Time Warp Makeovers
Nate and Oprah talk about country clutter.
Is your home drowning in cutesy crafts and country knickknacks? If there is currently a cow in your kitchen or a dried flower arrangement in your living room—you may be in violation of country clutter! Nate Berkus says this old-fashioned design is the number one decorating style that needs an update.

"There was a time when [country] was really considered cute," Oprah says. "Time has moved on!"

Nate says that your home décor needs to be updated the same way your hairstyle needs to be updated. "Look at the pictures of your hair when you got married. And then look at your living room," he says. Unless you've updated your home's style since then, Nate says, "your living room is wearing blue eye shadow!"

To help America break free of its old ways, Nate headed out to make over two lucky viewers' homes that were stuck in a time trap.
Margie Couch in her country-themed home
Margie has fallen into a country rut she can't seem to escape. She and her husband John live in Templeton, California, and say they are trapped in the clutter of their country past. Margie and John are now empty nesters, but they haven't updated their style in years. After viewing her home video, Nate surprises Margie with a knock on her door and finds "country crazy" on the other side.

In Margie and John's defense, Nate says their country style is at least understandable—"Okay, you guys have a cow walking across your backyard. We really are in the country!"
Margie and John's country-themed family room
Nate takes a tour of the family room, an important room to Margie and John. "This is the heart of our home," Margie says. "We basically live in this room." Nate notes the floral sofas with oak trim, tiny tables, stools used as end tables and a big mauve colored chair. Completing the country theme is a knotty pine ceiling that Margie says her husband built.

Although Margie agrees her home needs a serious update, there are a few things Margie loves about the room. "The best thing about this room is our fireplace." She also likes the large bay window, although she admits she hasn't been able to find much use for it.
Margie and John's country-themed living room
As Nate tours more of the house, he finds a sea foam green carpet, mauve walls, dried flowers and cross stitching galore! Windows are adorned with lacey curtains, "and on every window sill we either have a duck or a cow or a bunny," Margie says.
Margie and John's country-themed master bedroom
Nate thinks Margie and John's master bedroom has to be the most country-themed room in the house. Starting with the positives, Nate says it's "a bright, happy room." But one thing is for sure—it's not at all masculine. Pink walls, a quilted bedspread, teddy bears and floral drapes are just the beginning.

"There's not an ounce of masculinity in this room," Nate says. "How does your husband feel about that?"

"Well, he wishes it were a bit more macho," Margie says. But she does point out John's one masculine piece of décor—a picture from the Vietnam War hanging in the bathroom.

Since their children have moved out of the home, Nate says it's due time that Margie and John get and updated style. "Because you guys are empty nesters now, I think it's time to give you guys a master bedroom that's part of the next chapter."

"I want it to be pretty, but yet not foofy," Margie says.
Margie and John's new California chic family room
After being banished from their home for eight days, Margie and John return to a home that went from country to au current! It took 23 workers, seven trucks of furniture and 20 gallons of paint, but Nate has transformed their country rut into an updated living space he calls "California chic." Seeing the new family room for the first time, Margie says, "This is so far from country, Nate—this is amazing. It's beautiful!"

"It's so warm too, it just has such a warm and comfortable feeling to it," John says.

The sea foam carpet was replaced by new hardwood floors by Lowe's, and Nate painted the ceiling a vibrant green. "People are like, 'Oh my ceiling has to be white'—it really doesn't," he says.

The tiny sofas and big mauve chair are replaced by two cane-backed chairs by Wisteria and a large sofa by Williams-Sonoma Home. "I really wanted you guys to have a sectional, because I wanted as many people piled in here as possible," Nate says.

The walls are now covered with a natural woven material that Nate says adds texture to the room. Replacing the floral drapes are natural, woven bamboo shades.

The 15-year-old television is replaced with a new flatscreen by Sony, which is built into a bookcase adding symmetry to the room and a place to store all Margie and John's family photos.
Margie and John's new fireplace
The fireplace, which was Margie's favorite part of the room, was updated to give it a fresh feel. Nate also added Margie's travel photos to the mantle for a personal accessory. "Margie, you told me that you went to the Virgin Islands and loved it. That's why I picked these pictures over your mantle. I love travel photography. You've got surfers, beautiful flowers. I think this looks great."
Margie and John's new bay window
The bay window, which was the other area of the family room that Margie loved, is now fully functional with a center table where the family can sit and enjoy the view. The table, by Global Views, is Nate's way of "bringing the outside in" with a tree branch detail at the base.

While the style is a far departure from the home's country look, Nate says the design is not out of place. "You would think that a room has to match the outside of a house, but I think this room matches the nature outside of the house," Nate says.
Margie and John's new master bedroom
Before Nate reveals Margie and John's new bedroom, he makes a deal with them. "Do you solemnly swear that future purchases will not include any hearts, lace, ducks, pigs, cows…deal?"

After the couple solemnly swears, Nate reveals their new California-style suite. "You had said your favorite colors were browns and blues, so I wanted to do something with browns, blues and accents. This is all neutral. It's no country, no pink, no hearts, no frills, no lace, but all California casual."

Margie and John's new bed from Ballard Designs is upholstered with a great fabric that Nate says is "masculine and feminine at the same time."

Nate replaced the old carpet with a soft taupe wool one from Lowe's and covered the windows with natural woven shades by Great Windows. "I actually faked it, and I mounted these even higher than the window frame so that now this room actually feels much taller than it did before," Nate says. "That's a designer's trick."

