"Our homes should tell our stories."
Nate Berkus, superstar decorator and design expert, father, husband, and TV host, was first introduced to home enthusiasts on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2002. Since then, he’s gone on to transform home interiors all over the globe, as well as for Ms. Winfrey herself. His innate design sensibility, whether it’s incorporating antique finds into personal spaces or carefully curating a healthy mix of timeless pieces with fresh, modern ones, is why homeowners have turned to him time and time again to renovate their homes.
So when we learned of his latest partnership with Delta Faucet and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum to create a cutting-edge faucet, we jumped at the chance to pick his brain on a range of topics about design, from the biggest mistake homeowners make when renovating, to reliving travel experiences through collecting. Of course, Berkus also shared why this new conceptual faucet is on track to change our experience with water as we know it.
There's a well-known quote about traveling: "Collect memories, not things." But, for Berkus, he’s been able to successfully integrate both in his design approach. It’s a singular philosophy, he explained to Southern Living, that has governed every decision he’s made in his own home or on behalf of his clients and guests on his TV shows.
"Our homes should tell our stories," Berkus said. "The way we do that is in the choices that we make about what we allow to cross our thresholds. With regards to travel, we’re the sum of everything we’ve seen and hope to see, and a really well-designed room feels layered and assembled over time. One of those layers should be the things that remind us of what we’ve seen and the places we’ve been."
When filling your home with precious treasures and lifelong memories reminiscent of your travels, Berkus said it’s important to "create an interior that is deeply personal." That sentiment goes for traditionalists at heart, too. Even if you're hesitant about blending disparate concepts, such as mixing vintage pieces with contemporary furniture, Berkus advised that it could elevate your interior without sacrificing your personal taste.
"Things take on a different energy when they’re combined with something that’s dissimilar," Berkus said. "In a traditional environment, by incorporating a modern lamp on a traditional chest of drawers, or by reaching for a single, modern chair, there’s something really interesting about playing things against their types. If your heart starts to sing when you look at a contemporary painting, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be incorporated in your home."
But in finding the elements that work for you, one concept you won’t see Berkus buying into anytime soon is the idea of following trends. As a matter of fact, the design expert is adamant about homeowners developing their own style instead of chasing trends.
"The biggest mistake that people make is that they’re very taken by what the newest information is or the last thing they’ve seen," Berkus said. "I think it’s much more important to take the time to really get to know your personal style—spend some time on Pinterest, find a balance that really defines your style, and stick to it."
"It’s really hard to shut out the noise of the color of the year or the latest backsplash tile," Berkus added. "But if it’s not something that really resonates with you, then forget the trend. The best interiors, to me, have always been the ones where people took risks and did something deeply personal."
Which is why his collaboration with Delta Faucet—a company dedicated to not only modern design, but also the experience its customers have with their products—is an expected one. In revolutionizing home design to embody the style of what’s forward and next, Berkus and Delta Faucet conceived the Delta Sphere faucet. The tech-savvy conceptual design is sure to deliver a spa-like serenity experience in the most intimate and relaxing area of the home: the bathroom.
In addition to the waterfall sound that will emanate from the Sphere faucet, it will also boast a simple, geometric shape with a thin, 3-D band that envelops the floating, cascading globe of water. And Berkus noted that the faucet could be instrumental for Southerners when hosting guests.
"I think the biggest job of a hostess is to make everyone feel comfortable, make them feel at ease, and make them feel like they’re warmly welcomed into your space—that’s just simply good manners," Berkus said. "But this faucet is just one example of how design can add to that experience."
WATCH: How to Balance Modern & Vintage Style in Your Home
The Delta Sphere concept was unveiled at Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum during National Design Week in October 2017. Though the design doesn’t have an official release date yet, there’s plenty of faucet inspiration to be found on Delta’s website.