Nate Berkus And The Shade Store


Interior designer Nate Berkus defines what’s great about American design. His clean, comfortable, approachable style has a glamorous and well-traveled sheen that works as well on the east coast as it does in Los Angeles where Berkus now lives with his husband Jeremiah Brent and their two year old daughter Poppy. We managed to grab a few minutes with the designer last week during Dwell on Design to chat about his new collaboration with The Shade Store.

So tell me about how this collection with the The Shade Store?

I actually met the brothers who started The Shade Store at Dwell on Design two years ago. I always thought that they were a leader in the industry and I’d used them as a designer and on Nate & Jeremiah by Design, our television show on TLC, and I thought that there was something really seamless about everything they did from the field measuring to how knowledgeable their salespeople are. I didn’t think that I would launch with a collection of roller shades, but we had a whole conversation about it and I think it’s a really interesting category that not a lot of people are doing. 

Certainly not well! So tell us a little bit about the designs?

I worked really closely with my design team in Chicago, experimenting with scale and color. I’ve designed in 25 categories but this is vertical not horizontal like bedding would be so there were questions of proportion that kept popping up as we started sampling things. 

How would you use them in a home?

We use them in our own home alone in one room and then layered with simple Belgian linen panels in another room. I’ve spent 21 years really understanding from a very fundamental level that the best rooms and the best interiors are the ones that feel layered and assembled over time so I’m a fan of anything that gives someone the opportunity to express a little bit more of their personality, especially in a category that’s so often overlooked. It’s an additional layer to play with in a space. That’s kind of what I had in mind when I was doing all the patterns. I wanted them to blend seamlessly with what people already had in their homes.

So where did the inspiration for the patterns come from?

From my travels. I’m the guy that’s always wandering through the local markets. For example, this pattern, Raffi, is inspired by a Mayan motif that I discovered while I was with friends in Merida, which is a colonial town in Mexico, one of my favorite countries. The crafts there come from all over the Yucatan. We’ve played with the motif and added the dots. It’s funny, the original inspiration is Central Mexico but it’s also reminiscent of block pattern textiles from India and Souleiado, the prints from Provence. 

Which is your favorite of the five patterns?

Astre. It’s a star within a circle. It comes in putty, taupe or grey, in blackout and unlined. The blackout really makes the pattern pop.

Has your design aesthetic changed since you moved from the east coast to the west coast?

It wasn’t the move that altered my aesthetic, as much as it is being the father of a two year old. That has been a massive adjustment! 

So these shades will hold up to a toddler?

They’re not indestructible but yes, they’re really well made!

What are you working on next?

A million things! Our show just wrapped, I’m launching new categories at Target, I’m the design ambassador for a new class of ships from Celebrity called the Edge class and Jeremiah and I are in talks about some other collaborations. 

Busy as a B…when B stands for Berkus!

See the full Nate Berkus for The Shade Store collection here.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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