Novedge: Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do. Jarret Yoshida: The firmwas founded by the heads of W Magazine, Calvin Klein's personal spokesperson and the CEO of Isaac Mizrahi. We expanded from there and now have projects in New York, Hawaii and Miami with a client in Saudi Arabia. The clients in Saudi Arabia are just as exciting as our Hawaii ones, in terms of being an exotic locale to work.
Novedge:Did you always want to design? How did it all start for you?
Jarret Yoshida: After a brief foray in non-profit fundraising for the Smithsonian, HIV and civil rights, I became an interior designer thanks to some donors who wanted to make sure I was happy doing what I loved. But I think it all started when I was 10 and saw a cinder block wall and thought, "Hmm. This would be more beautiful in lava rock". Talk about an interior designer in training!
Novedge:What is a recent project that you worked on?
Jarret Yoshida: We recently designed a Manhattan penthouse. It’s located in one of the highest residential apartment buildings in New York. This mid-town Manhattan apartment was designed for a top editor at a men's fashion magazine. The apartment was a combination of the couple's unique styles: New York vs. Los Angeles, formal vs. relaxed. We pulled in a variety of styles: Vivienne Westwood vs. Calvin Klein, Karl Springer vs. Eames, custom vs. Design Within Reach. With spectacular views, but an irregular layout, it was important to create a furniture plan that took advantage of the New York skyline, facing outward onto the city below. When we were done, we left our client satisfied, creating a home that lent itself to relaxed family occasions as much as to cocktail parties for fashion tastemakers. Novedge:How would you describe your style?
Jarret Yoshida: I think "informed eclectic" would be great. I think a lot of designers put furnishings in a room because they're "pretty" or "fun". For a Design to work long-term, it is important to understand the history of each piece. For example, Louis XVI can work wonders with a great Ming table because both styles were the minimalist choices of their time. Interior Design isn't the same as fashion and treating it as such is ridiculous. Novedge:What Software do you use?
Novedge:You must have had interesting requests in your career as an Interior Designer; is there one in particular you would like to share?
Jarret Yoshida: Our most interesting requests have been for charity because we can really let our imaginations run wild. We are working on a table for the American Cancer society now and working with Christofle, Michael Aram and Robert Allenplus a floral designer for Hermes and Coach to come up with something really memorable. Think Narnia meets Russian Czar.
Novedge: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Jarret Yoshida: For life and business, the best advice I've received is: be open to new experiences. If you aren't, you can't grow either yourself or, in turn, your business.
Novedge:Do you have a favorite historic era?
Jarret Yoshida: I have more than a few, including Meiji Japanwhich is when Japanese culture and art takes on these incredible influences from the West. I would also put a plug in for contemporary American life. It is an exciting time as a designer to see craft being elevated to the level of art.
Novedge:What are your favorite Artists form the past or present?
Jarret Yoshida:Helen Frankenthaler is an abstract expressionist who has been entirely underrated, largely because she was a woman in a male dominated field. Her work anticipates, by decades, the calm minimalism that we take for granted in our contemporary lives.
Novedge:What does it take to be successful it in your field? List the three top qualities that really make a difference.
Jarret Yoshida: Persistence. Persistence. Did I mention persistence? You can't give up. You have to constantly develop who you are as a person to learn how to manage projects better, work with clients more easily and understand more about Design and production.
Novedge: What would you like your clients to understand about you?
Jarret Yoshida: Honestly, I'd like clients to understand more about the Design process. Good Design isn't just about pushing a button to order something on a keyboard. I wish. It takes skill to learn how to deal with contractors. It takes a certain level of inherent Design talent to know how to resolve a visual problem. Most of all, craftspeople take time.
If you would like to get more inspiration from Jarret Yoshida, follow his Blog, Design Diligence, where he shares noteworthy findings, insight and Design news, and offers a real view behind the scenes of the creative processes of Interior Design.
For all the software tools needed in your Design Process, visit Novedge.