Sitting Down with Nate Berkus
by Marni Golden
Interior design guru and star of his own daytime television show, which starts its second season on September 12, Nate Berkus is most famous for his home makeovers, his impeccable style, his perfect hair and his warm smile.
I couldn’t agree more with all of this, but I am privileged to know a different side of Nate—a side that involves an obsession with Little Debbies, a disturbing amount of hair gel, a stubborn aversion to seafood and many fashion mishaps inspired by ’80s pop icons. I am, after all, his little sister.
From the time he designed his childhood bedroom to emulate a Ralph Lauren showroom until he launched his own design firm at only 24 years old, it was always obvious to me that my brother would inevitably be a gigantic success. Nate was destined for design stardom from the day he was born, and I am proud he stayed the course.
MARNI GOLDEN: How do you feel about me conducting this interview—mildly terrified?
NATE BERKUS: I think it’s fantastic, although it is a little weird since I’ve changed your diapers—happily not for 29 years....
MG: You designed Katie Lee’s interiors for her Sagaponack home a few years back. What was your crowning achievement with that home?
NB: Breaking all of the rules—it is a mix of periods, colors, patterns and styles that was done just for Katie.
MG: Did you incorporate any design elements or inspirations from her home, or the Hamptons aesthetic in general, into your new home?
NB: My homes always have a casualness that reminds me of the beach.
MG: What are your favorite places to shop on the East End, in terms of antiques, interiors, consignment stores or flea markets?
NB: There are so many, it’s crazy—where else can you find Gilbert Poillerat chairs, vintage David Webb and cotton ticking? Only in the Hamptons!
MG: I know you have the eating habits of a 10-year-old, but is there any way I can convince you to try a lobster roll before summer ends?
NB: That would be between when I go spearfishing and when I audition for So You Think You Can Dance. So right smack in the middle of never.
MG: How did you spend most of your summer?
NB: Working on the second season of The Nate Berkus Show, traveling around and making over spaces for people who needed my help.
MG: What has been one of your favorite segments to film thus far?
NB: Definitely the reveal of “Warrior Mom” Monica Jorge’s house, which airs on September 27. We have been building it from scratch for the entire year.
MG: Do you love living in New York, now that you are living closer to yours truly?
NB: I love the energy of New York and that there is room for all of the big personalities here.
MG: Your new home in the city is truly unreal. Why is this particular space so special and meaningful to you?
NB: It represents the journey I have been on until now—every object tells a story of where I’ve been or holds a memory for me. Your home should tell the story of who you are, and mine does. Plus, my boyfriend, Carlos Huber, designed a killer closet that I know you are jealous of.
MG: You have a big birthday around the corner—40 years old. If you could have one birthday wish, what would it be?
NB: To have the people I love live their best lives.
PHOTOGRAPH BY SONY PICTURES TELEVISION/CLAIRE FOLGER