Before and After: This Professional Organizer’s Condo Went from Dated to Sleek Scandinavian Style

published Jan 16, 2023

Before and After: This Professional Organizer’s Condo Went from Dated to Sleek Scandinavian Style

published Jan 16, 2023
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Name: Iris Miyasaki, owner of styling and organizing company, By Saki, with partner, Erin, and golden retriever, Miley
Location: Seattle, Washington
Type of home: Condo
Size: 908 square feet
Time lived in: 6 months, owned

We bought our condo in May 20222 and we fell in love with the asymmetrical layout of the space, and the neighborhood (Ballard). It’s our first home as our little family of three! Though we closed in May, we had two months to complete renovations so it was a quick turnaround. We redid our flooring (took out the ugly carpet), countertops, backsplash, and edited light fixtures and hardware. It got done in time and we were so relieved, especially with how backed up the supply chain was/is.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Minimal meets Scandinavian chic

Inspiration: I’m a Japanese-American LGBTQIA+ woman from Hawaii, as is my partner, so we wanted to incorporate a lot of culture into our renovations and decor. We chose flooring on the lighter end as a nod to bamboo and tatami mats you often see in Japan. Our couch is a gorgeous pretty pink that I knew was a MUST when we moved in. It’s feminine, bold, and oh so comfy — all key themes in our home. We also have imagery and art pieces of the female body to celebrate each other as queer women of color. The greenery from our houseplants and prints of local artists like Pegge Hopper refers to our island upbringing in Hawaii.

Favorite Element: ALL OF IT! I can’t think of a better feeling of “loving to come home.” I feel safe and secure here with Erin and Miley. Every space brings a smile to my face — that’s exactly how I want my clients to feel when I’m finished organizing or styling their home.

Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenge was making a relatively small space feel spacious AND cozy at the same time. The layout of our condo is asymmetrical so I had to play with a lot of odd angles. I overcame this challenge by creating zones in the home — even though the “living room” is basically one large room, I created a designated space for my office, the actually lounging/living room area, and a dining room.

What’s the most unusual, brilliant, or surprising tip/philosophy/idea for organizing small homes? The less you have, the more you’ll utilize and be creative with what you have. So yes, it’s not news but, less is always more. We live in a society of over consumption and it’s very overwhelming. I find when I have less, I appreciate what I have much more.

What are the biggest mistakes people make when trying to organize their home? They try to organize one section of a bigger space and think it’ll solve all their problems. Organizing is truly contagious so it’s quite impossible to just stick to one space. For example, someone will try to organize their “junk drawer” in the kitchen and will realize there are things in there that belong in the garage (like batteries or spare screwdrivers) or in the kid’s room (like random little toys) or in the office (like old mail and stamps). So eventually when that drawer becomes clear and organized, moving the misplaced items to their correct homes becomes another project, which then leads to realizing they need to organize the other spaces.

What’s an easy task you do (and that others could do) EVERY day to stay more organized? Everything is put away before you go to bed so every morning you wake up to a well-organized home. If every item in your home has a home, it’s very easy to put away once you use it and also locate when you need it.

What’s an item(s) someone can (and should) get rid of today? Clothes you haven’t worn in the past year or if it doesn’t fit you. Keep pieces in your closet that you love and make you feel your best! Getting dressed is one of the first things you do in your day and I honestly believe if you look good, you feel good, and that energy is infectious!

Thanks Iris!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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