Nate Berkus's 3 Rules For Creating Timeless Decor — "Nothing Feels More Luxe"

Nate Berkus knows the secret to timeless interiors. Discover the designer's tips and tricks for homes that never go out of style.

Nate Berkus.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When it comes to timeless home decor, Nate Berkus is our go-to guru. The interior designer has earned acclaim from Livingetc and fans alike (even Oprah!) for his elevated and enduring designs that defy fleeting trends. It's a remarkable skill to create homes that maintain their beauty and relevance, a testament to the importance of investing in quality, timeless pieces that withstand the test of time. In our quest for sustainability, longevity is key, so naturally, Nate Berkus is the expert we turn to for guidance on achieving this balance.

Reflecting on his home decor style, Nate Berkus shares, “I have always believed that trends are designed to make us feel bad about what we don’t have.” He adds, “Instead of being guided by interior design trends, reach for things that you love (whether that’s a color, pattern, or texture) and let those pieces evolve with you over time. My design philosophy has always been that your home should tell your story. As a designer, I want to create spaces that feel timeless and layered.”

Discover how you can infuse your home with eternal beauty utilizing insights from our favorite timeless mastermind. Plus, since we adore anything and everything Nate Berkus-approved, we've included a few of his hand-picked favorite pieces as well.

Stylishly declutter your home with this viral Nate Berkus kitchen organizer.

Design Lessons from Nate Berkus

Vintage

According to Nate, drawing inspiration from past eras is key. “For my own home and in client projects, we always reach for vintage pieces, and things that have age and patina.” 

To achieve this, “Think vintage lighting, mirrors, and picture frames along with furniture from a mix of eras and countries,” Nate says. They offer flexibility, as they “don’t tie you to any specific design aesthetic or trend and can move around in your home as you and your space evolves.” Nate also highlights the investment value of vintage or antique pieces, noting that he can think of multiple items “that have moved from home to home over the years, and they still feel fresh and interesting every time they land somewhere new.”

Textured Neutrals

When in doubt, opt for neutrals, advises Nate. “I tend to reach for a neutral color scheme and things that have a patina and texture,” he says. Though, this doesn’t imply monotony: “I really like wallpaper when it's used in a space you wouldn't necessarily expect.” Even in small doses, such as in a powder room or foyer, “there's something that becomes really impactful about an all-over pattern.” Nate shares that when designing his New York apartment with his husband Jeremiah Brent, they chose “a moody, cool forest wallpaper that feels like the perfect juxtaposition to the city outside.”

Quality Basics

Nate stresses the importance of investing in everyday items like towels and sheets. “That’s why I created Nate Home…because it all starts with the basics,” he explains. Incorporating his aforementioned lesson on neutrals, Nate advises selecting basics in easily interchangeable colors that won’t become tiresome. Opting for high-quality materials ensures longevity, as “Nothing feels more luxe than a fresh set of fluffy towels,” he adds.

Here’s Livingetc’s guide to the biggest interior design trends for 2024.

Julia Demer
Style editor

Formerly covering fashion at L’Officiel USA, style maven Julia Demer brings her love of design to Livingetc’s world of interiors. As the title’s Style Editor, Julia's work reflects a sharp eye for detail and an innate passion for aesthetics. Her journey began with a strong foundation in design, honing her craft at renowned establishments like The Row and even establishing her own eponymous fashion brand. Julia’s design background is evident in the way she thoughtfully curates shopping edits, always maintaining a focus on emerging trends while preserving timeless sensibilities. For Julia, fashion and interiors go hand in hand, reflecting her lifelong commitment to perfecting the art of style.