Nate Berkus' Design Inspiration

New York City-based decorator Nate Berkus loves relaxed home decor. Here's his current faves for inspiration.

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Design That Matters


Nate Berkus is a master multitasker with a full-service design firm, a new line of housewares hitting Target stores and his second book, The Things That Matter (Spiegel & Grau), hot off the presses. We asked him what puts his imagination into overdrive.

Enter to win a few of Nate's must-haves here!

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Striped anything in two colors is a true classic.

Sailor Tangerine Square Pillow,, $48

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Fill your house with pieces that tell your family's story, for example, handmade objects and souvenirs from trips. When traveling, I look for the local specialty, like these amazing ceramic pineapples from central Mexico.

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A trellis motif feels forever—not trendy—to me.

Nate Berkus Urban Trellis Comforter,, $90

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I love fresh flowers. Take apart a mixed bouquet and cluster like blooms in small vases to scatter everywhere.

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Decorative Boxes


Decorative boxes are like jewelry for the home. I put one in every room. They're perfect for storing little trinkets.

Nate Berkus Snakeskin and Wood Box,, $25

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Photos, especially black-and-white, instantly evoke memories. My favorites are a series of Joshua trees by my late partner, Fernando Bengoechea.

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Paint Color


My go-to wall color is a light, smoky shade, like Benjamin Moore Moonshine.

Originally published in the November 2012 issue of Family Circle magazine.

This piece was accurate at publication time, but all prices, offerings and styles are subject to change.