Nate Berkus: Things That Matter

I love design books, but am rarely surprised by them.  There tends to be a formulaic way they are put together and when you pick up one by a famous designer it tends to be a volume of their own work and reminders of how awesome they are.  But yesterday I got a preview copy of Nate Berkus’ new book, Things That Matter, and I have to tell you I not only love it, but am impressed, intrigued and yes, surprised!  It begins with Nate’s own life story- which is much more tumultuous and deep then I expected, and explains how he not only fell in love with design but his personal belief that homes should be filled with things that matter to you on a deeper level than just because they are pretty. This is something I tell my clients (and myself) all the time but it’s sometimes hard to stick to.  Immediate gratification tends to prevail and houses become full of things you only “like”, and sometimes only kind of like, just so you have something new.  Looking at this book might help get you back to focusing on waiting for what you love!

The chapters that follow explore the homes of not only some of Nate’s clients, but people whose homes he simply admires for their personal touches and personalities.  I love how the book is laid out, the graphic design and how each chapter not only delights with gorgeous pictures of homes designed in varying styles, but also tells the stories of the unique pieces as well as the lives of those people who inhabit them. It’s truly lovely. A design book you actually want to READ.

Here are a couple snaps to whet your appetites for the release date of October 16th….

Each lead page features a close up of an element in the person’s home as a background- love this.

The portraits of each homeowner also display a quote about them, their home or their thoughts on design.

There are some surprising people included (her house is SO chic, actually!)

And wait until you see ALL of Nate’s New York apartment…. DIIIIIIEEEEEEE.

His closet is like female porn.

And then I was shocked when I turned the page and saw this….

And then this!

THAT wallpaper is one of the vintage ones I sell in my Etsy shop from my parent’s barn!!!!! The original printmaker left a stock of it to my dad when he passed. I could not believe it. And now I’m thinking- well, hell- maybe I should wallpaper my powder room in it if Nate thinks it’s amazing! :)

I framed another vintage paper of mine (that we have since sold out of sadly) for a client’s bedroom in a very similar way! Glad Nate and I think similarly! :)


  1. I went to Schumachers website and it seems they have reissued this paper in some great new color ways!

  2. Thanks for letting us know how much you liked this book. I always love to find design books that are more than just pretty pictures — this sounds like it is right up my alley. Added to my Wishlist! ;-)

  3. Unfortunately one word for me is clutter, especially the fourth picture. Don’t need to fill in every space imo. I do have Nate’s gold and black lamp that I love from HSN. The wallpaper is beautiful and I think it would be lovely in your powder room.

  4. It’s actually a cool and useful piece of info. I’m happy that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  5. I’m a big fan of Nate’s design work and I’ve heard great things about the writing aspect of this book from other bloggers as well, so I’ll definitely be picking this up! Thanks for the detailed review, Erin!

  6. Whenever the new Fall books come out, there are usually two or three that I know I want. Then there are several that I’d like to “look inside” before I order them. This book fell into the latter category, but has now moved to the former! I’m off to order it from Amazon right now. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  7. One thing I love about Nate Berkus is that there’s so much soul in his work, not just the wow factor. It’s not something you see very often.

  8. So in the world of small worlds, I actually bought that wallpaper from your etsy shop, made it into framed panels, and sold them to Nate via my One Kings Lane sale! Who would have thought? Still love the paper… I vote you plaster it everywhere.


  9. Awesome! So excited to check out Nate’s book. PS – Would you be able to tell me the pale grey wall paint color in the last picture (of your client’s bedroom)? I’m looking for a very similar color for my new home. Thanks!

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