Nate Berkus: 'the greatest rooms I have ever assembled' have this one thing in common

This is what brings the expert 'pure joy 'after 26 years of being in this business' – and how it translates to your home

Nate Berkus for mDesign
(Image credit: Nate Berkus for mDesign)

With more than two decades in the industry – and several TV shows under his belt – few figures rival Nate Berkus when it comes to interior design. 

For his latest venture, the California-born now New Yorker collaborated with mDesign to create an eponymous decor collection – and to celebrate, he sat down with H&G to share some sought-after advice. 

'I think we spend so much time obsessing and looking over our shoulders and worrying about our mother-in-law’s opinion,' Nate shared when talking about which design ‘rule’ he recommends breaking

Instead of worrying about following strict conventions, Nate urges us to play with personal decorating ideas and fill our homes with items that represent us and our lives (even if they don't fit in with the latest interior design trends).  

'I go back to that pure joy that I know and I’ve seen in 26 years of being in this business. The joy of watching someone move through a space that is a true reflection of them. If getting there means that you have to make certain decisions about what to get rid of and then what to buy, what trends to follow, and what things to blatantly ignore, then I’ve always been in support of that.'

Nate Berkus for mDesign

(Image credit: Nate Berkus for mDesign)
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.

'I think we, collectively as a culture, always look for someone else's voice to tell us what to do at home,' Nate says. 

'The greatest rooms I have ever assembled have been with such deep input from the people who live in them because, at the end of the day, when your eye travels across a space that reflects you, you really feel at home.'

Often, breaking 'design rules' means decorating with antiques in the most unexpected of spaces – or trying a color you love in a room that you usually keep neutral – but as Nate says – true greatness comes from individuality. 

'Take a risk when it comes to design,' says Nate. 'If you want to put an antique dresser in your entryway, do it – what is the worst that could happen?' It is important to curate a space you love. That is the true meaning of design.'

Nate Berkus for mDesign

(Image credit: Nate Berkus for mDesign)

And while this teaching is impactful in all spaces – there is nowhere quite as impactful as the bedroom. Here, learning how to curate a sleep-inducing sanctuary is key – but as Nate says – a 'therapeutic' space is (once again) personal. 

'My instinct for my own sanity and relaxation in a bedroom is to keep it largely neutral, which I've done in creating and crafting these five collections – they don't use a tremendous amount of jarring pattern and color. Again, though, that works for me. That's what I like to wake up to and how I ease myself into the morning,' he says. 

'Other people, including my own mother, lives in an explosion of color, and her bedroom is layered with Mexican textiles and all these amazing things that I would never want to open my eyes and see. But it makes her smile every morning. It's tough for me to give advice on wellness because I feel it is very personal – even more personal than design.'

Nate Berkus

(Image credit: Nate Berkus X mDesign)

After ensuring your bedroom design promotes happiness in you – the next step to sleeping better comes down to your bedding. 

'I think that an investment in well-made bedding that is comfortable, that washes well and feels like it's yours,' he says. 'I travel a great deal; I'm all over the world; I know what my own sheets feel like. That is as sensory to me as the smell of my home or the potpourri we keep in our homes.' 

Naturally, the Nate Berkus-designed bedding (listed below) is a failsafe place to start. 

Painted Stripe Cotton Quilt Set | $119.99 on mDesign

Painted Stripe Cotton Quilt Set | $119.99 on mDesign

This striped quilt set is designed to get softer over time – for a perfect, lived-in feel. It is crafted from premium, 100% cotton fibers with a percale weave and 200-thread count for a comfortable sleep in all climates. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.