Last week was the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market at AmericasMart, which meant thousands of buyers and designers flocked to downtown Atlanta to place orders on everything from art and antiques to accessories and furniture. Guest speakers included Martha Stewart and Arianna Huffington, but some of our best takeaways came from design guru Jeremiah Brent. California– and New York–based Brent is married to designer Nate Berkus, and the duo and their two young children star in the reality show Nate and Jeremiah by Design.
After appearing in a panel on men’s fashion and decor alongside local experts Sid Mashburn and Justin Q. Williams, Brent sat down with us and outlined a few key design tips and trends to remember.
1. Getting a stylish house doesn’t have to mean spending a fortune. For good quality bargains, Brent’s go-tos are West Elm, Living Spaces (a West Coast brand that Atlantans can shop online), and Chairish for affordable antiques.
2. Small changes make a big difference. “Adding throws or blankets that have great texture over the back of a sofa adds some interesting personality really quickly and will visually change the room,” says Brent. Other quick fixes to freshen up a space include changing out throw pillows, lighting, and side tables.
3. For Brent, Lucite is out and wicker is in. “I just think Lucite can look really dirty,” he says. But wicker can add texture to any aesthetic. “You don’t need a whole wicker headboard,” he says. “Even just a wicker bowl can do the trick.”
4. The key to a special space is making it yours. This could mean art, accessories, or something Brent calls “moments.” One question he asks every client: “What are your small, personal rituals or ceremonies?” For one client, it was morning coffee. So the designer created her a quiet corner to relax with a mug and have a peaceful start to her day.
5. Curate your kids’ spaces. “If Poppy had her way, her room would be pink and flammable. Every synthetic material imaginable,” laughs Brent. He and Berkus designed their daughter Poppy’s room, but gave her select options to choose from so that she would have ownership of the space. “Her room will be what she wants it to be—if it’s within reason—because we believe that spaces should be an extension of yourself,” says Brent. His quick fix for kids clutter? “Lots and lots of baskets.”