Nate Berkus' Den Makeunder
If there's a room in your house filled with so much stuff that there's no space for friends and family, Nate says it's time to clean house.
"You have to edit your rooms. It's a maintenance issue," he says. "We don't load up our sink and leave it for 15 years, but we load up our bookshelves, and we leave them until The Oprah Show sends me to clean it out."
Christina, a woman from Louisiana, says her mother, Lois, needs Nate's help to clear away some of the clutter in her family's den.
Nate travels to Thibodaux, Louisiana, to see this den for himself. After one look, it's obvious this room needs a complete makeunder.
"There's too much stuff in this room—the texture of the paneling, the texture of the brick, busy rug, busy draperies, tons of stuff all over the place," he says. "I can't even see what I'm looking at in here."
While it's important to personalize a room with family photos, Nate says that when there are too many, you don't really see any. "I want to take the focus off of everything and put the focus on what really matters," he says.
With just 24 hours to transform this crowded space, Nate sends Lois away so a crew from Lowe's can begin clearing out the room. Meanwhile, Christina and Nate start paring down the pictures. "I use a Post-It process to organize what stays and what goes," he says. Anything that can go into a photo album or a storage bin gets marked with a Post-It note.
Before the makeunder, Lois's windows were decorated with heavy, red curtains, and the floor was covered with a busy, floral rug.
Don't be afraid of paneling—Nate says you can paint over almost everything these days. "You just have to ask an expert at a paint store. Tell them what it is that you're painting over, and there's a primer that will work."
If you want to create a photo gallery at home, Nate suggests using paper cutouts of the frames to create the layout you want before you start hammering.
"The room is already starting to look completely different," he says. "Look how different it feels. It's brighter, it's lighter, it's understated."
"It looks beautiful," Lois says. "It's really pretty."
After a little rearranging, Nate was able to use most of Lois' furniture, including her sofa, fireplace, television and part of her bookshelf. "I was allowed to keep a lot of your original furniture because I changed the background," he says.
"It's still my junk," Lois says. "But now it's elegant."
Christina is also pleased with the results. "The fact that, in 24 hours, he was able to capture so much of our essence and hone into what's important to my mom and our family, it was incredible," she says.
Products used in Nate Berkus' den makeunder