how to make a “home” – listen to nate berkus

Nate Berkus, the interior designer whose energy and talent is known by many, first came into my periphery in 2005.  Not initially as a designer, but as one of the survivors of the Indian Ocean’s tsunami of 2004. Coincidentally, I too had been in that part of the world, but as luck would have it, I was further inland than those who lost their lives. His story resonated with me.

But with the “busyness” of the everyday and being focused on my thing – besides, honestly, who wants to constantly hear about their impossibly handsome competitor who has his a hand in everything … Oprah, Target, TV show, magazines, etc.  – he fell off my radar (sorry Nate).
But last week I was invited to attend one of Apartment Therapy’s Design Evenings.  AT founding editor, Maxwell Ryan was interviewing Nate.  I’m soooo happy I went.  It allowed me revalue Nate and his work, which is not all about pushing consumerism. What stood out is his philosophy of encouraging people to live with their history and the things they love – which I too stress in my art advising and design work.  So if you’ve inherited a beat up mahogany side table and you’re fond of it, find a way of incorporating it into your home … and at the very minimum, if you purchase something, make sure you really love it … whether it’s a 6-figure Richard Prince or a $30 frame you got at Target.  Don’t live with something if you’re not totally diggin’ it 100%!
Freshly inspired, I revisited Nate’s work to see if he walked the talk.  Today’s post shows some of his delightful high-end interior design work.  As you can see, he takes his own advice and every one of these rooms has elements of the owner’s past.  High and low end design elements mix and that really makes them appealing … and liveable.
One thing we all have in common, whether you’re in the 1% or the 99%, is that your “home” has elements of both high and low brow design … even if the low brow elements are tucked away on the walls of the 10th bathroom.  So loosen up, if anything, listen to Nate (and me!) and live with what you really love.
image credits: Nate Berkus Associates, Chicago