Nate Berkus shares clever space-saving home office turned dining room hack

Take inspiration from the expert interior designer to save on space in your own home - without compromising on style

Headshot of Nate Berkus
(Image credit: Getty Images / Dave Kotinsky / Stringer)

Celebrity interior designer Nate Berkus has taken to Instagram to provide us with some clever tips on how to save on square footage in the home. The designer regularly uses his social media to share design hacks with his impressive 1.7 million followers, with previous posts including an ingenious fridge storage solution.

But this time, it's all about saving on space in the home by doubling up a home office as a formal dining room.

In the caption of the Instagram post, Berkus explains: ‘It may surprise some, but a formal dining room is not an absolute necessity for me. In fact, I think there are a lot of more efficient uses for the space that can serve you daily if you are not a big entertainer.’

Berkus proposes that if you’re looking to save on space in your home, a practical solution is to reject the more traditional idea of reserving a whole room as a formal dining area, and instead opt to use the multi-functional home office as a space to dine.

He elaborates, stating that if you center the room around an oversized desk, you can keep a couple of chairs at the desk for day-to-day use, and store away the rest which can be easily added to the room when needed for formal dining. The addition of a tablecloth is another quick and easy way of transforming the office desk into a dining table, he explains.  

Nate Berkus for 1stDibs
Nate Berkus

Since Nate’s first appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2002, he has become one of the world’s most recognizable interior designers. He has authored two New York Times bestselling books and stars alongside his husband, Jeremiah Brent, in HGTV's Nate & Jeremiah Home Project.

Berkus goes on to share more of his space-saving design expertise, suggesting the addition of wall decor to give the room its own identity. He also mentions the option of adding either custom-built or store-bought bookshelves, referencing the plethora of Ikea hacks you can use, such as wallpapering the backs of the shelves to add character and bring personality into the room.

Monica Breese, founder of NYC-based home design and staging firm The Designed Domicilio elaborates on Berkus's design advice: 'Formal dining rooms are a bit antiquated and the perfect use for one would be a home office - it’s an easy transition. You can easily add bookshelves and dress them up as Nate explains with wallpaper as a backdrop, to elevate the room from a standard home office. I love to find ways to use every ounce of space in the home, and this clever hack not only maximizes space but lends itself to a more modern way of living.' 

Monica Breese

Monica Breese is the founder of The Designed Domicilio, a boutique interior design and staging firm based in Brooklyn. Monica's diversity of skills uniquely qualifies her to help improve a property’s value. 

Double up your home office as a dining room

If you’re inspired by Nate’s clever space-saving ideas, why not shop the below edit of core pieces you can use to realize your own home office into a stylish dining space? 

Paint & Color Editor

Emily is H&G's Paint & Color Editor, covering all things color across interior design and home decor. She joined the team in the summer of 2023, having studied Fashion Communication at university before working in various creative roles ahead of making the leap into interiors. She lives in Glasgow where she loves admiring the city's architecture, frequenting her favorite coffee spots, and sourcing vintage furniture for her tenement apartment. Emily's interior style is inspired by the simplicity of midcentury design, mixed with more playful modern pieces that inject small (but bold) doses of color.