Gold gleams and green pops in designer Jarret Yoshida’s spaces. An antique Japanese screen hangs above airy midcentury seats. Splashes of wood and arrangements of paintings and sculptures add warm accents. We spoke with Yoshida, the owner of his eponymous firm in New York City, on how he creates his art-infused globally inspired interiors.
How would you characterize your style? I’m Japanese, raised in Hawaii, and I’ve traveled a lot, so my style is definitely more international. I’m also a nerd about art, which lends itself to period and visual influences. That awareness informs my work overall.
In what ways? I used a Japanese screen from 1870 in one living room that shows the start of Western wear in Japan, with policemen in Prussian uniforms alongside these beautiful kimono and palanquins. To make it feel fresh, I used a malachite green from the screen on the walls, which I continued up the staircase to the fourth floor.
What about mixing eras? For one bedroom, I made a brass-capped custom headboard inspired by both the artist Donald Judd and the gilded foot I saw on a French colonial daybed. I added cork wallpaper dyed gold to soften the space, along with ’70s flea market lamps in dripped greens and blues. The nightstand is slick and open next to the density of the bed. It’s a little like Jenga.
Any historic icons? I love Jean-Michel Frank, looking at the height of Deco as it enters modernism. And Charlotte Perriand for her color blocking that no one else did for so long. And also craftspeople around the world, like artisans in Turkey I saw creating color and pattern combinations that were made to be eternal. As designers, why not promulgate that in our own work?
How do you bring in nature? My love of wood and heavy texture comes from my background. For one kitchen, we wanted to do something contemporary that also feels warm, so the cabinetry is all cerused oak, then we added olive branches and gold elements for intentional contrast. Organic hewn wood stools are à la George Nakashima.
You also pull from fashion? When you have clients who are front-row fashion editors, they raise your A-game. We’ve done a lot of purple and gray, like Tom Ford’s fall/winter 2020 collections, and we’re embracing Dior’s bright palette and unusual color combinations, such as matching terra cotta, charcoal and white. Or we’ll watch Downton Abbey and freeze-frame Lady Mary in a Prussian blue dress with brown velvet and use that with our next client.
Your look seems timeless and curated. Things don’t date if you’re careful about spreading things around culturally, periodwise, materialwise. When something’s been in style for centuries, you know you’re good.