Make your home a quarantine oasis with feel-good tips from design legend Nate Berkus

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Derek Arbogast
·4 min read
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Whether you own, rent, or just live in a house, you need to know about Nate Berkus. But who are we kidding? Of course you already know him from his many, many appearance on Oprah, which in turn led to his own daytime chat show. The superstar interior designer and head honcho at Nate Berkus Associates also has his name on a slew of great lifestyle and houseware products and is a prolific author.

Long story short: If it has to do with making your home a prettier, smarter, or comfier place, Berkus is the man with the plan. And now he's here to help when we need him most.

With the pandemic leaving us all in need of something — anything — to spruce up our abodes (and our moods), Berkus was kind enough to share some of his secrets for quality quarantine living.

Behr River Rock Grey Semi-Gloss Enamel Interior Paint & Primer

Slightly shiny...and very stylish. (Photo: Home Depot)
Slightly shiny...and very stylish. (Photo: Home Depot)

Step one: create soothing surroundings. Even the very walls of your living space can be subconsciously adding to your stress level, and who needs that?

“Here’s the thing," says Berkus, "We are all looking at our homes right now and thinking, How can we make it more relaxing?" The answer? "Neutral paint colors like alabaster, cream, pale greys, ivories, they just help shut out the noise outside.”

Berkus suggests Behr's River Rock Grey interior latex for a distinguished look for your hallway, bedroom, or study. Its semi-gloss finish adds light-reflection for spaces the sun doesn't reach and makes them extra easy to clean.

Shop it: River Rock Grey Semi-Gloss Enamel Interior Paint & Primer, $22, homedepot.com

Behr Aristocrat Ivory Matte Interior Paint & Primer

Walls of ivory are cool, calm, and classic. (Photo: Home Depot)
Walls of ivory are cool, calm, and classic. (Photo: Home Depot)

Prefer a flatter, brighter option? Behr's Aristocrat Ivory Matte paint and primer will class up just about any space.

Shop it: Behr Aristocrat Ivory Matte Interior Paint & Primer, $20, homedepot.com

Careyes Soy Candle from Jeremy Brent X Grove Co.

Rustic, restorative, and enlightening...in more ways than one (Photo: Grove Co.)
Rustic, restorative, and enlightening...in more ways than one (Photo: Grove Co.)

Full disclosure. The Careyes (car-AY-ess) candle is the creation of Berkus's fellow interior designer, and husband, Jeremy Brent. We heartily endorse this elegant accessory for its aromatic waft of vanilla, cinnamon bark, sweet mandarin, and dried thyme brings a delicious (also vegan and paraben- and cruelty-free) walk-in-the-woods vibe to any living space.

"It smells absolutely delicious," Berkus says. "It calms me down.”

Shop it: Careyes Soy Candle from Jeremy Brent X Grove Co., $20, grove.co

Mighty Bright Recharge Clip-On Light

Pamper your eyes while you're feeding your brain. (Photo: Amazon)
Pamper your eyes while you're feeding your brain. (Photo: Amazon)

For many people, the silver lining to pandemic living been rediscovering the joys of reading. Good on you! Now it's time to step up your game with Bright Light's mini-book light. That's what Berkus did:

“This has been a lifesaver for me through the pandemic. I use it every night to read in bed." And why not? Its 2-to-10-lumen range means you can adjust its brightness to your personal specifications. It lasts up to 60 hours on a charge (that's right, no running to the store for batteries; just plug in its USB cord for an hour and you're ready to go).

Oh, and it's focused beam will be a boom to your early-rising partner, or as Berkus puts it: "It illuminates your page, and doesn’t make anyone else in bed with you mad.” Comes in blue, green, lavender, purple, white, and black.

Shop it: Mighty Bright Recharge Clip-On Light, $24, amazon.com

Driftwell Enhanced Water Beverage

Yum. (Photo: Amazon)
Yum. (Photo: Amazon)

"There's a huge fad in functional beverages," Berkus explains, and he's opted for Driftwell's Enhanced Water Beverage, the superhero of thirst quenchers. It's got magnesium, a subtle blackberry-lavender flavor, and chlilaxing-promoting L'Theanine.

What's it not got? Sugar, calories, or carbonation. How's that for a refreshing change? "We are all super stressed lately," Berkus says. "so this is part of my relaxation ritual.”

Shop it: Driftwell Enhanced Water Beverage, $23 for ten cans, walmart.com

Anchor Hocking 0.5 Liter Glass Wine Carafe

Timeless, functional, and recyclable. We'll drink to that! (Photo: Amazon)
Timeless, functional, and recyclable. We'll drink to that! (Photo: Amazon)

“Anything that comes in a glass canister, don’t throw it away," Berkus says. Good advice, especially if you've got a piece that's as pleasing to the eye and classically functional as Anchor Hocking's vintage-looking half-liter wine carafe.

Use it to let your reds breathe before dinner or make your whites look pricier than they really are. Or do like Berkus and try it with that other life-sustaining elixir: "Recycle it and use it for fresh water on your night stand. I reach for it, like, five times a night.”

Shop it: Anchor Hocking 0.5 Liter Glass Wine Carafe, $13 for two, amazon.com

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