5 Ideas to Steal From Nate Berkus’s Kitchen Designs
Nate Berkus and his team at Nate Berkus Associates design beautiful kitchens—it’s just a fact. Recently, the designer has taken his talent for creating gorgeous culinary spaces one step further and embarked on the role of artistic adviser to LG Studio’s line of kitchen appliances so that now, even your oven, refrigerator, and dishwasher can have the Nate Berkus touch.
Berkus worked with the team at LG Studio to create a style guide based on what he feels is the quintessential American kitchen design. “I always veer away from trends,” the designer told us when we recently caught up with him. “So I’m not one to go after the technology that makes a countertop light up. For me, kitchen design is always about how you can make the room blend seamlessly into those around it. How is it layered? Does it feel assembled over time? And what are the elements that make it do that?” Excellent questions. Let’s take a look at some of Berkus’s gorgeous work to get some insight into how he creates these classic and timeless culinary spaces.
Not one to be constrained to an all-marble countertop with matching floors and backsplashes, Berkus’s designs incorporate a variety of materials from the cabinetry to the hardware and the countertops and appliances. Here, stainless steel countertops mingle with an antique stone floor and a marble backsplash. A statement pot rack of reclaimed wood and iron contrast with the sleeker components like chrome and leather counter stools, lending the space that assembled feeling the designer referenced above.
As seen here in the designer’s own kitchen in his previous New York residence, treating the center island as a piece of furniture and picking a beautiful item with a mix of materials and components gives the space a personal and unique feel. Even if your space is large enough for a built-in, permanent island, consider going with a different design or utilizing different materials to make the overall room feel collected and decorated. For example, if the rest of the kitchen has marble counters, select a wooden butcher block to top your island.
For a change of pace, Berkus will sometimes opt to paint kitchen cabinetry a classic, dark hue like a hunter green or deep navy. If the thought of going for a color in the kitchen makes you nervous, paint only the lower cabinets or island to ease into the look. In this space, blue subway tile creates another layer of visual interest.
Another way to make a utilitarian space feel more decorated and in line with your home’s other rooms? Install statement lighting. In this home, large-scale fixtures that may usually be reserved for a dining room or other over-table installations are instead treated as smaller-scale pendants. The resulting design is unique and impactful. Speaking of impactful, the below kitchen’s island is illuminated by not two or three but seven brass pendants, creating a showstopping effect.
“I love open shelving with accessories or woven baskets in a kitchen,” Berkus told us. Like the spaces seen here, incorporate decorative elements like baskets, accent lighting, and accessories into your kitchen’s design to enable the space to feel personal and lived-in.