Nate Berkus Associates

Low-key, judiciously employed glamour — a crystal chandelier, an elaborately tufted custom sectional, an antique breakfront — elevates interiors whose vibe is essentially light and livable, telegraphing elegance and ease in equal measure.

All photos by Heather Talbert

Some designers seem to arrive on the scene already endowed with a certain knack. Nate Berkus, for instance, is a natural when it comes to layering — the art of building warmth and character in a space through the play of line, form, color, texture and provenance. And he’s lucky to share this talent with his partner, Lauren Buxbaum Gordon. In Gordon’s own Chicago living room, “the lines of each piece help make the space feel collected over time,” says Berkus. While a few items are family heirlooms, the leather daybed is a 1stDibs find, and the mirror, oak chest and coffee table are all from Antiques on Old Plank Road, which happens to be run by Gordon’s parents. For Gordon, the terracotta pieces are what make the antique furniture sing. “As Nate likes to say, ‘They take it down a notch.’ ”

“The small marble plaque hanging under the sconce is one of my favorite pieces,” says Lauren Buxbaum Gordon. “I dragged my extremely patient husband through countless little dusty antiques stores in Buenos Aires before I found it, and it was love at first sight. Every time we move, it hangs in a place of importance.”

Design philosophy?

“A successful room feels both layered and lived in, even before the client has moved in. Our design firm focuses on creating warm, inviting spaces that incorporate a mix of styles and pieces with original patina — so that everything feels interesting and ultimately tells a story.”

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