L.A.-based interior designers Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent have already made their way into our homes — whether it's their TLC show, Nate & Jeremiah By Design (among their many other small and big screen ventures), or Berkus' chic line with Target's midcentury-inspired Project 62. Last year, the duo débuted a capsule with Living Spaces, and this week they unveiled their first full collection with the affordable home furnishings retailer.
Priced from $39 and up for pillows and $250 to $2,795 for furniture, it's no surprise that the 79-piece line successfully marries Brent's bold and modern approach with Berkus' classic-meets-antique style. (The married couple also has two kids, if you need more proof of their perfect design partnership.)
"One of the big intentions with the collections that we wanted to show was that you could buy affordable furniture and it wasn't transactional," Brent told us during their line's preview at DTLA's Hnypt. "You weren't going to get rid of it in a year or two years because the quality is falling apart. We took so long to make sure that the quality is there. We wanted you to purchase things and think, I could have this for the next ten-plus years. [With] the finishes, we had to perfect the little details — like the fact that the drawers are lined. We wanted everything to make you feel like you really bought a piece that wasn't just something haphazard."
The range is comprised of four collections: There's the Matteo line inspired by modern California and 1930s France, while the Galerie (a very Louis XIV-inspired line with a modern twist), Gramercy (which pulls inspiration from 1940s French design elements like metal hardware and arched lines), and Pavilion (which fuses French Art Deco with '70s silhouettes) lines were designed to be mixed and matched.
Berkus and Brent made it a point to create pieces that are both functional and fashionable, as seen in the Galerie Secretary Desk and '70s-inspired Pavilion Writing Desk (both $1095) that feature built-in USB chargers, the Gramercy Lift-Top Storage Coffee Table ($495) that transforms into a dinner party-ready surface, the Norah Accent Storage Ottoman ($650), and side tables like the that offer plenty of storage.
Other standouts include the DTLA loft-worthy Matteo armchair ($750), the Gramercy bookcase ($1,250) that looks chic whether the doors are closed or open to display your wares, the Gwen Daybed ($895) with its playful rounded arms, and the three-piece Whitley Sectional ($2,395) that was inspired by a vintage sofa that the couple bought during one of their many travels.
After exploring the collection during last week's media preview (and inevitably getting inspired to redecorate our entire abode), we sat down with Berkus and Brent on their Ames sofa (which we can confirm is uber comfy) to find out how living in California inspired their collection, their favorite L.A. antique stores, and more.
Read on below, then shop the entire collection in stores or online here.
Given that you guys call L.A. home, how has California inspire the designs?
Jeremiah Brent: I'm massively inspired by California because I grew up here, so I think the casual luxury of California is really interesting to me personally I think with our collection. The interesting thing about us getting the opportunity to do this together is we have two very different perspectives, but when we come together and it's nice you're almost getting two for one. Nate's much more rooted in historical references and timeless silhouettes. I like to take risks with thinner finishes and the way things are laid out and I like a little bit more contemporary, which is what you'll see in the upholstery. But I think we're really inspired by California and you can tell. I have to have trees all over our homes, our home, like no matter where we are living, always have to have. And so you can see that represented here. It's like the perfect backdrop.
Nate Berkus: There's an easy luxury to living here. I think the best part of the California lifestyle, living with well-made things [and] not too many of them, [and] the fresh air all year-round. We wanted the collection, even though it's sturdy and well-built, and we spend a lot of time developing the finishes, even down to how we combine the metals with the different tones of wood. We wanted it to feel easy and light and, and have some enough space around it, that you really could appreciate the details, [so] I think it's very indicative of like that California lifestyle.
We know that your capsule was partly inspired by some of the antique pieces in your own home. Did you draw from those as well for the full collection?
NB: The [Pavilion extension] dining table was one of the first that we threw into the development process because it's almost identically based on a 19th-century library table that we have — so everything from the metal cap to the shape of the furniture to the way that the wood [sits] on the top was based on that. That piece inspired the finish of that whole collection and was one that was a direct reference from our home. The bench is also based on a Swedish 19th-century bench that we own.
What was it like working with Living Spaces?
NB: Here's the thing about Living Spaces. It's got a huge footprint and it's a family-run, very small operation creatively. From the very beginning, we were in the room with the three people there that make every decision and that makes things move really quickly.
JB: They know what their customer is coming there to buy, they know what's important to them. There's been a lot of moments where we're like, we love this piece because it's gorgeous. And like, what else could it be? They would push us and that's why we were like, okay, how can we develop things that are multifaceted with their actual functionality of it, like this coffee, this coffee table that comes up if you want to have dinner with the storage, creating a storage ottoman for one that we actually like seen one that we were like, hmm, that's cute.
NB: They're experts in their field and they brought us on to be creatives and so we relied on their market research and their historical sales figures. A true partnership both goes both ways. You don't come in and design a collection of over 200 pieces and just be like, Well you know what? Listen, if it works, it works. We wanted to hedge our bets to have some success and really hit the right tone design-wise, and they wanted to hedge their bets and hit the right practicality price point. So that merger was something that we took really seriously and were very, very open to feedback and they were very trusting and supportive of our creative process.
We know you're both vintage aficionados! Though we're sure you both get to scour the world's best flea markets, what are some of your favorite local spots for finding home treasures?
JB: We live for vintage furniture and accessories — Pasadena and Fair Oaks Avenue is one of our favorite places in the world.
NB: It's a game-changer.
JB: We are there more than we care to admit.
JB: Big Daddy's Antiques we love.
NB and JB: Galerie Half!
How does all of that vintage shopping translate to your design process, including with your Living Spaces line?
NB: A lot of the accessories and the things that you see [here at the preview] we're actually working on — things that are found objects — are things that Living Spaces is developing as accessories that people could [decorate with] similarly.
But we love old, we love things that have patina, we love things that have character. We love things that have had that sort of age quality that you cannot replicate with new. And then the idea of being able to pair that with new furniture and fresh, clean upholstery in a beautiful new bed is something that feels really right into us. That's the mix.
It's like you have the thick glass front bookcase. What do you put in it? And that's the fun stuff when you're out shopping with friends on the weekend or the flea markets.
We film all over California for Nate & Jeremiah by Design and we're never in one of these smaller towns in California without Googling, Where's Main Street? Where are the antique shops? Where's the vintage shops?
JB: God forbid we find one we've never been at.
NB: We were filming in Long Beach and we were like, This is so sick. How is it possible that we've not been down here?