As Shelfology and Semihandmade roll out our collaborative line of shelves and colors, we revisit one of our favorite projects. Anita Yokota’s thoughtful aesthetic still continues to woo us with functional, purposeful design. We asked Anita to give us the rundown on her signature style and how she took her kitchen from basic to swoon-worthy using Shelfology and Semihandmade’s BOXI line of cabinets

Shelfology + Semihandmade + Anita Yokota Design: Making Beautiful Spaces Happen
Shelfology + Semihandmade + Anita Yokota Design: Making Beautiful Spaces Happen (10 min. Read)

Shelfology: "Tell us about your background and how you got into design."

Anita: "My dad is an architect and perusing his large piles of design books and sketches always sparked my own creativity, which was my first introduction to spatial design. After moving into my first house, I really began to take ownership with my passion for design. After many years of consulting for friends and family, I decided to take the plunge a few years ago to make it into a full time business. That, coupled with my background as a marriage and family therapist, have really helped to inform my primary goal when designing for myself and others: finding your ‘why’ for the space."

Shelfology: "What's your favorite type of project to take on? What type of design gets you excited?"

Anita: "My favorite types of projects to take on are ones where I get to transform impractical, or dysfunctional areas into spaces that truly fulfill the needs of the inhabitants. I love getting to incorporate areas of intentionality that help to promote deeper relationships and wellness, without having to sacrifice beauty in the space. Mixing patterns and colors is my favorite way to add character and warmth to a room, truly transforming it into a welcoming space that makes you excited to be in."

Shelfology + Semihandmade + Anita Yokota Design: Before Pic
Shelfology + Semihandmade + Anita Yokota Design: Out with the old...

Shelfology: "Give us an overview of the project: What were your goals for this project and your thought process behind the solution?"

Anita: "This project was my chance to finally redo my dated and dysfunctional kitchen, a project that I’ve been waiting twelve years to tackle! My primary goal for the redesign of this space was to improve the flow around the kitchen, as well as promote physical and mental wellness for my family. The solution was to remove the kitchen island which was acting as a barrier for movement, as well as any deep cabinets that created dead space and promoted clutter and accumulation of useless objects." 

Shelfology: "What were the challenges?"

Anita: "The main challenge was working with a smaller, already-existing room footprint. As much as I wanted to redesign this kitchen that was no longer serving my needs, I knew that tearing down walls to increase the area wouldn’t be the real solution to my problems. This challenged me to think of innovative ways to increase counter space for working or meal prep, while also making sure to only allow in useful items in my kitchen."

Shelfology + Semihandmade + Anita Yokota Design: In the the new!
Shelfology + Semihandmade + Anita Yokota Design: ...In the the New! Featuring Aksel White Oak Floating Shelf

Shelfology: "Favorite touches in the room?"

Anita: "I love how all the small touches throughout the kitchen came together to create a cohesive, welcoming design my whole family loves. My love for color led me to using the soft blush Fireclay tile for the backsplash, which paired perfectly with all the brass finishes and the light wood tones from the open shelving. The desert-inspired color palette is earthy and warm, and the overall brightness of the room helps to encourage productivity in the space."

Shelfology: "How did Shelfology come to play in your design?"

Anita: "I wanted to incorporate Shelfology to act as the main focal point of my kitchen: a vibrant statement wall complete with purposeful open shelving. Making the switch from cabinetry to open shelving created an opportunity for me to pare down the items that I keep in the kitchen, leaving room for only what was functional and necessary. The open shelving provides easy access to all my everyday essentials while still leaving room to display beautiful accent decor pieces, the perfect way to help my kitchen still feel like ‘me’! Shelfology helps to keep my counters clutter-free, while also keeping my overall kitchen looking beautiful!"

Shelfology + Semihandmade + Anita Yokota Design: Aksel White Oak Floating Shelf
Aksel White Oak Floating Shelf

Shelfology: "Tips you'd like to share with other designers for using Shelfology in their projects?"

Anita: "My primary tip for styling shelves is to not be afraid of playing with materiality and texture. The various finishes that Shelfology offers is a great starting point for curating a specific atmosphere in a space. In my space, I leaned into the organic element that the wood finish brought into our kitchen by incorporating faux greenery, various deeper tones of wooden bowls or cutting boards, and even a soft landscape painting to really tie together the natural aspects of the space. When picking out shelf finishes or decor to go on those shelves, make sure the two are working in harmony together."

Thanks Anita! You are 100% Grade A RAD. 

Get Anita’s look here: 

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another really cool svg