Nate likes to encourage people to be bold in their decorating choices, but he knows this can be a hard concept to apply to an entire house, or even an entire room. So, Nate says, start by experimenting with the powder room, an entryway, even a hallway. If you're working with a larger space, keep the furniture neutral and play with splashes of color; think pillows, throws, vases or picture frames.
2. Never Underestimate the Power of Fresh-Cut Flowers
Fresh flowers are an inexpensive way to honor yourself in your home. You're taking a moment to say, "I deserve this." When you see something every day that reminds you that you took a minute to appreciate you, that can change your whole outlook.
3. Treat Decorating Like Housework
You are not done with a room once you've finished decorating, Nate says. Spaces should always change and grow, otherwise you'll get sick of the room. If you've left the same things out for years (say, the knickknacks on your fireplace mantel), it's time to switch it up. As you add new items, though, remember to take an equal number away.
4. Forget Thread Count
You want your bed to be a place where you want to spend time, says Nate, so buy the nicest sheets you can afford. But check for evenness and the tightness of weave—not thread count—which Nate says has become a marketing gimmick. "You want to focus on the quality of the cotton and the way it feels in your hands," he says. "A thread count of 350–400 is fine."
5. Define the Meaning of Art
Nate thinks it's important to fill your walls with art, but he's aware that fine art can be pricey. However, that's not your only option. For one high-profile magazine shoot, Nate's team hung a framed drawing by the client's 7-year-old daughter. When the story came out, hundreds of people wrote in asking for the name of the artist.
In his own home, Nate bought old art history and design books, cut out his favorite illustrations and images, and framed them. Gather your own favorite family photos, magazine covers, and drawings and do the same. If you're unsure of how to arrange groupings of items, he recommends looking through magazines for inspiration. Your room can be transformed in an afternoon!
More from Nate Berkus