As expected, Bobby Berk started off season four of Queer Eye with a bang. When tasked with completely revamping hero Kathi Dooley’s teacher’s lounge in the season four premiere, the 36-year-old Fab Five design expert went for an Americana vibe with a cozy palette. Berk chatted with PureWow about his experience working on the space and revealed exclusive details about the project that we can totally apply to our home design efforts.
When Berk first entered the Quincy Senior High teacher’s lounge, he was struck by the fact there was “nothing loungy about it.”
As you can see above, Berk said, “It had a couple of folding tables and chairs and it just wasn’t a relaxing place. So I really wanted to make sure I brought in nice healing colors and warm tones that would make it more of a lounge, which is what it should be.”
Berk, who recently launched his new lifestyle website BobbyBerk.com said his goal was to create a space where teachers could come relax, eat lunch and watch TV. So, he set about completely redecorating the space with items from A.R.T. Furniture, a company that he recently collaborated with on a new collection with.
What he created was a relaxing space with sections that fit each need of the people who would be using it the most: educators. We couldn’t help but wonder how Berk made the large open space and all its different sections feel cohesive and flow so seamlessly. He simply answered, “When you have a big space like that, the key is making sure everything coordinates well together.” In this case, all the colors and textures were in the same family and meshed harmoniously.
Berk was quick to note that the Quincy High project was surprisingly “one of our least [stressful] projects because it was all about the décor.” Many other Queer Eye transformations require Berk to oversee large construction projects. Not this one.
There was one small happy surprise that Berk recalled, however. “I thought, when I initially saw a picture that I wanted to get rid of all of [the wood paneled walls]. I was surprised when I got there that the retro ’70s wood was able to blend so beautifully with what we did. So, it just kind of goes to show that you don’t always have to get rid of all the old to make something new again. You can marry the old with the new and it looks completely different.”
He and his team painted the wood paneling in different hues (blue, brown and black), which made for a beautifully blended aesthetic.
He christened the space “The Dooley Den” with a little gold plaque that sits between two fiddle-leaf fig trees.
But his favorite part of the whole space was the framed TV.
“I absolutely love [framed TVs] because I’m not a fan of having huge TVs on the wall.”
Framed TVs, blending the old and the new and lots of throw pillows. That, folks, is how you transform a space from drab to fab.