Bravely Embracing Your Style

Bravely Embracing Your Style

The other day a client of ours in Paradise Valley, AZ and I were discussing and narrowing down her personal design style, which is not just about her likes and what we can do but ultimately also about what she is brave enough to do.

While we were chatting, she mentioned that she had seen pictures of Nate Berkus' own home and said she was surprised, or blown away rather, at how different it was from what she would have expected based on how he designs his clients' spaces. She normally loves his designs, but his own home wasn't necessarily her style and was just completely unexpected to her. Clearly those thoughts occupied her for a little while longer, as later in the day she emailed me some pictures of his home, specifically his bathroom and his daughter's bedroom. 

Nate Berkus' master bathroom via  Architectural Digest

Nate Berkus' master bathroom via Architectural Digest

Bold shower tiles via  Architectural Digest

Bold shower tiles via Architectural Digest

Master bedroom via  Architectural Digest

Master bedroom via Architectural Digest

The nursery via  Architectural Digest

The nursery via Architectural Digest

Looking at the pictures, I have to say I am not surprised. As a designer we sometimes struggle with braveness as well. Are we pushing a client too far out of her comfort zone? Are we pushing enough? It's finding the fine line of giving our clients the confidence to do something they could not have done on their own while at the same time having their back to make sure they end up with something they will 100% love! And as everyone knows, mistakes in remodeling or decorating your home can be expensive which is why you want to hire a professional to begin with.

Now when it comes to our own homes, we could easily become our own nightmare client. Having access to and knowing about all of these unique, custom and "to the trade" sources only, our choices are exponentially bigger than those of the average person. We like more than one style and ultimately, unless it is our forever home, we need to think about longterm resale value before doing anything too crazy or taste specific, just as our clients do. While most of the time we totally "see" our client's personal style, whether they know it yet or not, our own likes are a little bit more all over the place.

So back to Nate and his bathroom and his daughter's room. I think it suits him. The black and white tiles in his shower would be a very tough sell to 99.9% of our clients. As clean as the color palette is, it definitely takes courage to install this pattern. His daughter's room is a whimsical version of his very clean, modern, abstract and eclectic approach. He added more textures in order to avoid the room being too sterile. He uses classic elements and colors but in a one-of-a-kind way. The bottom line? He truly designed for himself and his family. Not caring about trends and certainly not being "safe."

I'd say well done, Nate! And to our client in Paradise Valley? Let's do it! Sophisticated Spanish with rustic and wood elements for "her" combined with "his" modern taste and their modern home.