Annie and Dan's mudroom

Nate Berkus has taken on tiny apartments, ugly bedrooms and swanky bachelor pads—but a messy mudroom? Nate says transitional rooms should not be ignored—even a mudroom can have style and functionality with the right design.

Annie and Dan say their mudroom is an embarrassing mess. "We've done a lot to our house," Dan says. "We bought it knowing it needed a lot of things, and we spend a lot of time in the living room … we're out of energy."

Nate to the rescue! Oprah Show producers and design team have created an exact replica of their mudroom right on our set—everything from Annie's pineapple lamp to their daughter's artwork. What Annie and Dan don't know is that Nate is waiting in the wings to surprise them with a new design for their small space.
Annie and Dan's mudroom after

By using paneled walls and natural material like firewood, Nate pulls the space together and creates a warm and rustic environment.

Large pieces of furniture are chosen to complement the space. "You can use big-scaled furniture in small rooms," Nate says. Instead of plain shelves, he picks a large chest of drawers to hold hats and mittens. He also includes a spot to toss mail and keys. "It feels great to throw it in a pretty tray," Nate says. "It's kind of a present to yourself every day."

Nate adds functionality with big baskets for toys, vintage hooks for coats and backpacks and a spot for wet shoes to dry.

A Sterno-burning fireplace adds the final touch to warm up the space. "This is beautiful," Annie says. The best part? The entire look will be shipped to Vermont and installed in Annie and Dan's home!
Kim and Kyllan

Sisters Kim and Kyllan say their hardworking parents desperately need a touch of Nate in their parents' retro kitchen. The space is truly out of the '60s—1963 to be exact. The room comes complete with the original cabinets, countertops and harvest gold walls. The original appliances aren't holding up any better than the out-of-date style—Kim and Kyllan say the sink has been caulked and recaulked—and still leaks!

Sandra, Kim and Kyllan's mom, is a high school principal, and their father, Larry, was recently laid off as a manager at a technology company. "That kind of put everything on a back burner," Kyllan says. "That was difficult on him."

Kim says that even during difficult times, her parents never dwell on their problems. "They kind of keep those things tucked away, and they always bring to the forefront the needs of others," she says. "They've shown us how to love other people, how to give to other people and how to do for other people unconditionally."
Nate surprises Sandra and Larry.

Nate decides it's time to leave that kitchen in the past. He travels to Cleveland to set up shop for a dream kitchen makeover. Before he arrives, Sandra and Larry's daughters send their parents on a fake errand so Nate has time for a tour of the space.

Watch Watch Nate's tour of the Brown family kitchen.  

When Sandra and Larry come home, they get two surprises—Nate standing in their home and the news that he's going to give them their fantasy kitchen!
Nate remodels Sandra and Larry's kitchen.

To keep the makeover a surprise, Sandra and Larry are moved out of their home while Nate gets to work. The unusual space provides a challenge, but Nate and his team dive right in by knocking down walls and ripping out appliances. "We need to open up this space," Nate says. "All these tiny little spaces to be one beautiful, light-filled, open, cohesive kitchen."

Nate has just two weeks to bring Sandra and Larry's 45-year-old kitchen into the 21st century. Can he do it?
Sandra and Larry see their new kitchen.

Time is up, and the Brown family gets their first peek at their brand new kitchen. "This is our kitchen?" Sandra says. "This is beautiful!"

Watch Watch the big reveal.

Nate didn't think a trendy kitchen fit the Browns' style, so he used classic materials. Marble floors that become more beautiful with age and a combination of solid and glass cabinets give timeless appeal.

To truly take the Browns out of the '60s, Nate updates the kitchen with appliances fit for a modern chef. Nate has installed two 12-inch deep sinks, two dishwashers, four ovens and an eight-burner stove range, which are perfect for their large family gatherings. "This is like for a restaurant," Nate says.

To add more space, Nate transformed the Browns' old porch into an indoor dining area that flows straight out of the kitchen. A new ceiling, table, chairs and bench seating create a space the entire family can gather around. "Now I'm going to cook for everybody," Sharon says. "Everybody's coming over!"
Outdoor living space

Nate says another way to make great use of your space is to bring the inside…out. More and more American families are expanding their living spaces right into their backyards. From kitchens to fireplaces to beds, the sky is the limit when it comes to outdoor living.

Home supply companies are getting in on the action too. Some of Nate's favorite purchases include all-weather lighting, rugs and artwork. One of Oprah's favorite ideas is to incorporate an outdoor fire pit, which you can find for less than $100!

"The great thing too, Oprah, is outdoor furniture is starting to feel more like indoor furniture. It's not your old patio furniture that's uncomfortable anymore," Nate says. "The quality's better, the cushions are thicker, the fabric is stain-resistant and fade-resistant."

Special thanks to those who made this show possible.
FROM: Nate's Kitchen of the Year Makeover!
Published on January 01, 2006


Next Story