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Inside Interior Designer Shari Saiki's Vivd Work

Jenn Thornton | September 4, 2019 | Home & Real Estate

The maven of vibrant, contemporary Pacifica style in O’ahu, designer Shari Saiki opens up her rich interior world.

An expansive outdoor area at Kaka‘ako Keauhou Place Residence, perfect for watching sunsets

That path was all but paved for Shari Saiki. A student at the University of Hawai‘i Moana with a penchant for Frank Lloyd Wright, she had her sights set on a career in architecture, until running smack into her future—interior design. Cutting her teeth in the trade under designer Mark Masuoka, she founded her eponymous Honolulu practice Shari Saiki Design Studio in 1998, specializing in residential homes, residential development and hospitality design, followed by the furniture showroom MESH, a reflection of her bold eye for design.

The penthouse features a large open floor plan and minimalist designs

One sees the Saiki aesthetic—think “clean and modern, with a unique blend of urban, ethnic and glam,” she says—applied with a high intuitive touch and a flair for invention across projects. She recently refreshed The Wedding Ring Shop for a warmer, inviting feel with “a sense of place,” she says, using the nomenclature of a conspicuous architectural acumen. Each of Saiki’s designs is distinct, but all resonate a kind of elevated holism and artistic tenor. To wit is the penthouse project she helped complete for a Honolulu power couple. Located in an iconic building, the space spans the building’s top floor, including a 900-square-foot deck, and presents as a showpiece for her selection of interior finishes and furnishings. The elaborate architectural design mandated an interior expression of similar rigor, reinforced by richly textured fabrics and jewel-tone accents complementing the client’s art collection. “This truly custom jewel-in-the sky penthouse had to rise to the level of its owners, who have also risen to the pinnacle of their careers,” says the designer.

Saiki added jewel tones throughout the home.

It is a place that Saiki knows well—she, too, is at the top of her game, but, to this day, maintains her kinship with discovery, finding inspiration in travel and a sympathy to different cultures that allows her to create abundantly imagined interiors right here at home.

Photography by: Cassandra Nichols of Created By Kaui