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The Things That Matter [Hardcover]

Nate Berkus
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 16 2012
Does your home tell the story of who you are?
In The Things That Matter, Nate Berkus shares intimate stories from his life, introduces us to people who influenced him and helped him forge his sense of style, and opens up about the remarkable experiences that have left him forever changed, all of which find expression in how he lives today. From his most cherished flea market finds, to his beloved books and photos, to the many extraordinary mementos he’s collected in his travels, every piece defines who he’s become and what endures in his world.
Berkus invites readers into his own home as well as into twelve others, including a sleek steel-and-glass high-rise that soars above Chicago, a rustic cottage in the Hudson Valley, an ultra-chic atelier that maximizes every inch of space, a Greenwich Village townhouse that holds multiple art collections, and a study in meaningful minimalism in Marfa, Texas. The distinctive interiors beautifully displayed in this book offer revealing portraits of their owners’ lives and the inspiring choices that have made them who they are today.
The Things That Matter convincingly lays out Nate Berkus’s philosophy that things do matter. Our homes tell our stories, they reflect the places we’ve been and the people we’ve loved along the way—and there can be no more beautiful design for living than that.


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The Things That Matter + The Collected Home: Rooms with Style, Grace, and History
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Product Description

About the Author

Nate Berkus is founder of the interior design firm Nate Berkus Associates. For two years he was the host of The Nate Berkus Show, an Emmy Award–winning, nationally syndicated daytime talk show. His work has appeared in Elle Decor, O: The Oprah Magazine, InStyle, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and House Beautiful. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Home Rules. He lives in New York City.
Roger Davies arrived in New York at the age of twenty-two, after studying photography and film in England. His work has taken him around the world and inside some of the most amazing interiors imaginable. His photographs have graced the pages of Architectural Digest, AD (France), Conde Nast Traveler, Harpers Bazaar UK, and Elle Decor. He lives in Laurel Canyon, California, with his wife and son.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous book June 1 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Although I originally bought this book as a Mother's Day gift for my wife, and, thinking it to be a book about Nate, we both soon found out that it's actually his look at the various decorative lifestyles of people he knows. Nevertheless, it's a fascinating journey into their homes, and is lavishly illustrated with hundreds of pictures. Well worth it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars more than i expected June 4 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
nate's book is more than a decorating book. the title is very appropriate. it's a very personal memoir of him and the people in the book. enjoyed it very much.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  187 reviews
88 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nate Burkus Inspires You to Tell a Story Through the Things in Your Home Oct. 3 2012
By Terri J. Rice - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This book made me pull out the silhouettes that my mom had done of each of us four children over forty years ago and find a place for them on my wall, it made me root out the iron bulldog bank my grandmother gave me and place it on a tray with two brass candle sticks(wedding gift of 33 years ago)- also ferreted out of a closet to sit with the dog on the tray.

"As I've said over and over again, our homes should tell the stories of who we are. Not who our decorator is. Not who our friends sometimes think we should be, not who our family occasionally wishes we would be,and not who any number of style magazines tell us we must be."

Nate Berkus begins by telling us who he is, where he grew up, what life was like for him as a kid in Minnesota and then a boarding student in Massachusetts, then on to college and his favorite and life-changing year of college in Paris. The telling of his life throughout the book is what takes it from a clever book to a poignant beautifully photographed and inspiring story. He tells of the death of his partner, Fernando Bengoechea, when the two of them were in Sri Lanka as a tsunami hit and swept them into the swirling ebbing and flowing flood. Berkus lived; Bengoechea perished.

As he walks us through the treasures of his house, he tells why the things he has mean so much to him.

Nate Berkus then walks us through some funky, fun homes of people: Brian Sawyer, Barri Leiner Grant, Kelly Framel, Stever Berg, Dr. Ruth Westheimer- as in the sex doctor- Barbara Hill. Thirteen in all.

Barri Leiner Grant loves sea shells. She's a hunter gatherer of the "smalls;" she could care less about the big stuff. Above her living room mantel, she has hung a simply framed chalkboard that her two daughters are welcome to draw on as the mood hits.

The photos are fantastic for inspiration, the stories are fascinating. Some of the homes are austere, like Barbara Cusack's.

Nate Berkus chose the title of this book- The Things That Matter- "because if it is about nothing else, it's about how the prints on our wall and the rough-hewn rocks we swiped from the Marfa farmer's market give our everyday lives shape, texture, and a sense of who we are, who we've been, and where we may be heading."

