When supermodel and all around it-girl Karlie Kloss decided to personalize her newly purchased West Village townhome, she called upon celebrity designer Nate Berkus for his expert eye and impeccable taste. Featured in this month’s issue of Vogue, the resulting design is a showstopper. “I was very conscious this was her first place – a spectacular small townhouse,” Berkus shares. “So I wanted the home to feel mature, but appropriate.” The pair, along with support from Berkus’ team at his Chicago-based design firm, set out to renovate and decorate the home in a style fit for one of the world’s most coveted models who also happens to be one of the nicest women in the business. Through simple, but impactful renovation work and a genius mix of high-end and catalog furnishings, the team created a space perfect for a young, jet-setting fashion icon.
Already in relatively good shape, Berkus’ expert eye immediately saw ways were they could improve on the townhome’s bones, without having to gut the interiors. The original home had a mix of wood flooring of different strains and species which Berkus found distracting and disconcerting. Rather than replace, the designer opted to paint the floors a unifying white hue. “I’m a fan of painting wood flooring, it’s an effective way to bring the palette to zero and then build upon that.” To add a sense of architecture to the home, Berkus suggested adding iron and glass window panes above a built-in banquette in the kitchen, effectively separating the space while still maintaining visual flow. Replacing the spindles of the staircase and adding custom runners from Merida further add to the renovation’s wow-factor.
|Agave Superior, Price Upon Request, Merida||Pair of Brass Chiavari Chairs, $3600, Jean-Marc Fray||French Lion’s Foot Brasserie Table, $475, Restoration Hardware|
Possibly the most striking addition to the home and one that effectively doubles the living room and dining area in size, is the wall of antiqued-mirror panels. “Townhomes in this area aren’t wide so we took a classic idea of adding mirror and we actually took it from the baseboard all the way to the ceiling,” Berkus says. “All of the sudden the room feels vastly larger and more energetic.” Layered with a brass etagere from Currey and Co., the installation also helps define the space between the living and dining areas.
|Delano Étagère, $3500,
Bliss Home & Design
|Oliver Platform Sofa, Price Upon Request, Mod Shop||Raul Side Table, $810, Arteriors|
Speaking of furniture, as a first time homeowner, Kloss had grand visions for a comfortable space filled with beautiful things, but within reason. “We selected everything but then she came back with concerns, she felt it was too overwhelming and expensive,” the designer says. “She was adorable about it and asked if there was anyway we could do the same thing for less. A lot of people would have been discouraged, but I understood. You can always do something for less. So I said, let’s figure out how we can do this better.” Retaining Kloss and Berkus’ favorite furniture items from the first round, the team set out to modify the original design while keeping the integrity of their vision intact. “We kept some key vintage pieces and without sacrificing quality, started to look at what items might be on sale or on promotion and shopped for things that were just more accessible.”
|Braided Jute Rug, From $29, Ballard Designs||Bronze Sconce, Price Upon Request, Noir||Made Goods Harlow Console, Price Upon Request, Candelabra|
The resulting design shows how Berkus expertly mixed the high-end 1st Dibs finds with more accessible catalog options from sources such as C.S Post and Ballard Designs. Nowhere is this more apparent than the living room’s console, a striking moment of layered furnishings and lighting. “It’s a classic example of high and low,” Berkus says. A Made Goods console displays accessories from Berkus’ own line for Target while a custom bench from C.F Modern is upholstered in shearling hides picked up from none other than Ikea. Using other affordable fabric options from Berkus’ line for Calico Corners enabled the upholstery costs of the project to remain low without having to sacrifice style. The resulting space is a mature, yet fun and feminine home perfect for one of the world’s most fashionable women on the go.
|Nate Berkus Earthenware Vase, $18, Target||Stiletto Benches, $5800 (For Two), CF Modern||Rens Sheepskin, $30, Ikea|
What do you think of Kloss’ style? Let us know in the comments below!
Photographs: Jason Schmidt for Vogue