Slideshow

From Hopkins to Hollywood

Nate Berkus • Designer and Host of American Dream Builders

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  • Nate Berkus, designer and host of American Dream Builders
    Emily Johnston Anderson
  • Nate Berkus Leather couch
    Emily Johnston Anderson
    Jeremiah turned Nate on to using black paint, and now the convert says he’s so comfortable living in it–it just might be the new neutral! The couple used Farrow & Ball’s “Pitch Black” on alcoves, wood trim, and the bedroom wall.
  • Nate Berkus Dining table and chairs
    Emily Johnston Anderson
    To carve out an outdoor space for entertaining, they created a dining and lounge area, layering lots of rugs from Nate’s collection for Target for that inside-out look.
  • Nate Berkus Doorway and courtyard
    Emily Johnston Anderson
    The 1930s Hollywood Regency­­–style home was designed by architect John Elgin Woolf, whose client list included Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and Judy Garland.
  • Nate Berkus Wall sconce detail
    Emily Johnston Anderson
  • Nate Berkus Black chair
    Emily Johnston Anderson
  • Nate Berkus Alcove and wall art detail
    Emily Johnston Anderson
  • Nate Berkus  Wall stud and lamp detail
    Emily Johnston Anderson
  • Nate Berkus Lockbox and plant detail
    Emily Johnston Anderson
  • Book and other objects
    Emily Johnston Anderson
  • Seating area and dining table
    Emily Johnston Anderson

Nate Berkus is used to having a lot of titles: interior designer, author, speaker, product developer, and Oprah sweetheart. Soon the Hopkins native will also be host, executive producer, and judge of a new NBC reality show, a high-stakes design competition called American Dream Builders. The show will follow 12 contestants (including Nate’s personal suggestion, Andrew Flesher of Minneapolis) as they are pitted against each other on dramatic home renovations, from Tudors to midcentury styles. “This is design on a level I have never seen before on TV,” Nate says. “These are well-versed designers who, instead of fighting to build a reputation, are fighting to protect a reputation they’ve built over the years.” For a man who’s already built his own empire, including his own line for Target, Nate is entering a new personal chapter: marriage. He and fiancé Jeremiah Brent, who is also a designer, recently co-designed their first home together in the Hollywood Hills. For this, Nate merged his traditional style with Jeremiah’s “California modern” aesthetic. In the compromises of early cohabitation, Nate took a detour from his conservative color palette to embrace Jeremiah’s love of black paint. “I had never lived in a black room before, but there’s something very sexy about it. It’s timeless, young, and sophisticated at the same time.” They’ve also added lots of art, books, and pieces from their collected travels. “Every place you move to is a new opportunity—that doesn’t mean you start from scratch,” Nate says. “That’s never made any sense to me. I wasn’t raised that way.”

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