Words Wednesdays: Nate Berkus

Well, this Words Wednesday is coming in under the wire, but Wednesdays are like that sometimes. Truthfully, my blogging has been a little behind this week because I spent my entire weekend curled up in my apartment reading The Things That Matter, the part-memoir, part-design book by style guru Nate Berkus. Let me just say, if you haven't read this book, go buy it right now. It is truly inspiring.

In the book Nate shares his story of growing up in Minnesota (Midwest holla!), moving to Paris, coming out to his family and surviving the horrific tsunami that took his partner in 2004. Who knew you could weep so many times while reading a design book. Well you can, and you will. But I promise it is absolutely worth it. 

As someone who has come face-to-face with some of life's hardest realities, Nate's design theory is simple. Life is short. Surround yourself with the things you love while you're here. 
"The truth is, things matter. They have to. They're what we live with and touch each and every day. They represent what we've seen, who we've loved, and where we hope to go next. They remind us of the good times and the rough patches, and everything in between that 's made us who we are." 
The book tours the homes of Nate's clients and friends. Each home is more unique than the next, and all are reflections of their owner's personalities and life experiences. I was especially touched by the home and story of Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a survivor of WWII and trailblazer long before Sex and the City. Her life has been so full of both tragic and incredible experiences and it is all reflected beautifully in her home.

a pillow in Dr. Ruth's apartment

The book reinforced for me how important it is to take time when creating your home. I have always been one to slowly add to any place I live (much to the chagrin of my fiancĂ© who thinks it would be great if "the whole apartment could be decorated by Sunday"). And trust me, I understand the desire for a place to look finished, I really do. But I also think that it takes time to find pieces that inspire and have meaning to you. Anyone can sit down, order out of a catalog and be done. But really, who wants to live in a catalog (aside from the little girl in Miracle on 34th Street)?* At the end of the day you want your home to be a reflection of you, and all of the experiences that have brought you to today. And Nate agrees with me. And I agree with Nate. And we both think you should go buy his book.


*Full Disclosure: I have no hard feelings against catalogs in general. In fact, I think you can get some lovely things delivered right to your door.