Nate Berkus

Host, American Dream Builders; Interior Designer; Author. New York

Given that we rummage through the depths of homes and closets on a regular basis, lets just say we've become accustomed to a particular, shall we say, point of view. From that schlubby sweatshirt they've had since high school (and has since been snapped by Tommy Ton when paired with a leather pencil skirt from The Row) to the first piece of big girl jewelry they bought after a major promotion, it's like seeing the culmination of someone's sartorial journey. That said, as we got to thinking about the other side of that story—you know, the process behind finding all that rare CHANEL and vintage bling—and so we called on the ultimate expert. You know you're in good hands when you're with a man who is permanently on the hunt for that perfect little something for the likes of Oprah, right? Yes, we’re talking about Nate Berkus.

As it turns out, Berkus—king of accessible-yet-directional interior design—loves nothing more than a good Sunday afternoon flea market outing. We’ve always wanted to know exactly how one should navigate those things, ‘cause it just doesn’t get much more overwhelming—or, we guess, ripe for potential treasure hunting—than the Showplace Antique and Design Center in Chelsea. But with Berkus as our guide (he calls the place his own “personal sanctuary,” after all), we figured we’d be in good hands.

Let's just say this man knows how to shop—which is probably the speediest way to our hearts. And home décor was just the beginning (and, like, after finding those ‘70s lighting fixtures and leather club chairs, we already felt like we’d won something). But no, Berkus has an eye for those special wow pieces too. We guess we should have clued in when he showed up wearing royal blue, pony hair Céline slip-ons, but it was when he spotted that multicolored monogrammed fur Louis Vuitton, we kind of knew we were soulmates. And can we all just collectively sigh over the fact that he’s spent hours over bins of vintage jewelry in search the most perfect earrings for his baby sister? All together now: Awwwww. But our day was officially made (and Berkus’ was too, we’re guessing) when he landed on his dream watch, which he promptly purchased in celebration of the premier of his new show, appropriately titled American Dream Builders. Let’s just say that after this, we’ve submitted our audition tape. We mean, we’ve learned from the master.

P.S. There’s plenty more where this came from in Paper Mag’s May issue, which, wouldn’t you know it, is on newsstands know. Get it! And stay tuned for more Paper-y surprises coming soon to a Cov near you.


Photography: Jake Rosenberg
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