Don't Make These Mistakes When Renovating Your Kitchen, Says Nate Berkus


Courtesy of Nate Berkus

Thanks to a new TV show launching this fall on TLC, the renovation of his new home in Los Angeles, and his new role as artistic adviser at LG Studio—interior designer and TV personality Nate Berkus has been spending a lot of time thinking about kitchens lately. Berkus, who has over 20 years of experience in interior design, has become somewhat of a kitchen whisperer, often working with an expert mix of materials, timeless designs, and high function. Case in point: His last kitchen in his old Greenwich Village apartment is essentially the holy grail of New York kitchens, mixing a solid brass island with marble top, black lacquered cabinets, subway tile, and a vaulted skylight looking out onto the city skyline.

His new Los Angeles kitchen promises to be just as good: “Our new house in Los Angeles is going to have a white stone top on the island and a matte black stone on the periphery of the kitchen—and I love those things together. The island will be sort of a chalky gray color and the cabinetry will be painted putty.” And while we can hardly wait to see the result of his latest design endeavor, we can at least pick his brains on what it takes to craft the perfect kitchen and what mistakes to avoid at all costs. Renovating anytime soon? You’ll want to take note from this design guru. 

Have a Proper Plan in Place



Courtesy of Studio McGee

“Before you pick up a hammer, you need to have a proper plan in place,” says Berkus. “You need to take the time to bring in the contractor, bring in the painter, bring in the plumber, and really figure out what an accurate budget for the labor will be, and then you get to start making the fun decisions about what finishes you get to put in.”

Popular renovating TV shows may have something to do with people's skewed expectations about renovating, he adds. “The mistake that people make is that they watch design on TV and they think Oh, I can do this myself in a weekend. And so all of a sudden, they start ripping up their cabinetry and pulling out their appliances, and they find themselves not only overwhelmed, but having to pay more than they would have originally if they brought the proper people in to fit the job.”