This is much more than a coffee table book; it is full of inspiring stories, little bits and pieces in the homes of people that remind them of and tell a story. And it is about making these things tell a great story in your home. You can see how Nate Berkus helped my home tell a story: pinkpeppersDOTcom/2012/10/08/the-things-that-matter/
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than a coffee table book Nov. 3 2012
By Kathy - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I honestly thought I was just going to skim though this book looking at the photos of other people's houses, which I love to do in magazines, but I actually ended up reading the book because it was so interesting. The photos in the book were beautiful, but the book is much more than that. We learn so much about Nate's life, which is very interesting, yet he's really relatable. Then, we learn about the lives of 12 other people (the only one I knew of was Dr. Ruth) through the decorating Nate does of their homes. The book reminds us that that the things we have in our homes should be things we love, not just for show and, like the people in the book, tell a little bit of a story about ourselves. There is much more writing in the book than photography, so I'm not sure if this book would be super helpful in looking for decorating ideas, but it's definitely worth looking into for the stories.
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love. Nov. 2 2012
By Ladybug - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I was sent a copy of this book to review as part of the Amazon Vine program. Unfortunately, the copy was really bad--all black and white, and not even printed evenly so that it was barely legible in some places. I decided, for a book like this, I wanted to see it in person. So I went to Barnes and Noble and bought it, fully intending to return in after I was finished reviewing it. (Sorry B & N.)

First, this book is really beautiful. The pictures are crisp but also dreamy. The variety of homes photographed is amazing. From a very minimalist (yet warm!) family-sized home, to a one-bedroom, teeny-tiny apartment in New York, to very unique, extremely small backyard cottage, there is something for everyone in here.

Second, the stories of the individuals or couples featured in this book are really wonderful--Berkus's included. (His account of losing his boyfriend, Fernando, in a tsunami was extremely moving.) I loved looking at all the pictures, sure, but the meaning behind the unique trinkets and headboards and lamps and bookcases really made the photos special.

I also liked that Berkus addressed the issue of "things." I was worried that this book was going to push the idea that your entire identity is wrapped up in the crap you buy and fill your house with. But he doesn't. His approach is pretty common sense, actually. He says:

"I think people sometimes confuse loving things with being materialistic, or grasping, or lusting after things that tell the world who you are. But to me, surrounding yourself with the things you love has nothing to do with impressing other people or gaining status...For me, the most successful interiors in the world are put together by people who surround themselves with objects that bring them joy, and make them feel really at home."

And then, Berkus follows through with this concept and features a couple of minimalistic living spaces that are BEAUTIFUL.

Overall, this is a wonderful book. And even though I intended to return it, I decided not to. It's that good.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DESIGN WITH HEART! Nov. 2 2012
By R. Heitman - Published on
I have been a Nate Berkus fan from the instant I saw him on the Oprah show years ago. Not only is Nate a talented designer, but he has one of the kindest hearts around. His daily talk show debuted on the day of my first radiation treatment for breast cancer and it was something positive to look forward to after these awful treatments were over for the day. Needless to say, I was anxious for this book to reach my local book store. As others have described in these reviews, the heart-felt tribute to Fernando, his life partner who perished in the tsunami of 2004 in Sri Lanka, was deeply touching, as was the background on his early life and family. Nate is open about everything and after reading his story and seeing his home, you walk away feeling as if you know him personally. From a design standpoint, I love Nate's philosophy that our homes should tell our story with things we accumulate over the years that are significant of a magical time we had or remind us of those we love.

I have a vast library of design books, but this one has made it to the top of my list of favorites. It is so uncommon to open a book on interior design and feel a tug at your heart-strings. The photography is well done and the accompanying stories for each home profiled are entertaining and fun to read. I thoroughly enjoyed this book...from cover to cover. Nate Berkus is a class act...and not bad on the eyes either!!!!
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just another decorating book Jan. 7 2013
By K. B. Fenner - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
The best part of this book is Berkus's memoir of how he became a top decorator and a tragedy that befell him. The rest of the book, though, still has photos unlike those in most other decorating books, including Berkus's first, rather pedestrian, book. You see homes big and small, full of interesting items, creatively and tastefully displayed, in a variety of styles. The rooms do not look overly styled; they look like someone actually lives in them, and lives well. It made me go out and check out a local antiques and collectibles market, even though I favor fairly minimalist interiors. If you want ideas on how to have your "stuff" out and around you without looking like you are auditioning for Hoarders, this is for you!
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