Nate Berkus's Home Rules
Nate Berkus
Nate goes hands-on with a vintage chair covered in a lime green toile de Jouy that matches the walls. Toile, a classic French fabric, looks more contemporary in a bright new color.

Question 1: What's your style?
  • Which is your favorite room in the house? Which is your least favorite? Why?
  • Do you have a favorite piece of furniture or art that could be a starting point?
  • Do your decorating dreams mirror the way you actually live? Does a formal living room really fit in with your casual entertaining?
  • More questions to unlock the decorator in you
Library bookshelves look friendlier mixed with personal objects.
Question 2: Who's room is it anyway?
  • What's the purpose of this all-purpose room? Do kids play here or is it more for a small happy hour?
  • What kind of feeling do you want—handsome library or more of a homespun hangout?
  • Does the room need to work as a home office? Does homework get done in here?
  • A room's purpose may change with time. See how Nate transformed a single guy's loft into a love nest fit for his fiancé.
Nate Berkus on choosing your colors
Question 3: Which hue is you?
  • What's your favorite color? Open a box of crayons and pick the first color that catches your eye.
  • How do you react to color? Do the warm shades of a sunset move you? Or is it the clean, clear coolness of a winter landscape that speaks to you?
  • What's in your clothes closet? Does that one red sweater get passed over time after time for neutrals?
  • Nate decorated his apartment in grays and charcoals—colors he loves. If an exciting bright green is your favorite color, coat your walls in it but tone down the rest of the room with dark or neutral colors.
Nate Berkus on creating your sleeping space
Question 4: How do you sleep best?
  • Do you like a bright, sunny welcome in the morning, or is dark and enveloping more your style?
  • How about waking up to something soft under your feet? Wall-to-wall carpeting or an area rug? Or are wood floors still all right?
  • What do you keep by your bedside? Those items can help determine the size of night table you use.
  • Nate created a modern French fantasy without all the frills. A tucked and tailored bedroom shown here in a slightly darker color feels warm and relaxing.
A mirror instantly enlarges a small bathroom.
Question 5: What's your idea of luxury?
  • His and hers? Are double sinks right for you?
  • Pedestal sink or vanity? Do you need extra storage space or are you working with a small room that calls for smaller than standard fixtures?
  • Could a quick fix brighten the day? Take stock of your towels and see if they should be freshened up.
  • A mirror in actor Jerry O'Connell's bathroom (above) instantly enlarges the small room.
Nate has the recipe for good kitchen design.
Question 6: What's your kitchen's mission?
  • What is your goal—to update or renovate? Is it realistic in terms of budgeting and time?
  • Do you prefer open or closed storage? Are you neat enough to let it all show?
  • Want to eat in? Would a table with chairs be best, or are you a more casual island-style family?
  • While the style of Kirstie Alley's kitchen (shown here) fits comfortably into the 1920s architecture of her house, the appliances are strictly modern and professional, perfect for a serious cook.
Nate's advice for organizing
Question 7: Is there order in your court?
  • Are you a pack rat or just plain disorganized? Quantity of life is not quality of life—get to the bottom of the pile and decide what you really want to live with.
  • Is your home office set up for efficiency? Do you waste time looking for files and supplies?
  • Have the children outgrown some of their toys? Would a few playthings find a better home with a favorite charity?
  • When was the last time you cleaned out your clothes closets? The English-pine cabinets in Oprah's closets were designed to look like a store—and function just as well.

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