Published on March 15, 2019

Grandeur, opulence, luxury—those are the things you’d expect from a renowned celebrity designer like Jeremiah Brent. But don’t let his resume fool you: the longtime design guru lives for a good deal.

“You don’t have to break the bank any longer to have a home that feels individual and beautiful,” Brent tells Domino. “I love being a part of that story because I believe that it’s the future of design.”

The LA-based designer’s recent partnership with T.J. Maxx seems all the more fitting. In celebration of the brand’s new budget-forward shopping philosophy, “Maxximizing,” Brent is one of five tastemakers who has curated shoppable pods that let customers indulge in a classic game of “guess-that-number” contest for a chance to win the items within each installation. The pods will be on display on Hollywood Boulevard on March 15 and Santa Monica Pier on March 16. Contestants can also view the pods on T.J. Maxx’s Instagram

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photography by Rachel Murray

Geared toward “the new HQ,” Brent’s installation features hand-picked furnishings and accessories for six curated vignettes to show design-lovers and workaholics alike that you don’t have to break the bank to style your dream workspace.

“[When it comes to] my own office, it’s so important to me that it feels like a home, not a commercial workspace,” suggests the designer. “I think that’s the future of workspaces in general—making them feel warm, comfortable, layered, and textured.”

Layered and textured hit the spot, but what does it all really mean? Ahead, Brent breaks down his three essential rules for curating the perfect office—plus what we can expect from season 3 of Nate & Jeremiah by Design this spring.

Identify your foundation

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photography by Rachel Murray

Every room needs an anchor; a moment that sets the tone of the room. While an anchor piece can be a big-ticket item (think a large sectional or vintage desk) it doesn’t have to be.

“When you go into a store like T.J. Maxx, start with a foundational piece: a piece of upholstery, a great chair, a sofa. Build from there,” explains Brent. “I don’t think you have to splurge if you don’t want to but if you do, I would pick something large—a statement piece with clean lines that can transition with you and your family for a long time.”

Accessorize with pieces that are multifunctional

Wherever you get down to business, your workspace should spark creativity—not hinder it. Surrounding yourself with items that will continue to inspire you will make you more productive than you think.  “One of the things that I love the most is when you can use everyday things in a work environment—pieces that lend themselves to longevity,” shares Brent.

In the designer’s T.J.Maxx pods, for instance, potential contestants will find items that’d elevate any living space like an agave plant, marble table lamp, and abstract artwork. “It’s really just about experimenting and having fun with those items, even in the workspace,” he adds.

Give the most unexpected pieces a new purpose

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The best budget buy you’ll find in Brent and Berkus’s home? Brass soap holders. “I’m not making this up,” he laughs. “I found these really great mounted brass bar soap holders at T.J. Maxx and I have them hung in my house with crystals leaning on them. It’s a really fun way to make something feel a little bit more artistic. People always comment on them when they come into the library.”

And we thought we knew everything there was to faking custom shelving. Next time you’re looking to show off collectibles take a trip down the bath aisle—you’ll never know what you’ll find.

If there’s anyone we’d happily take work advice from, it’s Brent. In addition to celebrating his T.J. Maxx installation pop-up in California, Brent and Berkus’s busy schedule includes wrapping up season 3 of Nate & Jeremiah by Design (premiering April 13), planning a summer getaway, and celebrating their daughter, Poppy’s, birthday next week. “Our family is growing—not with more kids, but literally growing. I can’t believe I have a four-year-old and a one-year-old,” shares Brent.

Fans of the hit TLC show can expect to see a lot more behind-the-scenes family action this time around, as well as plenty of emotional home makeovers. “I cried more than I should,” laughs the designer. “But I’m excited about summer. I need to hit pause for a little bit.”

Want a Jeremiah Brent-approved office to call your own? Contestants can take a stab at guessing the prices of the designer’s curated pods on T.J. Maxx’s Instagram.

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