Bobby Berk Solves 7 of Your Biggest Design Challenges

Mallory Abreu

After four seasons of costarring on the Netflix hit show Queer Eye, interior designer Bobby Berk has the experience to say that you don't need to gut a room to transform it. We caught up with Berk to learn how he solves real-life decorating challenges in style.

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1. An Instant Fix for Any Room

"Curtains. Naked windows are not always the best for all rooms," Berk says. "I love bringing in texture and softness through window treatments. Whether that means you use a Roman shade or floor-to-ceiling panels, the textiles will do a lot to soften hard lines." Berk recommends hanging linen curtains. They're thick enough to hang gracefully while allowing light to filter through.

2. Find Your Style

"Ask yourself about things that have nothing to do with design." What's your favorite TV show or movie, dream vacation destination, fashion role model? Gather photos and think about what they have in common: similar colors, a sense of humor, a certain era? Write a list of those traits and use them to edit furniture and paint colors.

3. Where to Save

The best place to save (rather than splurge)? Rugs! "Rugs can be so crazy expensive, and you literally walk all over them. Scrimp on rugs. Just make sure you're not getting one that will shed forever because that's going to drive you insane."

4. Where to Splurge

Bedding. "You spend 20 to 30 percent of your life in bed. It should feel like when you go to a nice hotel and the sheets are smooth and crisp."

5. Think of Your Home as a Charger

"When we get home at night, we always plug in our phone because we know if it doesn't get a full charge, it won't last to the next day. But we don't think of ourselves as a phone that needs to be recharged. Your home is that charger, and you need to make sure you're getting back up to 100 percent."

6. Lighting Is Vital

Every room needs three kinds of lighting: Directional task lighting, ambient overhead or recessed lighting, and accent lighting like table lamps and candles. "Without all three, a room doesn't function or look as good as it truly could."

7. A Rule to Live By

"Things that are done in threes give more impact," Berk says. "But you don't need to think about it so literally. That rule can apply to the number of materials used in furniture, the heights of objects in a vignette, or even the tones used in a painting."

Related: Bobby Berk Shares His Most Memorable 'Queer Eye' Makeovers