Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent's Best Tips for Curating Your First Married Home
The married couple and design partners share how to meld your respective styles—without conflict.
Married interior design gurus Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent understand the challenges that arise when two people who love each other—but have two distinct styles—attempt to design a home together. This awareness is born out of personal experience. "Nate is a trove of historical design information—he can tell you about every designer," Jeremiah tells Martha Stewart Weddings of Nate's traditional, referential approach to design. "I prefer cleaner, sleeker lines; think French '50s."
They've spent their seven-year-long relationship finding the middle ground between the two, the culmination of which is their newest joint collection for Living Spaces. "If we can raise children together, we can design furniture together," Jeremiah jokes of the challenges that come from creating cohesive pieces based on two divergent perspectives. Take one look at the collection—a curated selection of versatile, neutral, and affordable pieces that meld with a myriad of styles—and you'll discover that this is obviously true ("We're lucky that we saw these pieces similarly," adds Nate). Ahead, the couple shares several ways to achieve a mutual aesthetic. These tips that will undoubtedly come in handy as you and your partner create your first space, one that's reflective of both your personalities, however different they are.
If you hate a piece of furniture, color, or fabric, it's automatically out.
Nate says this is the most important rule to follow if you want to design a space that you both feel at home in: "If you absolutely hate something, it has to be out," he explains. "But you also have to be prepared for it to go the other way around; if your partner hates something you love, you have to be ready to let it go." (For this duo, it was floral bedding, which Nate has always had and loved but was something Jeremiah just couldn't live with.)
Get real about what actually matters.
"People, pets, stuff," says Nate of the priority list he lives by. At the end of the day, you are partners first—everything else (except your fur child, if you have one!) comes second. Keeping this trio in mind is particular useful when you're working through disagreements over color palettes or furniture decisions—both of which are trivial compared to the incredible reality that you've found someone to build a life (not just a home!) with.
Your married home shouldn't look like your bachelor or bachelorette pad.
Jeremiah notes that your single space—the home that you curated as a party of one—shouldn't necessarily inform the space you share with your partner. In fact, the home you make together should look and feel entirely different. "It's not just you anymore," he says. "The space you create together shouldn't look like your old one. It needs to reflect who you are together."
Start with one piece—and build from there.
If you're struggling to find a (stress-free) way into establishing your mutual aesthetic, it's important to get granular, adds the couple. "Start with one piece and build from there," says Jeremiah of a tried-and-true entry point. We actually watched the couple practice this in real time: Nate pointed over to one of the duo's collection's new chairs, pictured above, noting that that the piece ("Or four," agreed his husband) would be the perfect addition to their new Montauk beach house's ("It's going to be a relaxed place, a sand-on-the-floor type of thing," says Jeremiah) living room.