Bobby Berk, renowned for his transformative work on Netflix's Queer Eye, has become a household name in the world of interior design. Beyond the TV screen, Berk's California-based workspace stands as a testament to his distinctive design philosophy, combining utility with what can best be described as California cool appeal.
His interior design approach can now be seen in his new headquarters which may technically be a workspace but has so many ideas in it that work perfectly in home decor. Rejecting conventional glass-box office spaces, Berk sought a setting that he could “make warm and inviting," a place "where my team would be inspired to be designing homes every day.” Ultimately, the solution led him to acquire an actual home: a Spanish-style residence in Lake Hollywood, California.
Initially built in 1971, the space lacked authentic Spanish style, resembling somewhat of a tract home. With the exception of a few Saltillo tile remnants near its entrance, the home was more akin to a “Spanish revival knockoff," laughs Berk. As one might imagine, the designer embarked on quite the transformation, turning the eyesore into a welcoming sanctuary. Whether you're aiming to cozier up your workspace or enhance your home's relaxing ambience, here are some key design tips inspired by Bobby Berk's remarkable transformation.
Explore the Bobby Berk Home collection at Wayfair, and check out his four design rules below.
1. Use desert hues
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Situated in Lake Hollywood with a view of the iconic Hollywood Sign, Berk "wanted to bring the indoors out, and the outdoors in with the terracotta colors and the greens and the neutrals and the browns." Decorating with neutrals that have a warm tint helps create a truly energizing space.
"I think it just really lends itself to the California landscape that we're surrounded by," Bobby Berk explains. Though, you need not live in California — or anywhere near a desert for that matter — to adopt this relaxing color scheme. Infuse this sense of warmth and tranquility into any home with larger tonal changes, like wall paint, along with smaller ones, like throw pillows, ensuring a beautifully seamless, natural blend.
"I love the furniture in the living room from Jardan, they're out of Australia," explains Berk. "Those terracotta colored chairs are my favorite." Opt for the Ziggy armchair in the shade "Elk Velvet" (from the brand's material library) to match with Berk's, pictured above.
Introducing you to mid-century modern meets art deco design with this exquisite bedroom idea. The clean lines and luxurious green velvet create a laid-back yet undeniably elegant vibe. Enhance its earthy appeal by pairing it with terracotta accents.
At first glance, this rug appears to be a standard neutral piece, but closer inspection reveals subtle geometric lines, adding dimension without sacrificing its minimalist allure. Available in various sizes, this is one of the best rugs for a soothing space of any scale.
2. Mix in a modern touch
Despite the desert hues and classic ambiance of Berk's HQ, the design expert introduces modern touches, like “massive steel fireplace" — a personal favorite of his which “adds this really nice, cool modern touch to a really warm space."
Juxtaposing classic with modern makes the space feel very ‘now,' without appearing sterile or overly-designed.
CB2's brutalist pick is a showstopper, featuring a repeated-leg design against a solid sand-cast metal top. The slightly soft edges and textured surface transform it into a modern art piece, capturing attention with its stunning simplicity.
Add a contemporary touch to your space with a sculptural vase that stands out even without flowers. Perfect for a mantle, bookshelf, or side table, this piece is a subtle yet impactful addition.
True to Berk's style, this eye-catching table seamlessly blends mid-century materials with Art Deco glam. The natural wood top suits everyday use, while the geometric base elevates it for dinner parties and gatherings — it's the perfect dining room idea.
3. Play with Geometric and Striped Patterns
Berk favors intricate lines and patterns in rugs, art, and wallpaper to introduce contrast to the warm elements of the space. Opting for neutral color combinations, like cream and black, allows these patterns to seamlessly integrate with the desert tones while making a tastefully timeless statement.
The Traverse, a favorite of Berk's visitors, boasts a mesmerizing abstract graphic rug design. Paired with a neutral color palette, it becomes a captivating conversation starter in any room.
This Berk-designed wall decor idea draws inspiration from delicate origami folds. The watercolor piece, with its sharp corners and neutral palette, adds elegance and versatility to your space.
For renters, peel and stick wallpaper is a game-changer. This design, featuring artistic brush strokes in a playful wavy pattern, works wonders in guest bathrooms or even as a bold living room wallpaper idea.
4. Create a seating corner
Recognizing the importance of varied workspaces, Berk emphasizes the need for a seating area in a home, especially if it doubles as a workspace. Sitting at the same desk hour after hour easily strips many of us of our motivation to work, so even simple additions “like a small armchair that you can have in a corner,” or a floor pillow if you’re tight on space, provides a comfortable getaway while encouraging flexibility within the work environment.
Indulge in the cozy comfort of this 100% cotton throw blanket. The rich terracotta hue aligns with a desert scheme, but its natural and olive color varieties are equally stunning.
Though intended as a dining chair, this comfy piece with a double-beamed solid oak back and basil green faux mohair velvet might just be your new favorite seat. Follow Berk's advice by placing it in a corner for a cozy nook or consider multiple chairs for larger seating areas.
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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.
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