Anita Yokota is an interior stylist and photographer by trade, so she knows a thing or two about making a space look beautiful. Still, even for this Seattle-native-turned-SoCal resident, the task of turning one giant space into two proved difficult. Say what you will about the merits of an open floor plans—for all of the openness and airiness they ostensibly provide, figuring out what to actually do with them continues to vex many a home decorator. “We have a living room/dining room combo,” Anita says of the home that she shares with her husband and three children, “and it desperately needed differentiation between the two spaces, because the room was essentially a big rectangle.” Over the course of the ten years that the family has inhabited the home, Anita has tried numerous arrangements, many of which ended up making the space feel over-packed and claustrophobic. Eventually, she landed on a layout that incorporated furnishings with more lightweight silhouettes (mid-century lines, benches instead of chunky armchairs) and seemed to hit the jackpot. “Designing two spaces in one stumped me for years,” Anita continues. “Fitting two sofas made the space too tight, but with one sofa, there was extra space by the front windows. For many years, I had put the second sofa up against the window so it would fit. When it became a empty space, I discovered I could make yet a third seating area. That solved a 10 year dilemma!” Take a closer look at Anita’s home + get her insights on making her open floor plan work below!
“I describe myself as a Cali-Pacific Northwest hybrid when it comes to style,” Anita says. “I draw from modern, clean lines, coastal colors and the earthy feels of the Northwest where I grew up. I love to play with natural elements such as wood, metals and textures in my designs.”
“I wanted a new sofa with clean lines and a minimalist feel. I chose the West Elm Antwerp Sofa and so far, it has been one of my best design purchases. I waited 10 years to finally obtain the look I yearned for by replacing the old sofas with this one. It is modern but soft enough to bend to any style I want it to. From the sofa, I gained momentum on inspiration and it led to the look I have today. I honestly owe it to my passion for the sofa first that got the design started!”
“I added West Elm Mid-Century benches to my living room and dining room to keep the sight lines low and clean. It makes the room flow and helps draw the line between the two. The tufted buttons provided a more feminine touch to the room. As for lighting I wanted a brass piece that added architectural interest.The grand mobile chandelier definitely fit the bill!”