Nate Berkus follows this 3-step process to create a 'well-designed' space – it's simple to apply to any home

Take inspiration from the expert designer to elevate your home decor

Neutral dining room and Nate Berkus
(Image credit: Clay Grier, Getty Images/Dave Kotinsky)

When it comes to interior design advice, we can always count on Nate Berkus. The NYC-based interior designer regularly imparts his design wisdom to his widely followed social channels, giving us a glimpse into the design rules he follows for his client projects. 

In the video below, Nate talks through the process he follows when beginning a new interior project, which helps him to create balanced and interesting spaces. While many of us are not professional interior designers, this expert process can easily be embraced for all your own home decor ideas

1. Start by collecting inspiration

'The beginning of every design process starts the same way,' says Nate. 'It starts with collecting inspiration and all of the ideas and then finding imagery whether it’s online or in books to represent those ideas so those ideas can be communicated to the client.'

This approach isn't only for interior designers. You can use this starting point for all of your decorating ideas by gathering sources of inspiration to help establish how you want the finished room to look and feel. By adopting this approach, you'll find it easier to refer back to a reference when making all of your decor decisions, which helps maintain a cohesive look. 

2. Focus on a room's original features

Next, Nate focuses on the original and existing details of the room he's working with. 'We’ll really zero in on the architectural details first,' he says. 'What do the moldings look like? What do the doors look like? What are the doorknobs? What does the fireplace mantel feel like? All of the things that are built-in get decided first, and then, we start with the interiors: The furniture configuration, the different tones and colors we’re going to use, the different textures, and how they play against one another.'

By following this formula and turning your attention to the room's original features ahead of deciding on the color trends and furniture, you'll no doubt find the whole decor process easier to navigate. This approach also ensures that your decor choices complement the room's original features, rather than detracting from them. 

3. Layer decor from different eras

Lastly, make sure you welcome a layered approach when choosing your decor items, incorporating items of different styles and from different eras to add depth and interest to the space. 

'For me, a well-designed room feels layered and assembled over time but it also has tension between things that aren’t necessarily from the same time or from the same place,' says Nate. 'And I think that it’s that balance – finding something harmonious within that tension. We begin every design project that way.'

If you're planning to refresh your home decor to mark the New Year, make sure to follow Nate's design process to help you on your way to achieving a successful end result. We've also rounded up some of our favorite Nate Home homeware items which you can shop below, perfect for elevating your bedroom or bathroom with texture and color.

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.