In this edition of Plantfluencer Stories – we hear from therapist turned interior designer Anita Yokota, who uses plants as a way to elevate the spaces she designs, including her own home.
Anita, tell us about yourself.
I’m a licensed therapist turned interior designer. Pretty unusual, right? I’m obsessed with intentional designs that emphasize wellness from the inside out. My holistic approach incorporates both aesthetic principles and the relational interactions of the individual and family to create thoughtful spaces that empower residents to live their best lives. It’s my absolute passion in life to share about this idea through plant design!
Tell us about your Instagram feed:
After I had my third daughter, I wanted to pursue the passion of interior design. However, we still had green microfiber oversized sofas. With babies and spit up, it made sense at the time to buy them. My sister encouraged me to just start an IG account and document my daily styling of my home, including the green sofas. You can see my attempts to overcompensate with textiles and pillows. My first 3 posts were liked and commented on by Studio McGee (back then they were only at 35k) and I didn’t even know who they were yet. My sister had to tell me. I was SO EXCITED. It really encouraged me to just keep creating wonderful authentic content about my home’s journey and finding my why in it.
What is your favorite plant and why?
My spirit plant is the Monstera. The cheese holes mesmerizes me. And it is so airy. The minute I see it, I feel carefree vibes. My brain chemistry immediately releases endorphins and it makes me relax.
Do you have a "green thumb"?
I would say I’m the accidental plant lady that found her niche of plants. So in that sense, yes I have a green thumb! I intentionally choose plants that work for my lifestyle and interests. Also, given where I want to put a plant and the lighting it needs. So it’s very thoughtful. I think that’s why I see success in raising them.
Best plant care tips that you can share?
My secret to a thriving Fiddle Leaf Fig is plenty of moisture in the air! Since its a tropical plant, it likes moisture but not necessarily in the soil. So the FLF in my bathroom is doing exceptionally well due to daily steam sessions from our showers. I think a humidifier next to a plant might work if it seems particularly dry during the winter because it is near a heat source. That is the kiss of death, dry air!
What's your weekly plant care routine?
My girls actually are my alarm clocks! They observe and notice when a plant is needing something or will ask a question and we will tend to it. Sundays are my best watering days because I’m prepping for the next week as far as work and meals, it makes sense to add my watering day. However, I generally only have plants in my home that need less than 2 week watering days. So plants that can survive one and a half to two weeks minimum is my rule of thumb. Of course I have some plants that need weekly but that is my overall rule so I don't get overwhelmed.
What tops your houseplant wish list?
I want a FLF in each common room I have. I just love how it complements furniture and rugs. My design trinity is a mid century modern sofa, vintage rug and a FLF.