Nate Berkus is an American interior designer, author, TV host and television personality. He runs the Chicago interior design firm Nate Berkus Associates and has been a regularly featured guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, offering design advice to viewers, as well as coordinating surprise make-overs for people’s homes. He has released numerous lines of products, and authored several books.
Nathan Jay “Nate” Berkus was born September 17, 1971 in Orange County, California and grew up mainly in suburban Minneapolis. He is Jewish, and openly gay. He attended Cushing Academy, a boarding school in Ashburnham, Massachusetts. He started working in design immediately after leaving high school and interned at Dominique Aurientis in Paris and Sotheby’s in Chicago. Berkus graduated from Lake Forest College near Chicago in 1994 with degrees in French and Sociology. Berkus founded the company, Nate Berkus Associates, in Chicago in 1995.
Berkus’ design firm, Nate Berkus Associates, continues to design interiors across the country and around the world. He recently released a line of stationary and office essentials alongside his 2015 Cali-inspired spring collection. In January 2013, Berkus introduced his own fabric collection at Calico Corners.
Decorating Tips from Nate Berkus
Whether it concerns television stardom or his cult home collections, Nate Berkus has been on a mission to make high design accessible to the masses, and it’s one idea we can get behind. His mantra, “Live beautifully,” emphasizes the little things people can do to feel better in their homes — most of which cost next to nothing to achieve. See below a couple of simple decorating tips from one of the best interior designers in California.
Add Drama With Paint
Nate admitted he isn’t the biggest fan of accent walls — especially in new construction rooms without a lot of architectural details — but thought there are ways to work around that. “Painting a wall or a room black can be really effective: the walls start to recede, and it feels really sexy and very elegant,” he said. He recommends experimenting with niches, e.g. using shelves.
Turn an Eyesore Into an Opportunity
Nate believes you can tell a lot by the kind of container someone keeps their toothbrush in. “I use an old, beautiful cut-glass tumbler that I bought for like $5 at a flea market. I like the idea of using something beautiful in the everyday, kind of mundane way,” said Nate. His other go-to tip? Ditch the egg carton, and place eggs in a beautiful bowl in the fridge.
Nate believes that people are happiest with their space when they take risks and are honest with themselves about what they really love. He said he likes when people decide, “I’m going to use this room in this way. Even though it’s a formal dining room, I’m going to put two sofas facing each other in it, and I want to hang out in here in a different way than the home builder intended or how my neighbor next door has it set up.”
Invest in Handmade and Vintage Pieces
“If something is made by hand or vintage or unique, chances are, it’s going to feel like your home has been assembled over time,” Nate said. His Kryptonite? Nineteenth-century gold-framed mirrors, baskets, and Peruvian textiles.
The Most Iconic Projects
Nate’s house in Los Angeles
The first time interior designer Nate Berkus and his fiancé, Jeremiah Brent, walked through the black lacquered double doors of their Hollywood Hills home, Brent burst into tears. “When we first heard about the house, we were obsessed with the idea of it because of the architect,” says Brent, an interior designer known for his role on The Rachel Zoe Project.