May 25, 2019 - 8:05 am
For interior designers Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent, creating their own Living Spaces furniture collection was the natural next step in their design evolution. The two believe deeply that a house is not a home without the addition of special touches and, with that thought in mind, they developed a furnishings line called Nate + Jeremiah that is sure to mix and match with anyone’s decor.
“The collection is rooted in the philosophy that reasonably priced style can be thoughtfully designed and meant to last,” Berkus said. “We want to help people design spaces they can live comfortably in … spaces that help them tell their stories. That’s why it’s important that each piece in our spring collection is of great quality and has an element of timelessness that can be mixed with what people already own.”
Brent added, “That last part is key and was the genesis behind our three collections — Galerie, Gramercy and Pavilion — to carefully curate a collection of sofas, ottomans, chairs, pillows, tables and sectionals for people to seamlessly layer in with what they already own. Your home has the power to tell your story, and the pieces you fill in your space should be transitional, universal and livable.”
For both designers, growing up with mothers who enjoyed the creative aspects of interior style led to a realization that their own unique backgrounds definitely influenced their designs.
“I grew up going to open houses with my mother and I remember how much I loved imagining the way people could live,” Brent said. “I loved imagining the different experiences I could craft and was always looking for unique floor plans that were anything but typical.
“I didn’t realize at that moment that I could make a career out of it. Now, as a designer, I always create spaces around the moments I imagine people enjoying in their homes. I believe in the emotional connection and flow of a home.”
Berkus’ mother was an interior designer who would take him to antique malls with her when he was young.
“I lived in Paris when I was a college student, and my first job out of school was at an auction house in Chicago,” he said. “So, I’ve always gravitated toward vintage pieces — things with age and patina and a story.”
The pair’s Living Spaces collection reflects all of these experiences as well as practicality. With inspirations from so many places, including world travel, midcentury Italian design, French art deco, 1970s motifs and unique finishes, the collection feels both contemporary and yet ready to layer with everyone’s furniture, whether antique or modern.
Every item in the seating collection is available for special order so customers can choose hand-curated fabrics and customizable designs that meet their own needs. Both men say that no one buys matching furniture sets anymore and “breaking the rules” is what truly excites buyers.
“Because homes should reflect who you are and what you love most, it was important for us to create a collection that didn’t feel too traditional or too contemporary,” Brent said. “We wanted to strike a balance so anyone with any aesthetic could incorporate the pieces in their spaces. With the ability to customize our upholstered pieces through a range of neutral and bright colors, anyone can style a piece in their own, unique way.”
Both designers feel it is important that clients’ homes tell their stories.
“As a designer, it’s my job to tell my clients’ stories through the pieces in their home — what they’ve seen, who they’ve met, where they hope to go next,” Berkus said. “Your home should reflect who you are and what you love most. When I step into your home I want your space to show me that.”
As for their own home, Brent said, “We go for a clean, masculine look layered with rustic French, Swedish and American furnishings juxtaposed with tailored continental pieces. It’s modern and timeless, yet warm and inviting and reflects the many memories we’ve made over the years with our family and friends.”
Getting inspiration from travel is an integral part of Berkus and Brent’s style.
“Everything in this collection is inspired by our travels and the unique items we’ve collected along the way,” Brent said. “In fact, apart from my family and design, travel is one of my greatest true loves. It’s eye-opening, humbling and pushes you out of your comfort zone to explore new senses and experiences — all of which incites creativity.”
Berkus concurs. “Travel is a huge inspiration for me, always has been,” he said. “For this collection, we drew heavily on European influences, like the architectural lines you find in French 1940s design. I generally tend to reach for pieces with a more historical, traditional perspective. Jeremiah, on the other hand, throws out all the rules. It’s a great combination.”
So what are some of the duo’s favorite pieces from the collection? Brent’s favorite piece is the Galerie secretary desk because “it offers chic, multifunctional design and is a great way to save space. Not to mention, it’s quite contemporary. It’s ‘smart’ and can charge a phone and light up at night for extra visibility.”
When pressed to choose just one piece, Berkus’ choice is the Gramercy dining table. “With drawers on both sides, this table is my absolute favorite. We modeled this after an antique table from 1920, and it’s the perfect dining and family kitchen table. With sleek molding, metal hardware, arched lines and tapered feet, this piece embodies easy and sophisticated living.”
Rather than fall for trendy items, both men believe in the importance of tradition.
“Trends exist to make people feel bad about what they don’t have. Invest in pieces that are well-made and timeless, pieces that can grow and evolve with you,” Nate said.
The spring collection is available at Living Spaces in Summerlin.