Nate Berkus: Well-Traveled & Destination Design

Since establishing his award-winning interior design firm at the ripe old age of 24, Nate Berkus has bridged the worlds of easy and elevated with a fine eye and light touch. With a megawatt smile and a sincerity of skill rather than outright swagger, he is, as one of his timelessly textured interiors, approachable.

Nate Berkus’ Well-Traveled for Kravet Fabric Collection Is Another Alluring Stop in the Ongoing Journey of an Interior Designer Extraordinaire

What will Nate Berkus do next? That is, of course, the most obvious question. But to answer it with any accuracy at all, one must also ask: What hasn’t he done? A design virtuoso who blazed on the scene with the first of numerous appearances on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in 2002—skyrocketing from the “one to watch” to one of the most recognized designers in the world—Nate Berkus is a one-man design movement.

He is an Elle Décor A-Lister with shows of his own, work featured in the likes of House Beautiful, Traditional Home, Vogue, and Architectural Digest, home collections with top brands, and a few best-selling books under his belt. Never one to rest on his laurels, Nate Berkus is busier than ever making the world an infinitely more beautiful place.

Making one feel utterly at home is Berkus’ style, and he does it better, and smoother than anyone. Though reliably refined and well-honed, a Berkus interior does not shout, it insinuates. That it appears to do this with seemingly no effort at all is simply by design. Good design—rich, layered, and organically drawn design.

Nate Berkus makes it look easy with hard work. Not only does he head his firm’s Chicago HQ with his longtime design director and now partner, Lauren Buxbaum Gordon, turning out elegant interiors worldwide, but Nate Berkus is also a father of two with his husband Jeremiah Brent, and together the design duo has starred in HGTV‘s “Nate & Jeremiah: Save My House” and are set to front a new home design docuseries for the cable channel, “The Nate & Jeremiah Home Project,” tentatively slated to air this fall.

Along with his many media appearances, Berkus also produces many popular home lines, including a roller shade collection for The Shade Store and a furniture line with California retailer Living Spaces. Add to this output Berkus’ Well-Traveled for Kravet fabric collection.

“I really wanted to create a collection that felt unexpected,” says Nate Berkus of Well-Traveled. “I wanted to give permission to explore texture and pattern in a way that lets people tell their own story, rather than dictate what should be in their home. We explored weaving techniques from around the world and also mined museum exhibits and archives for pattern inspiration. My goal was to create the perfect balance of curated pattern, technique, and texture.”

Well-Traveled is Nate Berkus at his best. Tailor-made for mixing and matching, the collection is, as Kravet describes, a “luxurious mix of chenilles, statement cotton-linen prints, intricate embroideries, and velvets”—exclusive fabrics offering a global point of view. The beauty of Berkus, though, is that his designs for this line, though uniquely of his eye, are, like everything he creates, an outstretched hand, able to insert themselves into a variety of interiors with ease and accessibility. One could not have a more fabulous or interesting travel companion than Berkus for this particular journey, whose worldly perspective is informed by history, architecture, and artwork. 

The motifs make good on their international influence. Globe Trot is a chenille jacquard inspired by a Moroccan carpet; Dessau, an eccentric print; Blockstack, a bold, graphic modernist pattern; Appointed, an imperfect geometric embroidery; and Resource Velvet, a tight cut-loop velvet reflective of colors found in nature. Ink Strokes, meanwhile, which was developed for Nate Berkus in the Kravet design studio, depicts a loose paint-stroke in three classic colors.

The palette plays the protagonist in the collection, reflecting Berkus’ love of earth tones, from chambray blue, indigo, and surf green to camel, taupe and gray. A Berkus bonus is the designer’s capsule collection of framed textiles and upholstered lampshades with CuratedKravet.

If there is a through-line to all of Nate Berkus’ work it is discovery—what he can create by blending different influences for an aesthetic that is at home anywhere. As Berkus himself is.

“Travel is always such an important part of anything I design,” he says, noting that he went into the weeds for Well-Traveled, even seeking inspiration from the Bauhaus movement and Viennese secessionist period. The last obvious question, then, must be, just where is Nate Berkus headed next? Thankfully, there appears to be no end in sight. 

Nate Berkus | nateberkus.com

Courtesy of Kravet; Portrait of Nate Berkus, Courtesy of Nate Berkus Associates

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