From the K+BB Archives: Nate Berkus' Favorites

From the May 2007 issue: designer Nate Berkus discusses his favorite k&b products
By Alice Liao
June 18, 2010

Editor’s note: With all of the recent Twitter activity regarding designer Nate Berkus and his new show, which is set to debut this fall, we decided to dig into our archives and post this story we did back in May 2007 on his favorite kitchen and bath products.

Interior designer Nate Berkus doesn’t do much cooking, but then who can blame him? Between running his own firm, Nate Berkus Associates, creating a line of housewares for Linens ’n Things, hosting a radio show on XM Radio, contributing to O at Home magazine and, of course, making the occasional appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Berkus is a busy man whose priorities probably don’t include slaving over a hot stove. In fact, most of his time in the kitchen is spent “either standing in front of the microwave or dialing for delivery,” he said.

But that doesn’t mean he can’t appreciate a great stove and all that it can do. “I am amazed at the cuisine some of my friends and clients can whip up,” he said. Consequently, when designing for clients, especially those with a passion for gourmet cooking, Berkus recommends investing in a good, solid product, such as the Electrolux Icon Professional series 36-in. dual-fuel range.
“I tell my clients to go for the best they can afford at the time,” he said. “This way, they are certain to stay within their own budget, but have an appliance to stand the test of time.”

While Berkus’ range may not see much use, his Cuisinart Brew Central coffee maker certainly does. An integral component of his morning routine, the coffee maker can be programmed up to 24 hours in advance, offers adjustable keep-warm temperature control and will even alert you when it needs to be cleaned. Berkus loads the unit at night so that the next morning, after he has walked his dogs, a cup of freshly brewed joe is waiting for him. Berkus added, “I do know a great cup of coffee when I taste one.”

For the bathroom, Berkus is a fan of incorporating personal items to lend the space an individual touch. In his own home, a plastic whale from the Shutters Hotel On the Beach in Los Angeles occupies a permanent spot in the shower. “We all find a million ways to personalize the kitchen, from the kids’ artwork on the fridge to your grandmother’s bowl on the kitchen table,” he said. “It’s important that the bathroom not be left out.”

Another favorite for the bathroom, especially ones with limited square footage, is the pedestal sink. Having renovated his own apartment in New York City, Berkus can appreciate the challenges of trying to create extra space without knocking down a wall. One way he often recommends is replacing an old vanity with a pedestal unit like the Belle Epoque from Waterworks, a company he admires. Berkus noted, “This one change makes the bathroom larger right away.”  

And finally, who doesn’t enjoy a little luxury when they’re bathing? While bright vanity lighting comes in handy when you’re getting ready in the morning, at night, when you’re lounging in the tub, a sparkling chandelier like Schonbek’s Versailles is perfect for enhancing atmosphere. According to Berkus, a chandelier can help soften a bathroom by adding “a feminine touch” and is perfect for when you’re “trying to take the night off and escape from the day.”  

And if anyone understands the need to unwind at the end of the day, it’s a celebrity designer/television and radio personality like Berkus.
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