Nate Berkus’ new show hits close to home

Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent are no strangers to decorating houses, appearing on television shows, or doing things as a couple. But can they do all three at once?

We’ll find out: On Saturday April 8, “Nate & Jeremiah By Design” launches on TLC, bringing the married designers (who are also fathers to adorable daughter Poppy) back to TV in a new design show. They’ll be rescuing the stalled spaces of folks who can’t quite do it on their own, a feat they pulled off while fixing up their own new house in L.A.

“We’re in the middle of our own renovation right now,” says Berkus, “which is normal, of course, doing eight renovations for the show and simultaneously taking on your own renovation. But it has been really fun for us to try to practice what we preach. It’s easy to go into a store and pick out what you like. But I think the best design comes from that tension of having to find something that pleases two people.”
How to decorate as a couple is way up there on the list of design FAQs. But Brent says he and Berkus (whose design firm is based in Chicago) have cracked the code: “We have one rule we live by: If you’re merging styles and you end up with something that looks like the place you had before, something is wrong. You should be coming up with a whole new look.”

So stop focusing on your partner’s dorm room furniture, and listen up — we’ve got Berkus and Brent’s Three Big Rules for Decorating Couples:

1. Get your priorities straight: “The priorities in design should always be people, pets then things,” says Berkus. “So don’t get so hung up if your partner doesn’t love that chest of drawers you’re dying to put in the foyer. If he doesn’t get it, move on and try something else.”

2. Don’t take it personally: “Take your feelings off the table,” says Brent. “Everybody wants to create a space that’s beautiful. Don’t be hurt because he doesn’t like the chair — have an honest conversation about how we can fix the chair.”

3. Do your homework. (You can start with Google): “It’s not about creating a space that’s one note or one look,” says Berkus. “If your husband or boyfriend or partner has a favorite look, put those words in with what you like and start searching. Put in midcentury modern and plaid, you’re gonna be surprised with what imagery you’re gonna find that can be a starting place for your own inspiration.”

Chicago Tribune