Since designer Nate Berkus established his award-winning interior design firm at the age of 24, his approachable and elevated philosophy has transformed countless homes around the world through his design work, home collections, books, television shows and media appearances. Ever since Berkus’ first appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2002, he has become one of the world’s most recognizable interior designers. His work has been featured in publications including Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, VOGUE, InStyle, O Magazine, People and ELLE DÉCOR, which included him on their “A-List” of the world’s top designers. His popular product lines include a home collection sold at Target, a fabric line at JoAnn Fabric & Craft Stores, as well as being Artistic Advisor for LG Studio. He has authored two New York Times bestselling books, and in 2011, he served as Executive Producer of the Oscar winning film, The Help. Audiences followed Berkus through his own television shows, the daily-syndicated The Nate Berkus Show and 2014’s American Dream Builders (NBC). Nate is currently working on a new project that will return him to television.
You have received many accolades for your interior design and have been featured in numerous magazines. Tell us a little bit about your journey.
You know, I just got really lucky discovering at a young age what I was passionate about. Design was always a natural fit for me, and along the way the right people, projects and opportunities came to me. I’d like to say it was all planned, but it wasn’t. What I will say though, is that this has never felt like work to me…I’m very lucky to do what I love, every day.
You currently have a brand shop with Target. How did it all come about?
I’m originally from Minneapolis and my mother used to take us shopping at Target for school supplies and Halloween costumes all the time. So when they approached me, it was a no-brainer. The line is refreshed every season; my team and I have a blast dreaming up every new collection. With a retailer like Target, where creativity underlies everything they do, it’s been a dream.
When you began designing, what was the starting point for you?
Travel is one of the biggest sources of inspiration for me. Along with history, architecture, fashion, books…all of it. I got my start at an auction house, so I learnt a lot about antiques and where things come from. That education has served me well.
What was the most important factor for you?
To create products and interiors that people really connect to, and love.
On your website, it says, “It is designed to work with what you already live with, and love.” When you designed, what elements did you know would work with what someone already lives with and loves?
There are somethings that are really timeless, and will always look good in a space. Natural elements like seagrass, jute, leather and wovens. And neutral color palettes, paired with metallics. These materials and finishes will always find a place in your home, and can be repurposed season after season.
How did having a child change your design aesthetic for your own home?
It’s definitely taking much more effort than it used to. Our home is now filled with brightly colored plastic toys and lots of stuff animals, which I would never have imagined. The key is to keep it all organized. Everything has a basket it goes back in to.
With summer in full swing, what is your to go to summer party style?
With a 1 year old at home, we try to keep it as easy and casual as possible. BBQ’s and pool parties, where friends and family can stop by when they want.
What are your tips for a great summer party in style for the interior design challenged?
Plan ahead! Make sure all the towels are washed and folded and ready to go. I like to set up a basket with flip flops that guests can use. And a bar cart with sunblock, and magazines. For décor, lots of greenery, blush or white fabric and fresh flowers. It’s the summer, you don’t want anything to feel fussy or overdone.
You are currently developing a new show with your husband, Jeremiah Brent. What can viewers expect to see on this new venture?
It’ll be debuting later this year. We’re excited.