Margie and John also received some great upgrades, including new nightstands for more storage and an LG TV.
Walls painted a bright, simple color
The pink is out! Nate painted the walls and took down the flowered border to opt for a cleaner look. "When you take that out and you just do a bright, simple color on the walls, and bring in just a couple things that have patterns, you really do feel like you have more space," Nate says.
Chandelier by Lowe's
Nate added a chandelier he found at Lowe's for a romantic feel to the bedroom. "I love how it just creates a completely different mood in this space," he says.
John and Margie Couch
John and Margie have now had some time to settle in to their new style, and John doesn't miss the country frills one bit! "It is so nice to walk in the door and not have the pinks—I didn't realize how much I didn't really care for it until I could see it could be different."

Besides the new furniture, Margie is also happy with Nate's design sense. "We never once thought about changing the orientation of the bed, and it made so much more space," she says.

Nate says he moved the bed to allow for more space when someone walks into the room. "You need time when you walk into a room to actually get used to your surroundings. And when you walk in and you have a foot and a half before you hit a piece of furniture, you can't appreciate the room."
Tonya and Keith show their old kitchen.
In their Spanish-style home in California, Tonya and Keith have a muy old kitchen. In fact, it's older than they are! Their original oven is from the 1960s and the cupboards are so shallow they don't even fit most plates that are made today.

Keith, who is 6'8", has to squat far down to see under a cabinet that hangs over the counter. And whenever they cook, Tonya and Keith head to the laundry room—which is where they've set up a makeshift pantry.

"We need help in here, big time," Keith says.
Tonya and Keith tell Nate about their dream kitchen.
When Nate makes a surprise visit to their home, Tonya can't wait to show him the kitchen. "It's old school," she says.

Nate agrees that the kitchen looks bad, and he is particularly shocked by the floor's tile pattern. "It looks like a bad Mexican restaurant from a long time ago," he says.

Before setting to work, Nate wants to know what Tonya and Keith dream of for their new kitchen.

Keith dreams of a center island, a modern gas range-top, stainless steel appliances and earthy colors. Tonya agrees with Keith's stainless steel appliances, but craves color. "Really cool, fun, vibrant tiles in the kitchen." She also wants to open up the space. "Maybe the whole thing about a formal dining room doesn't need to be here. Maybe we have a really nice table and we just eat there all the time."

Now Nate has a plan!
Tonya and Keith's new kitchen
Tonya and Keith's retro kitchen has given way to a Moroccan-inspired space.

Nate knocked out a wall and cabinets dividing the kitchen from two dining areas, leaving one enormous room. "I wanted to create one space here," he says. "Not only does it make the kitchen feel much larger, your family can sit down and have breakfast since it's part of the kitchen."

He got rid of the Lyndon Johnson-era appliances and replaced them with sleek GE Monogram stainless steel models. The Shenandoah cabinets from Lowe's are tall and deep, and they're topped off with knobs from Nanz that he says are "like jewelry."

Tonya loves the dark wood floors. "I want to put it through my entire house," she says.

And Keith finally got the island he wanted—though, it's not built-in to match the cabinets. "You don't always have to have everything match," Nate says.
Moroccan tile backsplash and a zinc countertop
Behind the stove, Nate created an actual Moroccan tile backsplash with tiles from Mosaic House.

The countertop is truly special. It's not marble, it's not steel…it's zinc, which is commonly found in bars in France and Tuscany. "As this countertop ages it's going to get this beautiful, beautiful patination," Nate says. "And it's going to look like it's been here since the 1920s."
The laundry room door and cabinet
To continue the Moroccan theme, Nate changed the door to the laundry room to a wood-latticed one from Pinecrest. The best part about this door, though, is that Tonya and Keith won't have to use it as much.

With all the extra space from knocking out walls and old cabinets, Nate brought the pantry out of the laundry room and into the kitchen, using an antique chest. Nate says Tonya and Keith now have three times more kitchen storage.
Tonya and Keith
Tonya and Keith say they're still getting used to their new kitchen. In fact, Keith—who says he does most of the family cooking—has only used it once so far.

"For a couple of days I didn't want to touch it," he says. "It was so nice, I didn't know if I could actually use it. It looks like a model."

"We didn't want to touch anything," Tonya says. "We left everything exactly the way it was—the flowers and everything."
This room needs a makeover.
For everyone who needs an update, Nate has five inexpensive changes to make right now.

This room demonstrates some of his cardinal sins of decorating. The busy patterned sofa sits on top of a busy patterned rug. The pillows and curtains are both ruffled. Personal photos are trapped in multiple-picture frames. The entire room overflows with dried flowers and knickknacks.
The same room, after Nate's updates
"These rooms are exactly the same, we just changed the accessories," Nate says. "This is the same furniture. So only the accessories are changed. Isn't that crazy?" What were Nate's changes?

Time Warp 1: Busy patterned rugs underneath busy patterned sofas
Update: Patterned rugs and patterned sofas make for a cluttered look. Update the old sofa with a simple slipcover, and replace patterned rugs. "A simple rug—cotton, wool," Nate says.

Time Warp 2: Ruffled throw pillows
Update: Replace ruffled pillows with modern linen, cotton or velvet ones. "You can find these absolutely everywhere," he says.

Time Warp 3: Dried flower arrangements
Update: Get rid of those dried flowers. Try replacing them with an elegant, live orchid. "It really does make a huge difference," Nate says.

Time Warp 4: Ruffled curtains
Update: When you ditch those frilly curtains—which you really should do—Nate has a trick to make your windows look bigger. Above the top of the window, hang an inexpensive bamboo shade and add simple cotton or linen draperies.

Time Warp 5: Multiple photos in a single frame with matte cutouts
Update: While photos are an important, personal decoration in any home, Nate says the multiple-photo frames actually make those photos seem less important. "You don't have to throw anything away, but just frame them individually," he says.

Products and companies featured in these makeovers