The designer couple couldn't resist the energy of New York City, and moved into a West Village townhouse after a brief stint in L.A.

By Hannah Chubb
April 15, 2020 08:15 AM
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Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent have vowed to never call a house their “forever home” ever again.

The married interior designers, who star on TLC’s Nate & Jeremiah by Design, have learned their lesson. They told Architectural Digest back in 2017 that the 9,000-square-foot property they purchased in Los Angeles a few years prior would be where they would plant their family’s roots — then packed up and moved back to New York City just two years later. (They sold it for a cool $11.4 million.)

“One thing I can promise you is that I will never again tell a publication that a house is my ‘forever home,” Berkus, 48, says, in a story about their newest place, a West Village townhouse, in the magazine’s May issue.

The design experts, who began dating and started their life together in New York, say they decided to move West after Berkus’s father died, to be closer to his family in Southern California. But the City of Angels just didn’t feel like home in the same way.

“I felt untethered in Los Angeles,” Brent, 35, says of their previous place. “It didn’t feel like us.”

Credit: Nicole Franzen

They missed the energy and diversity of New York, and thought it would be a better place to raise their two children, Poppy, 5, and Oskar, 2. “I realized that Poppy talked to the same 11 people every day,” Brent added of their routine L.A. life.

So, they found a beautiful 1899 townhouse and moved back East, but not before realizing they were going to have to do a serious purge of their belongings — a process Berkus says was at times, “painful.”

“Our old living room had 30 pieces of furniture,” Berkus explains. “This one has six! But what you see is the best that we’ve got.”

Credit: Nicole Franzen

One of the first things the pair installed in the new home was a massive, double-height bookshelf in the living room. It’s so heavy the top half had to be bolted to the wall. The shelves hold the family’s most prized tomes, photo frames and pieces of pottery.

“It’s my favorite of everything we did here,” Berkus says of the white-oak built-in. “It set the tone.”

Credit: Nicole Franzen

The home feels luxe yet cozy — something the designers say it did not convey when they first bought it. It had just been gutted and seemed a bit sterile to the couple. They worked together to add their own flair and “gave it some soul again,” says Brent.

They did so using decor that has stayed with the family from New York to L.A. and back again — including some picture frames that Berkus says have been in every home he has lived in for the past 15 years.

RELATED VIDEO: Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent Say Their Love Story was Love at First Sight

Credit: Architectural Digest

In all, they admit they don’t need as much space as they once thought, and having the city as their backyard — and playground — makes any sacrifice worth it.

In fact, Berkus says, what’s beyond their doors is truly the best part: “We just turn the doorknob and the whole city is right outside.”

To see more photos and read the full feature, pick up the May issue of Architectural Digest or visit archdigest.com.