When we think of designers on the rise right now, there's no question Jeremiah Brent of Jeremiah Brent Design comes to mind. With a bevy of high profile clients, this Rachel Zoe alum who's engaged to design superstar Nate Berkus is doing everything right. But Jeremiah isn't all tinseltown glam. He shared with us that his go-to food group is Sour Patch Kids and his mom insists he dresses like a "homeless lesbian." (Ha!) Not to mention the abode he shares with Nate was dubbed "Hollywood's Chicest Lair" by Harper's Bazaar, and a second collab project just showed up on the pages of the new Domino Mag. The spaces Jeremiah designs are timeless in their color palette, but so full of interesting details and special pieces they seem to shine. Black + white lovers? These rooms are for you!
Thanks Jeremiah for taking to time to answer our Q&A!
1. Where do you currently live in CA and what's special about how you've designed your personal space?
I currently live in the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, off Mulholland. It’s my very own adult treehouse, as I like to call it. Our LA house is really special because it’s the first project that Nate and I really collaborated on. We not only combined our lives, but we combined our tastes as well, and had an amazing time doing it.
2. What's your dream design project? Who would it be for (dead or alive)?
I’ve always been obsessed with doing hotels and nightlife spots — clubs and bars. They’re so much fun to design and projects like that really allow creativity to run rampant. However, if I had to pick a dream person, or people, to design a space for, I would have loved to have created an artists' colony for painters during the amazing Impressionist and Post Impressionist era in France; artists like Monet, Gaugin, Cezanne, and Degas.
3. In real life, what's your favorite design project you've completed to date?
My favorite project so far as been Rita Hazan’s apartment in New York. I love the challenge of connecting a person to their home through the design process, and Rita has great personality and style. That project was so much fun because she really let us have creative license with materials and textures. She addresses the creative process from a place of yes, rather than a place of no.
4. You've been gifted a fabulously furnished dream home but can only bring one item from your current space. What would it be?
The same chair that I’ve brought into every home — a vintage, worn out leather arm chair. It’s the first expensive piece I ever bought, and now looks like it belongs in a garage sale. I love it.
5. What's your creative process when designing a space?
A good interior designer is a good listener. I pride myself on my ability to really hear and understand what my clients both want and need. The first step for me is getting to know the people I’m working with and after that the process is pretty organic. I try to design rooms for the moments that the client will live in them — where will they curl up on a cold night? Where will they sit down to watch a movie as a family? And of course, I try to break all the design rules along the way.
6. Where do you score prized interior design items? Any shopping tips?
Big Daddy’s Antiques has been a resource for me since I started designing. Shane combs the world for amazing pieces and has a great eye. I’ve recently discovered Etsy and think amazing things can be found there. For someone who used to be paralyzed by the idea of online shopping, I really think it’ll be the future of furniture sourcing.
7. Ever had an epic DIY disaster? What project would you never take on again yourself?
Back when I was struggling to make it in LA, I needed a coffee table but didn’t have the money to buy one. I envisioned it as a big chunk of wood, so I went out and found a big log (over three feet), wheeled it 6 blocks home because I couldn’t even lift it and went to work. I sanded it down, shellacked and lacquered it a million times and made it beautiful. Two weeks later, I came home from a vacation to find that the termites that had apparently called the log home had made a new home flying around my apartment and living in my drapes and furniture.
I don’t have any regrets project-wise. I’ve had plenty of difficult clients, but with those projects you gain professional experience and really learn about your limits — what you will take on, and what you won’t take on.
8. What new design trend are you excited to integrate into your next project?
I’m not super into design trends — just like I’ve never been into fashion trends. My goal as a designer is really to introduce unexpected elements and to make design sexy and fun again. I want to show people how to live in style without clinging to the next big trend.
9. Lightning round!
Beach or mountains?
Instagram or Pinterest?
Architectural Digest or Wallpaper?
Should you spend money on a fabulous bathroom or kitchen?
Can’t we do both?
Would you rather shop new or vintage?
Can’t we do both?
Great view or perfect pool?
SF or LA?
10. What's one tip you wish someone had told you when first starting out in the design world?
I was given the best tip, from Rachel Zoe. She told me: follow your passion — what you do in your life should be your passion.
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