Storage & Organization Secrets from Shopkeeper Makié Yahagi

Designer Makié Yahagi opened her pint-size children’s clothing shop on SoHo’s Thompson Street in 1999 calling it, simply, Makié. The daughter of a seamstress, Makié was making clothing for her two sons (they’re now a little older than her shop) when she got the idea.

We’ve been adherents of her brand (that now includes adult sizes and housewares) for the past decade and have always wondered: What does her house look like? Not surprisingly, it’s as charm-filled as her store. She rents the two-bedroom loft in SoHo from an acquaintance and has set it up in a simple, thoughtful way that can only be described as so Makié.

Photography by Matthew Williams for Remodelista; styling by Alexa Hotz.

Makié Yahagi Soho, New York Loft Photo by Matthew Williams Styling by Alexa Hotz
Above: Makié uses rugs and groupings of furniture to create “rooms” in the open floor plan. She inherited the dining table from a friend, and the chairs are beech Ro Dining Chairs designed by Tomoko Azumi for Zilio A&C.
Makié Yahagi Soho, New York Loft Photo by Matthew Williams Styling by Alexa Hotz
Above: In the kitchen, Makié arranges her cooking utensils according to material (wood or metal) and height. Glass boxes—one holds sesame seeds, the other sea salt—are kept with tiny salt and pepper shakers nearby. She hand-washes most dishes and dries them on a Muji dish drainer (sans tray). The faucet is a Vola.
Makié Yahagi Soho, New York Loft Photo by Matthew Williams Styling by Alexa Hotz
Above: In the compact galley kitchen, Makié stores kitchen towels and a Japanese cookbook in a basket. (The kabocha squash was in place when we arrived.) The double ovens are Viking Designer Series wall ovens, now discontinued but the current version is the Viking Professional Custom Series 30-Inch Double Wall Oven.
Makié Yahagi Soho, New York Loft Photo by Matthew Williams Styling by Alexa Hotz
Above: A peek into Makié’s cabinet is the stuff (our) dreams our made of. Her collection includes raku pottery, Yali Murano glass, and Sunata Masami porcelain.
Makié Yahagi Soho, New York Loft Photo by Matthew Williams Styling by Alexa Hotz
Above: Makié organizes cutlery by type (chopsticks, resin handle flatware, and vintage silver) and size in a drawer beneath the Miele 30-Inch Gas Cooktop. Hidden behind a walnut panel is a Miele Fully Integrated Dishwasher.
Makié Yahagi Soho, New York Loft Photo by Matthew Williams Styling by Alexa Hotz
Above: Makié made the pancakes; years ago, she tells us, she used to run a café in SoHo where she would make perfect pancakes and plate them on porcelain plates “just like this.” (You can find the Sunata Masami cups and bowls online at Makié.)
Makié Yahagi Soho, New York Loft Photo by Matthew Williams Styling by Alexa Hotz
Above: Under the stairs is an antique children’s chair; a photograph by Inez & Vinoodh of their son, Charles Star; a Rowland Scherman photo of John Lennon; and a hand-shaped ceramic bowl by artist Genevieve Chevallier.
Makié Yahagi Soho, New York Loft Photo by Matthew Williams Styling by Alexa Hotz
Above: To keep mosquitos at bay (up the stairs is a sliding door to a rooftop deck), Makié burns mosquito coils, in a handmade ceramic dish.
Makié Yahagi Soho, New York Loft Photo by Matthew Williams Styling by Alexa Hotz
Above: The living room has an old Ikea rug, a white sofa covered with a linen blanket, and cushions and pillows from Makié.
Makié Yahagi Soho, New York Loft Photo by Matthew Williams Styling by Alexa Hotz
Above: On a long shelf under the large loft windows Makié stores paper goods, clothing patterns, and some of her early designs in cloth-covered boxes from Italian company Fiorirà un Giardino. On top of a sheet of crinkled Japanese paper are ceramics by Genevieve Chevallier and Yali White Murano Glass Cups.
Makié Yahagi Soho, New York Loft Photo by Matthew Williams Styling by Alexa Hotz
Above: A collection of Makié’s miniature vintage purchases kept in an antique wedding basket.
Makié Yahagi Soho, New York Loft Photo by Matthew Williams Styling by Alexa Hotz
Above: On one side of the fireplace is a small television and collections on display. On the other, built in Rakk shelving holds stacks of linens, old issues of Selvedge magazine, Japanese pattern books, and art biographies on Rei Kawakubo and Henri-Cartier Bresson, among others.
Makié Yahagi Soho, New York Loft Photo by Matthew Williams Styling by Alexa Hotz
Above: A closer look at Makié’s collections; on the center shelf are 200-year-old Japanese Koimari cups and plates and Genevieve Chevallier bowls.
Makié Yahagi Soho, New York Loft Photo by Matthew Williams Styling by Alexa Hotz
Above: Vintage linens are folded on a shelf below a row of white Serax Canvas Baskets that holds miscellaneous odds and ends.
Makié Yahagi Soho, New York Loft Photo by Matthew Williams Styling by Alexa Hotz
Above: Her two college-aged sons each have a bedroom (“with a very different style,” she says) so Makié sleeps in a nook she created in the main living space. The setup is made with a rolling rack from Ted-Steel Industries in Hell’s Kitchen, a Selena Washed Linen Flat Sheet from Caravane, Roller Shower Curtain Rings, and Riktig Hooks from Ikea.
Makié Yahagi Soho, New York Loft Photo by Matthew Williams Styling by Alexa Hotz
Above: The spartan rooftop is where Makié photographs many of the products she offers on her online shop. On the table is a Genevieve Chevallier hand-shaped bowl in white.
Makié Yahagi Soho, New York Loft Photo by Matthew Williams Styling by Alexa Hotz
Above: The remaining flowers of late summer—pinkish hydrangea—are potted in the built-in planter.
Makié Yahagi Soho, New York Loft Photo by Matthew Williams Styling by Alexa Hotz
Above: A tabletop of purple basil, twiglike herbs, and moss experiments in a mix of terracotta pots and Genevieve Chevallier oval pots.

See the Makié shop in Tokyo in our post A NYC Cult Shop Heads to Tokyo.

For more loft spaces, see our posts: