Friday Five with Nate Berkus

If you haven’t heard, Oprah-approved interior designer Nate Berkus debuts The Nate Berkus Collection at Target, online and in stores, this month. And yes, his signature line of home products remains available on HSN. This Chicago-based designer, who established his firm in 1995, is ever busy. While his two-year stint with his talk show has wrapped, Berkus took on a new role in entertainment—that of executive producer on the Disney and DreamWorks film The Help. This fall, he’s also publishing his second book, The Things That Matter (Spiegel & Grau). Berkus shares his inspirations for this week’s Friday Five.

1. Travel
I love to travel. It’s where so much of my inspiration comes from and it keeps the creative juices flowing. I feel such a connection to South East Asia, and the island of Patmos, Greece is my go to spot when I need to step away from it all and rejuvenate.

2. Books
I’m a huge reader—I read three to four books a week. I also love to see what books people have in their homes. You can learn so much about someone and what interests them just from the books they have on their coffee table. They are also a great conversation starter.

Image source

3. Vintage Shopping
I’d say about 90 percent of the things I have in my home are vintage. It doesn’t matter where I am in the world, I’ll always visit the local flea market or antique store or bazaar. I love the thrill of finding something beautifully made for not a lot of money.

4. Meaningful Objects
This lacquer tortoise shell from my collection was inspired by a tortoise shell that my mother brought back from her honeymoon in Mexico. It hung above our fireplace the entire time I was growing up; in fact it’s still there. Every time I see a tortoiseshell I’m reminded of home.

Photo: Roger Davies

5. Beautiful Homes
I get so inspired when I see a space that so perfectly reflects the personality of the person who lives there. “Make tacos not war”? What a great attitude to life.

Marni Elyse Katz is a Contributing Editor at Design Milk. She lives in Boston where she contributes regularly to local publications and writes her own interior design blog, StyleCarrot.