15 Things You Didn’t Know About Nate Berkus

The story behind his son's name is so touching.

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Nate Berkus has been a fixture on daytime TV since he first appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show way back in 2002. His home decor empire has only grown since, and these days, the interior designer is giving fans an inside look at his life (and growing family!) on Nate and Jeremiah By Design. Before you start watching season two, here are 15 little-known facts about the Emmy Award-winning talk show host and designer.

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1 He's a born and (sort of) bred Californian.

Guys, this is why I love California: it's November, the sun is shining and I'm wearing a T-shirt. Oh, and it's Friday! #NateBerkus

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Nathan Jay Berkus was born in Orange County, California on September 17, 1971. He grew up largely in Minneapolis, but moved back to the Golden State as an adult — Berkus and his family now live in West Hollywood.

2 He went to boarding school.

Welcome one and all! 🐧🤚☀️ #winterfamilyweekend #boardingschoollife

A post d by Cushing Academy 🐧 (@cushingacademy) on

Berkus spent his senior year at the prestigious Cushing Academy in Massachusetts, which counts Bette Davis as another famous alum. While at Cushing, he participated in school plays, was part of Model UN, and worked on the school newspaper.

3 Interior design was always the goal.

Every inch of this full-floor condo in Chicago was designed by #NateBerkusAssociates with family and entertaining in mind. Featured on the cover of @cschicagosocial 📷 by: @wrsphoto. #modluxinteriorschicago. Link in profile to more photos.

A post d by Nate Berkus (@nateberkus) on

Berkus started designing as a child, helping his mom redecorate their family living room and spending his allowance on decorations for his bedroom. After high school, he interned in Paris at Dominique Aurientis, where he developed his love of decor and furniture.

4 He went to college outside Chicago.

Friendly reminder of our 🍁FALL PHOTO CONTEST🍁WINNER gets a $20 gift card to the bookstore! direct message @lakeforestcollege your best fall photo of campus!

A post d by Lake Forest College (@lakeforestcollege) on

In 1994, Berkus graduated from Lake Forest College, a private liberal arts school 30 minutes north of Chicago. He earned a bachelor's degree in French and Sociology.

5 He wasted no time getting started in the design world.

When it comes to kitchen hardware, I'm drawn to things with age and patina. #NateBerkus

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While many post-grads wander a bit after college, Berkus got moving on his design empire. He opened his firm, Nate Berkus Associates, in 1995, and has been designing ever since.

6 The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Out with mom Pre oscars @jeremiahbrent @gemfields photo credit @gettyimages

A post d by Nate Berkus (@nateberkus) on

Berkus' creative and entrepreneurial skills make sense — his mother is designer Nancy Golden from the HGTV and DIY networks, and his dad co-founded the National Sports Collectors Convention.

7 He survived a tragedy.

Big sister game on point☝🏼

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Berkus was vacationing in Sri Lanka with his then-boyfriend, Fernando Bengoechea, when the 2005 tsunami hit. While Berkus survived, his partner tragically did not. Berkus recently honored Bengoechea by giving his son Fernando's middle name.

8 He's been married for four years.

#Repost @jeremiahbrent ・・・ Today love wins. Humanity wins. #americasvictory #LoveWins

A post d by Nate Berkus (@nateberkus) on

Berkus married Jeremiah Brent, who is also an interior designer and TV personality, at the New York Public Library in May 2014. Brent and Berkus made history as the first same-sex couple to marry there, PEOPLE reported. In a 2016 interview, Berkus credited Brent with being open and accepting of his relationship with Bengoechea. "I honor that story. Our daughter will know who he was; We have pictures of him in the home," Brent said.

9 The couple has two kids.

Can't wait to see what these two get up to. Happy #NationalSiblingsDay 📷 by: @ashleyburnsphotography

A post d by Nate Berkus (@nateberkus) on

The Brent-Berkus clan is now a party of four! Their daughter, Poppy Brent-Berkus, was born in March 2015 via a surrogate. This March, the couple welcomed a son, Oskar. "It is with so much love that we welcome Oskar Brent-Berkus to our family," Berkus wrote on Instagram. "We have waited for you, we already love you, and we as a family stand on the shoulders of so many people who have made it possible for families like ours to continue to grow."

10 He's a New York Times Bestseller.

The details of these living rooms are on point — Love seeing how you've styled my @target pieces in your homes, keep sharing them via #MyNateBerkus!

A post d by Nate Berkus (@nateberkus) on

While you probably know him best from his design shows, Burkes has also written two books: Home Rules: Transform the Place You Live into a Place You'll Love, released in 2005, and The Things That Matter, published in 2012. He's dabbled in film, too, executive producing the Oscar-winning movie The Help.

BUY NOW The Things That Matter, $23

11 His first show only ran for two seasons.

#throwback to when @bucci387 and I were in the same #photo as @nateberkus 😃 #tbt #NateBerkus #TheNateBerkusShow #NewYork #NY #throwbackthursday ✌️

A post d by Chelsea Blackmore (@chelsblackmore) on

The Nate Berkus Show filmed nearly 300 episodes, centering on entertainment, lifestyle, and design. The daily talk show ran from 2010 to 2013, when it was cancelled after its second season. In a 2012 interview with Oprah, Berkus says he felt overwhelmed by the daily program, and realized it was taking away time from his other passions. "It taught me that I really do need to stop and take the time before I make a major decision like that," he said.

12 Oprah helped launch his career.

In honor of International Women's Day! Thank you to all the incredible women who have shaped who I am. From my fearless mom & stepmom, to @oprah & my daughter. Wedding 📷: @gigidemanio. More in link 👆🏻[email protected]

A post d by Nate Berkus (@nateberkus) on

Speaking of Queen O, she played a big role in Berkus' success. He first appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2002, and was a regular guest thereafter. His show was co-produced by Oprah's production company, Harpo Productions, and they've remained close friends.

13 You can get his style on the cheap.

Santa, if you're reading: I loved everything about the #nateberkustarget line at the #target holiday preview.

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Berkus is all about accessibility, and his design partnerships prove it. He's developed a line with Target that includes bedding, bath, home decor and baby products, as well as a fabric line for Jo-Ann Fabric.

SHOP NOW Nate Berkus For Target

14 He’s bringing his expertise to the high seas.

Time to head back aboard our Caribbean vacation home #CelebritySilhouette -- next stop, St. Thomas! PC: @stuffedsuitcase #CelebrityCruises #MomAndMeAtSea #cruiseship #SanJuanPuertoRico #EasternCaribbean #caribbeancruise

A post d by Celebrity Cruises (Official) (@celebritycruises) on

Berkus recently added a new line to his resume: He's the official travel ambassador for Celebrity Cruises. As an ambassador, he's working with the line on their new class of ship, Celebrity Edge, which launches this fall. "I love the idea that we can travel beautifully, and that every moment of the experience — from start to finish — is exceptional. That’s what the Edge Class is all about," Berkus said in Celebrity's announcement.

15 'Nate and Jeremiah By Design' is back!

Season 2 of #NandJByDesign premieres on April 7th, but you can catch up on the 1st season now on the @tlc Go app.

A post d by Nate Berkus (@nateberkus) on

The second season of Nate and Jeremiah's TLC show premiered on April 7, and airs every Saturday. The reality show follows the couple as they balance chaotic home renovations with raising their two kids.

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