You would be hard pressed to find a person who has not heard the name Nate Berkus. Certainly his years as a contributor on Oprah didn’t hurt, but Nate Berkus has proved to be one of the most well known – and talented – interior designers in America all on his own. After founding the Interior Design firm Nate Berkus Associates at the age of 24, the self-taught designer grew the business into a well-established firm, gaining high-profile clients such as Barney’s NY, Wolfgang Pucks Spaggo, and W Hotels.
In 2002, he was invited to make over a space on The Oprah Winfrey Show, which led in turn to 127 makeovers on Oprah over the course of 8 years. While Oprah made him into a household name, he was also busy publishing his first book – Home Rules: Transform the Place You Live into a Place You’ll Love – in 2005, and launching a home product line for HSN in 2008. The most recent of his many accomplishments was the launch of his own daytime talk show, The Nate Berkus Show, which recently began airing its second season. Here, the master of design let us into his home, where he shared with us his most prized heirloom.
Tell us how you came to own this precious object.
The bowl I purchased years ago from my favorite antiques dealers, Pavillion in Chicago. The Native American carved stone fetish was a gift.
How do you live with your heirloom?
It sits on an English Regency table in my living room, with other meaningful things I have collected.
Who in your life has most influenced your personal style and taste?
My boyfriend who passed away in the Tsunami, Fernando Bengoechea, was among the most influential.
Fill in the blank: Whenever I look at a _ dog _ I can’t help but smile.
What’s the best part of your day?
Any moment that makes me laugh out loud. It’s usually fairly inappropriate.
Describe your ideal day.
Beach. No shoes. My boyfriend Carlos. Good novel. Thin crust pizza.
What is your favorite place to shop for antique/vintage pieces?
I shop everywhere from rural Minnesota towns to the Parisian auction houses.
What was the most memorable gift you’ve ever given or received?
A surprise trip to Capri.
What was your last purchase that you believe will mean something to you 10 years from now?
That is my rule of thumb for buying everything except clothing.