The Furniture Style That Jeremiah Brent Says “Used to Stress Him Out”—But Not Anymore
Nate Berkus chimes in on the trend he can’t get behind.
Published Oct 24, 2022 1:22 PM
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Jeremiah Brent and Nate Berkus admit their fifth furniture collaboration with Living Spaces is their simplest yet, and that’s entirely the point. “It was important to us to stand for quality and detail without adding a lot of unnecessary things,” says Berkus of the 42 items that launched today. For inspiration, the pair looked to early American Shaker creations as well as Swedish furniture from the 1930s and ’40s, and ended up with pieces like the Marion sectional—what they call the “cotton T-shirt” of the assortment. The sofa is lined with loose, reversible cushions that don’t require constant refluffing; has an extra-deep seat (59 inches, to be exact); and can be expanded upon with a separate chaise piece. “It’s the purest sectional we’ve created,” says Brent.
Of course, whenever we get face time with the couple, we ask them for the lowdown on best design practices, what’s in, and what’s on its way out. Here are a few to-dos (and don’ts) we took away from the conversation.
Don’t: Make Your House Shimmer
Anything that’s got a gloss, Berkus can’t get behind. “I can’t even polish a stone for a countertop and be happy with it,” he says. “It looks like it was made yesterday.” Naturally, their Living Spaces collection is void of lacquered finishes. Instead the designers leaned into pine in a dark stain and oak veneer with noticeable knots. “They’re all very timeworn; there’s nothing supershiny,” he continues. That patina, he points out, is the secret to being able to blend different tones of wood furniture in the same space.
Do: Collect Lighting That Looks Like Artifacts
Berkus and Brent introduced an entirely new category for this launch: lighting. The eight sculptural pieces (there are six table lamps and two floor lamps) are inspired by the couple’s personal collection of ceramics, which features small treasures from Greece and Vietnam, to name just a few places. “Pottery is the one thing we always wrap in our clothes [and place] in the suitcase when we head home,” shares Berkus. The textural, oversize bases are meant to look like they were pulled straight from an excavation site.
Don’t: Knock Mirrored Furniture
“It used to really stress me out,” Brent says of the fad. But a recent trip to Venice, Italy, changed his mind. At the Church of San Rocco, Dior held a dinner where the dining table was topped with reflective glass so guests could easily view the ceiling frescoes while they ate. “It was an interesting and powerful use of the room,” he says.
Do: Use a Table as Your Nightstand
“We love an oversize table next to a bed,” notes Brent. The marble-top pedestal table works especially well in a guest bedroom—it can be used as a vanity or a desk during the daytime and a catchall surface for books, hand cream, and phones at night. Believe them; they’ve tried and tested it: “We have huge stone tables next to our beds in New York City, and it just really works,” adds Berkus.