Nate Berkus has risen to fame as one of America’s best home design experts. As a regular guest on Oprah’s show, as well as several television projects on NBC, HGTV, and more. In an exclusive interview, Berkus spoke to Haute Residence on a range of topics in design, from how to tailor someone’s home to their personality, to the right way to bring souvenirs back from traveling.
Haute Residence: What are some of your favorite design trends you’re seeing now?
Nate Berkus: I don’t believe in trends. They are designed to make people feel bad about what they don’t have. The best interiors are ones where people have taken risks, and chosen to live with what they truly love. You want your home to feel layered, like it’s evolved over time – mix metals, textures and periods. Your home should say something about who you are, and what you care about.
What are some techniques you use in your own home?
One of the best parts of designing today is that there is no shortage of inspiration or access to resources. As the world leans more and more into technology, we’re seeing this appreciation for wellness in the home – and there are so many ways to define that.
For those looking to downsize space, like when moving into a city, how do you recommend keeping design in mind?
You need to be a ruthless editor in your home. Only live with what you truly love. That, and clean your homes. Seriously, sometimes it’s as simple as that.
What are some of your favorite pieces you have in your home?
Everything I have in my home, that I share with my husband Jeremiah Brent, has meaning. Whether it’s a piece of art that a friend created for our daughter, or a piece of pottery from a trip we have taken. I love that everything has a story about our family, and what we care about.
When working with clients, how do you help tailor their personality to the design of their home?
When working with a client, it’s all about understanding who they are and how they like to live. Choosing a wall color is about considering the furniture choices, the textiles, etc. Sometimes white paint is the bold choice.
Who is a furniture or décor designer/maker we should be keeping our eye on and why?
I love the work being created by Dimore Studio in Milan. And my husband, Jeremiah.
How do you find fashion relates to design of a home?
I always take inspiration from someone’s closet. If they gravitate towards color in their fashion choices, that’s a good indication of what will resonate in their home. Likewise, if they only dress in neutrals with gold accessories. It’s a great place to start.
A lot of our readers are travelers. What’s your advice on bringing souvenirs back from trips to include in a home without looking too tacky?
There is a fine line between hoarding and collecting, and finding the marriage between the two is very important. Only include items that you truly love, and find interesting ways to live with them. Whether it’s a framed souvenir, or turning a textile into a wall hanging or pillow. You want to always be mindful of what you let in.