The Queer Eye Fab Five do so much for their contestants, lovingly called heroes, but Bobby Berk arguably does the most. The interior designer completely transforms a hero’s space—breathing life, organization, and balance into what’s typically a chaotic home. Every time I watch Berk on the show, I get inspired to switch up my apartment, but the problem is I don’t know where to start.
I know I’m not alone in this struggle, but Berk’s here to help—even if you’re not a hero on Queer Eye. His website, BobbyBerk.com, offers sensible, applicable decor tips for those who need them, plus his A.R.T. Furniture line boasts products that have his stamp of approval.
But if you’re still overwhelmed, start by reading my chat with him, below. Bobby Berk is the latest celeb to dish for Glamour’s Your Fave’s Faves series, where he revealed some interior design tips that may jump-start your inspiration. Check it out.
My favorite room to decorate in a space
One of the rooms that is my most favorite is the kitchen. I feel it’s the most important room in the house—but it’s not one you get to necessarily put as much details into. It’s an age-old saying, but the kitchen is the heart of the home. It really, really is—especially if you have a family. That’s where you start your day. That’s where you end your day. It’s kind of where all the great moments happen. When my friends come over for dinner parties or for drinks, we always end up in the kitchen. No matter how much time I spend making the living room or the outdoor areas beautiful, we still end up hanging out in the kitchen. The kitchen is definitely my favorite spot to decorate and find new and exciting ways to make it special.
The clothes I need to get into work mode
Good, comfy clothes get me in the mood. In my business, we’re running around. Those designers you see on Instagram wearing ties while they’re designing is the most staged shit I’ve ever seen. Pangaia sweatpants are so comfy, and they’re made out of organic and recycled cotton. Fear of God just came out with a collection called Essentials; that’s all I’ve been wearing the last week. The Essentials line, I was shocked at how inexpensive it is, but they’re really, really cute.
The design rule everyone should follow
I think the one design rule is that there aren’t rules. People are always following these rules of design, but at the end of the day, it’s not about rules that other people set for you. It’s about what makes you happy in your space or, as Marie Kondo would say, sparks joy for you. Sometimes the thing that sparks joy for you, I find ugly as hell. But you know what? I don’t live there. I’m sure there are people out there that think some of the things I do are ugly as hell, but good for them. They don’t live here. For me, it’s that there are no rules—but a good rule, though, is balance. You need to always find good balance.
The last piece of decor I purchased
It sounds a bit narcissistic, but two framed photos of myself. They’re actually the first time I’ve put a photo of myself in my home. It was a photo shoot for Attitude magazine—black-and-white photos, very gender-neutral. In one of them, I’m in combat boots and a tulle skirt. I loved what the photos represented, so I had them printed out, matted, and framed. I always get my stuff framed with Framebridge.
My favorite fragrance
Antoni [Porowski] had a sample of Louis Vuitton L’Immensite when we were filming in Japan. Every day he’d get in the car, and I’d just be like, “Oh, my gosh, what are you wearing? You smell so good!” It has these cedar notes, which is my favorite type of scent. Also, Le Labo Santal 33 is another one I love, but it kind of got a little too popular. Everywhere I was going, I was smelling it.
A paint color for walls I always go back to
Black. Everyone’s always like, “What do you mean black walls? It’s going to make the space look smaller. It’s going to make it look so dark.” Actually, it has the opposite effect. Obviously, I don’t usually go in and paint three walls black, unless it’s like a study or an entertainment room. But a black accent wall here and there creates so much depth and dimension into a space, and it actually makes rooms feel larger if it’s done right. So, a black, a dark charcoal, a dark navy, a dark green—really dark hues are what I’m going for right now. But you have to counterbalance that with light things. If you’re going to do a black accent wall, make everything else white and do lighter-colored furniture.
A social media app I use for decorating inspiration
We use Pinterest a lot, not only to communicate with fans and give design advice, but to get design inspiration of our own. Also, my design team division uses it a lot as a project management [tool]. We will have clients go on Pinterest and we’ll say, “Pin everything that you love,” because it’s so hard sometimes for clients to articulate what their style is. We have them pin favorite outfits, food, buildings, vacations, and it really gives us a sense of who they are.
The candles that freshen up any space
Diptyque is always amazing, and there’s also a brand called Sand + Fog that has some really great scents out. And Paddywax! One of the things I love about Paddywax is the candles come in great containers. I love a candle that doesn’t just come in something you’re never going to use again, that’s going to end up in the trash. I like a candle that comes in a good vessel that you’ll be like, “I’m going to put this on the bathroom counter when I’m done and put cotton swabs in it.” Things that can be reused and don’t end up in landfills.
The cocktail I drink at the end of a work day
There is actually a cannabis brand called Aplós. It’s a THC drink mixer, and you can make all these different types of drinks, or you can drink it on the rocks. Instead of alcohol, it’s cannabis. I’ve actually been enjoying that way more than having an alcoholic cocktail.
A celebrity home I think is timeless
This might be a bit controversial, but I love Kim and Kanye—well, formally Kim and Kanye’s home. There are some things about it that are a little too minimalist for me, but how they remodeled it—the walls and the architecture—it has such great bones. It has a really great look to it, the house.
Christopher Rosa is the entertainment editor at Glamour.