Once construction was completed on the shell of a spanking new kitchen expansion and family-room addition, the owners of this Basking Ridge residence turned their 1,089-square-foot blank slate over to interior designer Satomi Yoshida-Katz, owner of Montclair-based YZDA. The family of four craved an aesthetic that blended their cultures (Japanese and American), enhanced functionality, and emphasized comfort.
“The client wasn’t really comfortable with color,” says Yoshida-Katz, a native of Japan who graduated from Iowa State University College of Design. “I relied on organic textures, simple lines, and repetition of patterns to create interest, while keeping the colors muted and serene.” By repeating elements such as the criss-cross pattern, which appears in the dining room chair backs, the window grids, and the wool rug in the family room, Yoshida-Katz created a subtle cohesion of disparate objects.
As well, the designer used asymmetry—a single textured wall, tiles placed in a random pattern—to transcend the ordinary and engage the eye. At work here is the Asian philosophy of wabi-sabi: “the beauty of imperfection, of the incomplete,” says Yoshida-Katz, explaining that the concept honors naturally occuring transient and irregular forms.
Yoshida-Katz also took on the personal challenge of introducing her clients to sustainable design concepts—the use of natural fibers, energy-efficient lighting, and recycled materials.
By reusing existing elements, such as the home’s oak flooring—updated with walnut/mahogany stain—Yoshida-Katz married the old with the new, adding to the property’s intrinsic value. The eco-conscious principles also make the home more attractive should the homeowners ever wish to sell.
With myriad textures, a soothing palette, sustainable materials, and clever use of space for the open floor plan, Yoshida-Katz created a family-friendly environment that’s ripe for relaxation.
Satomi Yoshida-Katz: “My philosophy is to create beautiful, timeless interior and exterior spaces”, says Yoshida-Katz. In 1994, while living in Seattle, Washington, she founded YZDA / Yoshida + Zanon Design Atrium with architect/industrial designer, Roberto Zanon. Yoshida-Katz has designed commercial and residential spaces, as well as a line of home accessories and lighting that has been sold in retail stores and major museums, including the Modern Museum of Art and the Guggenheim. Yoshida-Katz moved the business to New Jersey in 2005. 22 McDonough Street, Montclair 973-744-1064, yzdesignatrium.com
Kitchen: Counter stools, Emeco, emeco.net; tile, Ann Sacks, annsacks.com; pendants, Foscarini, foscarini.com.
Dining room: Woven Roman shades, Castec, castec.com; furniture, Berman Rosetti, bermanrosetti.com; rug, Room and Board, roomandboard.com.
Family room: Pendant, dform Design, dformdesign.com; sofa, BoConcept, boconcept.com; table, EuroTrendUSA, eurotrendusa.com; Hans J. Wegner chairs, Suite New York, suiteny.com; custom bench, Noble Woodworks, noblewoodworks.com; area rug, Seldom Seen Design, 973-535-8805; custom wall, Field Decorative Finishes, fieldfinish.com.
Den: Pendants, George Nelson, roomandboard.com; custom closets, noblewoodworks.com; Hans J. Wegner chairs, Suite New York, suiteny.com; eco-resin door panels, 3Form, 3-form.com; sconces, Justice Design, jdg.com; custom concrete fireplace and counter top, TrueForm Concrete, trueformconcrete.com
Bathroom: Cabinets, noblewoodworks.com; counter top, Coverings etc., coveringsetc.com; porcelain tiles, On the Surface, 732-741-9092; pendant, Moooi, moooi.com; sconces, Prandina, prandina.it/; glass tiles, Walker Zanger, walkerzanger.com; tub, Hardware Designs, hardwaredesigns.com; all paint, Benjamin Moore, benjaminmoore.com.