Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Love Walking Through Your Front Door

I went onto Nate Berkus' website yesterday to look for photos of his West Village apartment for inspiration for Black gloss trim, his turned out to be blue-black. Anyway, while there I stumbled onto his portfolio for his interior design firm, Nate Berkus Associates, and all I could think was wow! When you think of Nate Berkus, you immediately think of him making over tired and sad spaces for maximum impact on The Oprah Show but what I saw was simple yet elegant, refined yet comfortable and sophisticated but not stuffy.


My litmus test of a great interior designer is if I could see myself moving into their finished design and being completely at home without making any changes and Nate Berkus passed my test. One of the quotes says, love walking through your front door and I would love to walk through the front door of any of his designs.

This photo above is one of my favorites. I wish I knew where all the homes were located but to me, this is the perfect look for a more sophisticated beach house. Not every weekend getaway home needs to be super casual, especially if that's not the way you usually live your life.

This is a detail from the room above and I am in love with those chairs. I wish I could find something similar at the flea market so I could upholster it in a similar fabric.
I think one of the reasons that I'm drawn to Nate's work is that he doesn't seem to use a lot of bright colors or patterns. It's funny that I love looking at fun prints and crazy patterns but in my own home, I like calm and soothing tones. I think it's one of the results of living in a crazy city. When you come home, you want a sanctuary of peace.
Nate may not use a lot of pattern but he does use a lot of great textures and color combinations. There are a lot of colors in the room above but it's still harmonious and soothing.
Great artwork also seems to be a Nate Berkus hallmark. Who knows if he or his clients picked it out, it all seems to flow beautifully into his designs. I love the gallery walls he creates.
The porcelain Nymphenburg rhino on the mantel above looks like the one Nate has on his desk in his New York apartment. I wonder if it's a coincidence or if they borrowed it for the photo shoot.
When you think of beige, you usually think boring but there is nothing boring about the room above. Again, it's the use of textures and tones that keeps it interesting.
The bedroom above and the bathroom below I think are from a private home but they have the look of a fine French hotel like the Ritz in Paris. That bed is to die for and so is the chandelier above the bathtub. Amazing!

And if his great designs and friendship with Oprah weren't reason enough to want to hate Nate, he's also dating the hottest shoe designer around, Brian Atwood. Brian not only designs his own eponymous line but he was also just tapped to turn around Bally, and if anyone can do it, he can. Talk about a designing duo. I look forward to seeing what these two have up their sleeves next!

28 comments:

M&Co said...

I so love his eye for details. His interiors contains so many beautiful elemnts but its never cluttered.

Suzy said...

I too am a huge fan of his work, however didn't find him through the Oprah show. He really does have a talent for putting together sophisticated interiors - I especially love the image with the dark grey sofa with the accents of blue and yellow. Divine!

Alice Olive said...

Love the photo gallery wall in the second photo. And the bath-tub? It's to die for!

Pink Wallpaper said...

i love those interiors...i have no idea why i haven't checkout his portfolio before..heading there right now.

Brilliant Asylum said...

Berkus makes beige look hip--which is not always easy. Thanks for sharing these photos full of inspiration.

Claudia said...

I am with you! I never really checked his website but he has a great eye for calming interiors. Very beautiful!

annechovie said...

I am a big color person, but I must admit that Nate's designs are so strong on their own that he can successfully pull off the neutral look without making it lackluster and generic. He is very gifted. Love that gilded headboard!

Easy and Elegant Life said...

You're right about those chairs -- wow! And the pietra serena fireplace is wonderful in that room. I, too, like color. But these rooms are made for relaxing to some good jazz and a cocktail.

Joslyn said...

his work is just stunning. i love to see such interesting rooms that don't resort to all the design fads and trickery

Habitually Chic said...

M&Co., I agree with you. He has a great eye and is also very good at creating a nice furniture plan.

Habitually Chic said...

Suzy, that's fun that you knew about him outside of Oprah. I sometimes think so many designers on tv get a bad wrap but he is very talented. I love the same room you do as well. He's great at combining colors.

Habitually Chic said...

Alice, I love the gallery wall too. I've been reworking mine and am trying to get it finished so I can post it eventually.

Habitually Chic said...

Pink Wallpaper, I don't think a lot of people were familiar with his portfolio. He certainly can do a lot more than just make over someone's small space on Oprah, that's for sure!

Habitually Chic said...

BA, you are welcome. I love that beige room and usually I hate beige!

Habitually Chic said...

Claudia, they are all very calming. I think that's important for someone who lives in a busy and hectic city too.

Habitually Chic said...

Annechovie, there's color but it's more subtle. And I would kill for that headboard! My bedroom is a similar color to the one in the bathroom and I think that headboard would look amazing. I'm going to have to keep going to the flea markets!

Habitually Chic said...

Easy and Elegant, Those chairs are my new favorite things. I really need to find some similar ones. That is my new mission!

Habitually Chic said...

Joslyn, after reading your comment, I realized that his work in these photos at least, looks really timeless. There aren't any fads you'd get tired of in a year. They are just beautiful. Maybe I should write to Oprah to have Nate makeover my small space! Lol.

itsabecky said...

the name of the artist that did those paintings is Hiro Yokose. He lives in NYC.

SGM said...

Oh, Nate! Wish I had that bathroom.

Suzy said...

Yes true, I guess he must have been quite successful before they got him to do the show. Being easy on the eye has helped - I'm sure! Has Jamie Durie hit the Oprah show yet? Keep an eye (or both) open for him, he's an aussie landscaper - and VERY easy on the eye (he actually used to be a stripper!).

Sacheverelle said...

Besides being very talented he is easy on the eyes too ;)..I really like the two formal alabaster(?)lamps on the big rustic console table & the way he combines muted, soothing colors. My only criticism is that he seems to play it a bit safe. Still, he can come decorate my house anytime.

Sacheverelle said...

Did you see the piece on Nate Berkus' assistants on Brown Turtleneck Sweater?

http://brownturtlenecksweater.typepad.com/brown_turtleneck_sweater/2007/12/nate-berkuss-ri.html

franki durbin said...

I have the very same litmus test. Could I live there? And are so right about NB. His popularity (much like Victoria Hagan's) has actually made them seem LESS polished and chic to me. So when I actually view their work I am wildly impressed with the work at hand. It's actually nice to have to kick yourself for having a preconceived notion of them. It's a nice surprise.

Red River Interiors said...

i, like all of you, are a Nate fan.. his work is calming and beautiful...who wouldn't want that effect after working in the city all day?... I love color but find the way he uses texture, accessories and other elements make up for that...his work has depth and a sensitivity to it that surely captures the essence of the client....fay

halcyon said...

He uses tailored design, calm color and classic pieces. I really like the wood he's used in that attic. What an atelier that would make!

SGM, you can recreate that bathroom. The tub is from Waterworks. The faucets and towelbars can be found there also or Restoration Harware's Bistro line. I have them. The color is very similar to Benjamin Moore Leisure Green or Martha Stewart's Atlantic.

Anonymous said...

Weighing in late... I love these interiors (most of them, anyway). I think it's not the colors per se but the way light is a presence in them. His choice of reflective vs matte, luminous (not bright) colors, contrasts of darker things here and there. Some rooms are dead to light, even if they have big windows and are lovely and balanced, and therefore they lack this inviting spaciousness.
- Jean

Lara Harris said...

I absolutely LOVE Nate Berkus, I remember seeing him do some makeovers on Oprah of some really small townhouses in Boston, etc. and it was astonishing how he was able to transform those places into much more spacious and well-designed homes.

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