Nobody can style a room quite like Bobby Berk. Audiences fell in love with his work on Netflix’s Queer Eye, where he’s known for creative yet practical approaches to home design, and when it comes to holiday entertaining, that same philosophy rings true. 

He’s proven that DIY doesn’t have to be shabby, and creating a cohesive design scheme a budget can still turn out thoughtful, creative, and curated. We talked to the interior designer on his decor plans for the upcoming holiday season, as well as his best-kept tips. 

Your designs are known for being warm, inviting, and livable. For anyone who is looking to create more warmth in their home, what would you most recommend? 

Adding warmth to your space is really as simple as choosing the right colors and materials. Using shades of cream, tan, camel, terracotta, or rust as your paint color or in furnishings will definitely bring in a lot of warmth. Soft materials and textures, like pillows, throws, or natural woven items also create a real sense of coziness.

Design by Michelle Salz-Smith; Photography by Jenni Corti

What are your favorite DIY ways to elevate a space?

My no. 1 DIY home project would have to be switching out your light fixtures. Changing lighting can make such a huge difference in a room, and add a more beautiful and functional piece to your space. Plus, it’s not nearly as difficult as many people think. I also think swapping out the hardware on your kitchen cabinets or bathroom vanity is a super easy DIY that can really give a piece a whole new look.

Design and Photography by Jessica D'Itri Marés

Are there any DIY projects you feel are better left to the professionals?

Any project that involves a specialized task like plumbing, tile, or construction is probably best left to a professional. You don’t want to end up with a non-functional sink or half-finished tile job and then scramble to find someone to finish it! When in doubt, source it out.

Design by Anne Sage; Photography be Elizabeth Messina

Not too long ago, you actually remodeled your parent’s home. What’s the first thing you do when renovating a space for someone else?

Every project starts with a conversation with the client. I want to know how they live, what they love, and what they are looking for in their new space [to really] get a sense of who they are and how they will be utilizing their home. For my parents’ remodel, it was about adding a whole lot of functionality and modernizing the home by reworking the layout to better suit their needs. We took a bunch of chopped up rooms and turned it into one large room which was much better for their current needs.

White and gray kitchen with marble backsplash

Design by Sarah Sherman Samuel; Photography by Raquel Langworthy

Many people are hosting family this year and some for the first time. What are your tips for throwing a great family holiday get-together?

Preparation is really key for any get-together. I like to have as many things ready ahead of time as possible. With the food prepped, batches of cocktails made, and the table set in advance, you can actually enjoy time with your guests without stressing about all the details. It can also be a stressful time of year with or without gatherings so don’t feel like you need to overdo it and overwhelm yourself. The holidays should be fun and low-key, just having people over to enjoy one another’s company is enough.

Design by Jennifer Chused; Photography by Sarah Elliott

Are there any holiday traditions you continue to do? Any secret recipes we can borrow to impress grandma?

I don’t know if it’s a tradition but my husband, Dewey, has perfected the “holiday yuletide log” cake and has made it a few years in a row now. It’s a fun activity for both of us in the kitchen, and while I am a better designer than I am a chef, I do love being in the kitchen with him and cooking up something sweet for the holidays. 

Design and Photography by Sarah Reed

After 2020, we’re all ready for a big holiday shindig. Do you have any entertaining or design tips for those hosting a Christmas or New Year’s Eve party in their home?

I’m a big proponent of focusing on not just how a space looks, but how it feels. Since New Year’s Eve, in particular, is a total celebration, you want your space to really feel festive. Good lighting is always a must, so dimming the lights or adding lots of candles always sets the scene. You also need a great playlist to get people in the party mood. I also advise setting up a bar away from the kitchen to keep guests from congregating there and improve the flow.

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