beautiful natural surroundings. Crystal decorated the “magical” 290-square-foot home with personal touches like Spanish tile and a mango wood bar- and tabletops. The off-the-grid pad is even eco-friendly, boasting solar panels and a system to collect rainwater.
“It’s powered by the sun and the water comes from the rain,” she says. “It’s forced me to live minimally and simply.”
Her home may be simple, but the location can’t be beat. The 6.5 acres feature fruit trees of all sorts, waterfalls, and amazing cliffside views of the ocean — though the best view might be from Crystal’s loft bedroom.
“The loft features a California King bed and a skylight,” she tells Us. “So you can look up and see the stars at night.”
Crystal’s “favorite part” of her abode is the bathroom, which features “all kinds of different ornate tiles.” She also finds her compact kitchen “adorable” and was amazed she managed to fit a dishwasher and washer and dryer into the small space.
“I get to spend time in Hawaii and travel and hang out with people who have my best interests at heart,” she gushes. “Life is good.”