Design Tips From Bobby Berk

By The Washington Post

Designer Bobby Berk, one of the Fab Five on Netflix hit show “Queer Eye,” joins Jura Koncius for a Q&A in an online chat. Here are his answers and tips to a few home design questions.

Where do you live and can you tell us about your own place?

I live in a 115-year-old historic building in downtown Los Angeles. It’s a very open and bright space with massive 115-year-old windows (gorgeous, but no sound barrier at all). I’ve mixed a bit of modern and mid-century modern into the space. It’s pretty minimal, though, which is why my husband and I like it!


What’s your favourite white paint colour?

Chantilly Lace, by Benjamin Moore.


Which was your favourite makeover on the first season of “Queer Eye” and why?

It’s really hard for me to pick just one. My top three though are Neil (Episode 2), AJ (Episode 4) and Remy (Episode 6). All three encompass more of my personal aesthetic, which is why I think I like them the most.


What are your thoughts and feelings about painting walls, closet doors and moldings the same colour, with the goal of making short walls look taller and low ceilings look higher? Does that look work or is it just boring?

I love a good monochromatic moment with doors and walls. I think it looks great!


Do you have any ideas for styling the perfect coffee table?

I’m a big fan of stacking large books coupled with things with some good height.


Why is it almost cheaper to buy a new sofa than recover an old one?

The biggest cost in making a sofa is the labour and time, thus why recovering one costs almost just as much as a new one.


What apartment upgrades are you a fan of?

I’ve switched out lots of things over the years in apartments. Lighting is a good way to change the look of a place without spending much. A little paint can go a long way in changing the look of a space as well. Or you can slap up some removable wallpaper from Tempaper.


I live in a small one-bedroom with my wonderful boyfriend and I’ve done an OK job of decorating so far, but I hate clutter. What are your favourite ways to de-clutter and minimise in a small space?

I try to use furniture that has multiple uses – for example, using multiple storage cubes as coffee tables that can be used as storage for stuff as well as extra seating if needed.


Have you decorated any celebrity homes or helped any of the other Fab Five members with their interiors?

I designed actress Tiffani Theissen’s home for the holidays a few years back. Since the show I haven’t had a lot of extra time on my hands to help the other Fab members with their places, but I know that Karamo [Brown] and JVN [Jonathan van Ness] were both inspired during the season to come home and change up the look of their places and took a lot of inspiration from the spaces I did during the season.


Featured Image: Deborah Cortelazzi, Unsplash