Douglas Friedman Goes Home with Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent
New York has a reputation for tiny apartments. Like puzzle pieces, every room is slotted into each other to maximize space efficiency that gets filled with the knickknacks and detritus of a lived life. Part of being a New Yorker is learning how to use these spaces in a way that is not only useful but also beautiful. Often times, those with means shirk traditional New York apartments in preference to a wider plan that feels more luxurious. But when you have the skill of Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent you can make the space work for you. Architectural Digest caught up with Nate and Jeremiah to look at their brand new New York apartment on lower Fifth Avenue, and Douglas Friedman stepped in to shoot the cover story.
“This comes across as a classic New York apartment,” says Douglas. “There’s this division, a sense of journey from space to space. It’s just big, beautiful bright airy rooms.” Each room is fit into one another, like traditional New York pads, but they’ve used the spaces to feel open in such a way that is classic but employed skillfully. It was imperative that Douglas communicated this sense of movement in the imagery so he engaged the feeling in the visual composition of the images. “You try and show a flow out of a room from the room you’re shooting,” explains Douglas. “You want to get a sense that there’s another space beyond. Even if it’s a slice of a door with a hint of a kitchen beyond it.”
Like any successful space, the apartment reflects the people living in it. Nate Berkus has made a reputation for crafting exceptional design that anyone can relate to. He and Jeremiah have extended that through their own space that they share with their daughter Poppy. The space has to be functional, but it’s still beautiful and comfortable. “They’re not pretentious. They’re very warm and accessible and I think that’s what comes through in this apartment,” says Douglas. “It does not feel remotely precious. You’re encouraged to embrace and use the space. You leave your shoes on, you sit in the couches, you sit on the chairs. You don’t ever feel like you might break something or dirty something. You’re welcome into their home.” If you can’t make the trip, you’re in luck: Douglas’ shoot of the space is in this month’s Architectural Digest. Take a look.