Interview with Nate!

Friday, May 15, 2009 | Category: Decorating, Design Inspiration, Designers

We thought we’d start our new blog site off right- featuring an interview with Chicago designer, Nate Berkus.

The Material Girls had a chance to ask him our most pressing design related questions and he was so kind enough to answer them all!


What do you consider your “signature” design elements?

I don’t think I have a signature element.  I’m more about layering your home with the things that you love and finding a way to make your home your own, whether that’s showcasing a folk art collection or a Picasso, it’s about the lifestyle of who lives in the space.

What is your favorite way to address windows…to drape or not to drape?

It really depends on the space.  In my den, my less formal room, I have drapes.  It makes the room feel finished.  But, in my bedroom, I have wooden blinds.  You just have to go with what feels right in the room….but, please, I beg of you, no puddling the drapes.

What are your “go to” paint colors?

I am obsessed with Farrow & Ball, Railings, high lacquer.  I used in my NY apartment and it looks amazing.

What is your color forecast for Fall 2009?

I picked this color of blue, almost a dusty Mediterranean blue, as well as a curry color that has a truly golden cast to it for my sheets.  I’m in love with both of them, especially how they look together.

What are your favorite fabric lines?

I wouldn’t say that I have one go-to line that I use, but I do have several go-to fabrics like linen and silk velvets. They’re classic and work on anything from a sofa to headboard.

What is your favorite material for kitchen countertops?

I’m torn, I love marble, but, stainless steel is another great option.  It’s industrial and cleans up really well for anyone that’s a real home cook.

What is your number one city to shop in?

You ladies are tough….I’m too much of a shopper’s shopper to narrow it down to one city.  Mabye Paris.  They’ve got fashion covered.  They’ve got antiques covered.  Plus, I speak French and get to feel cool that way too.

What is your favorite room to design?

I love tackling the great room.  Ever since builders built the first great room, people have been stumped.  They don’t know how to paint the walls.  They don’t know where to put the TV.  They’re just stuck.  Then, I show up, paint those white walls and drop in way more furniture than a couch and a TV and bring a bit of shape to this oversized space.

What is the trend you wish would go away?

I wish people would stop trying to keep up with the Jonses’.  Just because the neighbors down the block are French Country, doesn’t mean you have to be.  Take a moment to learn about yourself..what do you like and what don’t you like and decorate your home for you and how you want to live there.

What is the trend you will never tire of?

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of mixing eras and looks. I just love a well-traveled, well-edited room.

What is your favorite fabric to upholster a sofa in?

Linen. It’s such a clean looking and classic fabric.

Which interior designer has inspired you the most throughout your career?

I don’t really have a favorite.  I take a bit of inspiration from a long list of designers, artists and fashion houses.

What are your favorite stores to shop when budget is a concern (ex: favorite big box retailers

I’m partial to my own line.  Nothing makes the cut that I don’t love and the prices are really reasonable.

What is your favorite flea market?

My favorite flea is marche Paul Bert in Paris or Parma, Italy

Not sure if you’ve heard, but Oprah just joined the social networking site, Twitter.  It seems that tons of designers and celebrities alike, have gotten very into this site in order to stay connected.  Do you have plans on “tweeting” any time soon?

My team is trying to make me join, but I’m not sold just yet.  It just feels like a chore to me. Plus, I don’t think that my ordering Thai food for dinner is really interesting to anyone, besides my dogs who might get the odd noodle here and there.   But, I’m sure I’ll come around eventually.

Last but not least…since we are the “Material” Girls, we’d like to know- what is your favorite design “material”?

Hmmm, that’s a tough one.  I’m going to take a bit of leeway and say that “life” gives you the best “material” for those design projects.  Getting out there, traveling, being with family, being with friends….that’s what informs my choices and inspires me.  That’s where all the best ideas come from.


Be sure to check out his fabulous line with HSN– affordable and chic!





And if that wasn’t enough eye candy for you, take a look at Nate’s gorgeous Chicago apartment in this video from!

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15 Comments to 'Interview with Nate!'

Lesley 15 May 09 at 3:16 pm

I love the new blog!

Fifi Flowers 15 May 09 at 4:37 pm

Site looks GREAT… makes me what a NEW one!

How EXCITING to interview Nate… had I know you were going to interview him… I would’ve sent you the portrait I did of his dog… you could have given it to him… le sigh…

Off to look around your site and then to visit Moxie Design Studio… I think my blog NEEDS their help too!

ENJOY your new site… TRULY FAB!!!

Tiaa@EY Interiors 15 May 09 at 4:40 pm

Love the new blog, Ladies! The wait was well worth it!

MaterialGirls 15 May 09 at 6:16 pm

Hi Tiaa- thanks for your message- I just “tweeted” you back! haha

Fifi- if I had known you had that, would have definitely passed it on!! That is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! Moxie was wonderful- I can’t say enough good things about them- they were a joy to work with and I would definitely recommend them as they are the queens of blog design- they know everything! 🙂

jillian 15 May 09 at 10:09 pm

Great job girls…so much to look at and read, love love loved the interview with Nate!!!

Lara Harris 16 May 09 at 8:58 am

Love the blog and what a great interview!LOVE everything Nate designs, he has an amazing gift!

Linda 17 May 09 at 9:10 am

Love that you have shared the interview with Nate. I love Nate and what he does because he is so down to earth and that shows in his design. I look forward to checking out his HSN line – I understand he will be airing it sometime in June.

Dan and Deanna 17 May 09 at 10:27 pm

The new blog looks wonderful. What a good interview you did with Nate. His stuff looks great.
Dan and Deanna “Marketing Unscrambled”

Sarah's Fab Day 17 May 09 at 11:14 pm

Ok Nate’s answer about decorating your home with what you love makes me like him even more (if that’s possible). It’s not about what your friends like or what’s the latest, your home should reflect the owner most importantly.

MaterialGirls 18 May 09 at 9:18 am


Tricia - Avolli 18 May 09 at 4:35 pm

Thanks for sharing this interview with us. I especially liked his answer to your questions about trends.

Tricia – Avolli

{this is glamorous} 20 May 09 at 8:59 pm

How lovely to interview Nate! Needless to say, it was delightful reading 🙂

{p.s.} adore the new layout for the site!

{this is glamorous} 20 May 09 at 9:01 pm

How lovely to interview Nate! Needless to say, it was delightful reading 🙂

{p.s.} love the new layout

Down Pillow 02 Jun 09 at 12:05 pm

I just love Nate 🙂 His HSN line is really great, too.

Cristin 05 Jun 09 at 9:52 pm

What a wonderful blog! LOVE Nate and your interview with him. I dream of working with him on a project one day.

1 Links to 'Interview with Nate!'

[…] I saw this ensemble, I instantly thought of MG favorite, Nate Berkus…sure enough his portfolio had two runway to reality spaces!  I’m still […]

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