Published on May 13, 2020

Nate-Berkus-tip-change-home-environment-domino Pin It
Photography by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

While some people are turning to larger-scale creative projects to switch up their routine—think: creating floral murals or revamping the garden—the DIY route isn’t for everyone. For Nate Berkus, finding joy while stuck at home takes a much simpler form. He’s focusing on putting together a multisensory environment. 

It’s something he picked up from his husband, Jeremiah Brent. “He sets the house at different times of the day with lighting: He’ll turn off certain lamps and light candles,” Berkus explained in a recent Headspace Instagram Live. “There’s always music playing in our home.” He also references playing with scent—for example, burning incense or palo santo for a really holistic approach to design. A cozy space is about more than just furniture, after all. 

We’re following the Berkus-Brent school of thought and making these easy tweaks right away. Set the scene with softer lighting and the right playlist—then rotate in your favorite candles or fragrances so each day feels a little more special (even if all you’re doing is taking Zoom meetings). Choose according to your mood: something citrusy to boost spirits, or vetiver when you need to chill out. 

“I used to pad around these spaces without music, without scent,” said the designer. “I had candles, but they went on the table when I entertained—not at 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning. There’s something really beautiful about the ceremony of that, and I’m grateful to Jeremiah for bringing it into my world.”

It’s hammer time: Follow @reno_notebook for easy rental updates, clever DIYs, and tips to nail your next project.

Discussion