Nate Berkus’ 10 Ways to Live Beautifully

This is the first post I will not be using my own material or pictures. After all, these posts are not only about what I do with my home, but what inspires me & what I find is useful information.

I watched this seminar when it first came out on the Oprah website in 2009 and had saved the images & tips as a guideline I have since often referred to over the years. I decided to share Nate’s 10 Ways to Live Beautifully with you in hopes that you will find them just as inspiring and practical to help you create the space of your dreams!

How to make your space beautiful for you:

What special place, era or object do you love that inspires you to decorate? – Once you figure out what you love, you know what to look for. For example, I loved Paris & the Eiffel Tower. Just BE CAREFUL.

Opt for a feel rather than a theme. Less is more. Theme decorating can be overwhelming and look like you went to one store, bought every Eiffel tower/Paris photograph in there and assembled the room in one day. Decorating 101 – it shouldn’t look like it took you one day!

This is one mistake I will admit to making. As a teen, I dreamed of going to Paris, almost everything I bought to decorate my first apartment was of the Eiffel Tower.

Instead, be original. Find pictures of Paris architecture, a photograph of a street full of houses taken from up top & frame those. Incorporate pieces that originate from France, like a chair – even the knockoff imitation from the big box stores. It will give you the same lines and the same feel. As far as the actual Eiffel Tower, one per room is more than enough!

Lets get started!

10 – Live Bold

A splash of color or pattern – an end table lacquered in raspberry, a leopard-print throw for the sofa – adds a bit of surprise to any spot in the house.

The best interiors are the ones that break the mold.



9 – Spring’s Bouquet

Fresh flowers – they’re not a luxury, they’re are a necessity.

Brighten your outlook. On your next grocery run, buy some tulips and put them in a vase by the kitchen sink. Doing the dishes won’t seem so drab anymore.




8 – All About the Details

If you touch it every day, it should be beautiful. From your cabinet knobs to your mail tray. My makeup brush holder is a glass Mason Jar. The details are what make your space not only beautiful, but special.

What’s hot, what’s not? It’s NOT about the trend, it’s about surrounding yourself with items that speak to you & that you love.




7 – Start Collecting

Whether it’s first-edition books, English teacups, or ceramic cows, a carefully assembled collection expresses your singular style. It tells the story of who you are.

Hang a collection of light fixtures, group a collection of perfume bottles on a nice tray… When you group them in an artful way, it makes it important.




6 – What’s on TV

Take the attention off the television. You don’t have to hide it in an armoire if you do use it everyday, but work with it and use the examples above to take the focus off of it. Put it in a bookshelf and surround it by books or mount it on a wall & surround it with picture frames.

This tip is what inspired me to put my steel gold sun behind my TV in my living room. Your focus is drawn to the sun instead of on the big black box.

Another tip: the bigger the TV, the harder it is to camouflage. Stick to a 32 incher or smaller for the living room. I know the men will fight me on this one, but that’s what a man cave’s for.




5 – Edit

Interior decorating takes time & upkeep to  make the room feel fresh. It’s like housework. You wouldn’t leave a pile of laundry on the floor for weeks, but you keep the same kick-knacks, the same pictures in picture frames for years.

One trick: take everything off of every surface, take it out of the room & put it back in a new place or even a new room.

Shop your house! I had this great glass ‘bowl’ that I really wanted on my kitchen table. I wanted it to be the first thing you see when you walk in. But, with the other items that were already there, like my fruit bowl, it lost its spark and didn’t feel special anymore. It looked like I just needed a surface to put it on. So I put it in my bathroom instead – I put some candles in & around it – now it has a home and a purpose. And it’s pretty to look at when I take bubble baths.




4 – Photographs

There’s something about creating a gallery wall, or having a shelf with pictures of your favorite people. Framed photographs are great. Pictures of your family, your friends, your dog, places you’ve traveled. Things that remind you of a special moment on a trip you took.




3 – Use the Good Stuff

What’s the point of spending so much money on your wedding china if you only use it twice a year? Use it everyday, burn your candles! It’s the little things that make your day special and beautiful.




2 – Get Good Sheets

Buy yourself the nicest sheets you can afford. You’ll be happy you did when you get to sleep in!

Quick tip: Thread count is a lie! The quality of the cotton and the quality of the weave matter just as much.




1 – Art

No home is complete without it. Don’t buy things that mean nothing to you only to fill your walls. Find original artwork that make you smile. Go to your local art school for original art that costs way less.

Be original with what you put in your frames. It can be a page from a book, a handwritten note from a loved one, frame a collection in a shadowbox, frame your Kid’s artwork. Frame what is interesting to you. Then go to Ikea and get inexpensive frames.

Next, figure out how you want to hang your art. Go through magazines and rip out the pages with artfully hung picture galleries. When you’re ready to hang that gallery above your sofa, take out the page & recreate it.

I hope you found these guidelines as helpful as I did! Check out the full video of Nate’s seminar 10 Ways to Live Beautifully.

Comment below the tips or guidelines you follow when putting together a room.


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