Nate and Jeremiah unveil a new approach to home design: the “anti-trend”

Nate Berkus and Jeremy Brent know that it can be difficult for modest budgets to keep up with the house’s ever-changing parade of trends. That’s why, in the latest episode of “The Nate and Jeremiah Home Project,” they’re giving fans a whole new take on what they call “anti-trend.”

In the episode “Every Dollar Counts Project”, Berkus and Brent help Chris and Erin renovate their home in Floral Park, NY. These parents of two have saved and saved up to afford their beautiful 1928 home, and now they’re on a strict $90,000 budget to fix up the kitchen and living room.

Berkus and Brent must make smart and timeless upgrades, making sure Chris and Erin’s hard-earned money is well spent. They fill the home with what Berkus calls “completely anti-trend” finishes, and the result is a place that will look great for generations. Find out how Brent and Berkus give this home a timeless style and start gathering tips to give your own home a style makeover too.

Add a new fireplace to an old fireplace

Before: Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent love this river rock fireplace.


When Berkus and Brent first see Chris and Erin’s house, they are impressed by the fireplace, which they believe was likely made from locally sourced river rocks. It’s a unique and beautiful feature, so Berkus and Brent decide to keep it largely as is. They only make one small addition: the hearth slab.

After: The black and white fireplace adds extra flair to the living room.


“We wanted to leave the original details because we felt it was nearly impossible to recreate them in a beautiful way,” Berkus explains. “But changing the focus gave it just enough of an update to feel fresh and clean and new.”

Black and white square tiles are only $400, making them an easy and inexpensive addition.

hearth tile
The hearth slab is a unique touch.


Personalize every used item

Before: Berkus and Brent saw a lot of potential in this helping hand.


Chris and Erin show Brent and Berkus an old cabinet they salvaged. The piece is nice, but it doesn’t quite resemble Chris and Erin’s style. Brent and Berkus know they’ll have to personalize it.

“The interesting thing about people when they inherit furniture or take furniture into their house,” Brent says, “they stop one step ahead, which is finding a way to personalize those items and make yours.”

After: The black color makes this old hutch look brand new.


The designers spray the old cabinet in matte black and add a brass bracket behind the shelves. This is a simple but significant upgrade for the cabinet.

“When you look at the objects, there’s something brighter behind them that makes them stand out,” Berkus says.

Use an “island table” in a narrow kitchen

Before: The kitchen was dark, old-fashioned and cramped.



Chris and Erin’s kitchen is large but cramped, making it a little too tight to fit an island.

Berkus and Brent decide to buy an antique table with a classic wood look to give the kitchen some extra prep space. This table is perfect as it adds a rustic look and can easily be pulled out if this family needs more space in the kitchen.

After: This slim table functions as an island and offers plenty of room to walk around the kitchen.


“We love the idea of ​​bringing beautiful antique furniture into a kitchen,” Brent says of the table. “But he will also be able to move around and adapt to the room if they need to, depending on who they have more.”

This island table costs $1,400, but it offers invaluable prep space, making it a great choice for a small kitchen or any kitchen, for that matter!

This table works like an island.


Lights offer plenty of room for creativity

These pendant lights add a modern touch.


Brent and Berkus want to give this kitchen a timeless look, but they certainly don’t want the space to feel too safe or predictable. To help make it stand out, they’ve splurged on some unique new lights.

They plan a farmhouse style for the kitchen, so they find fixtures that will complement each other.

“We want to layer more industrial fixtures to create a modern moment and keep it interesting,” says Berkus.

They choose chrome sconces and two spherical pendant lights above the island table. These lights add a touch of sophistication to the space, proving that it pays to be playful with lighting.

“Lighting is one of those categories where I think you can be a little more experimental than most people realize,” Berkus says.

Add prep space to a large pantry

The butcher block surface provides additional functionality.


To finish off this kitchen, Berkus and Brent are redoing the pantry with new shelving and even a butcher block counter. When Chris and Erin see the space, they are thrilled.

“This is my dream pantry,” Brent told the couple. “Butcher block on top so you can chop or cook on it, if you need to.”

It’s a smart addition that will ensure Chris and Erin never run out of counter space. Plus, the simple gray paint color next to the warm butcher block tone creates a timeless look.

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