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Soaking Up the Shade

A meeting of the minds between two major design brands helps deliver a piece of the living room to the conference room.

09.01.2017
With ticking stripes, botanicals, stars, diamonds, and dots, this roller shade collection has a distinct painterly look.
By Jennie Morton

Nate Berkus is an interior designer and founder of Nate Berkus Associates. His creative vision has been brought to life in a home collection through Target and a fabric line at JoAnn Fabrics, as well Roller window shades in contract settings are often a neutral but uninspiring shade of corporate gray. Berkus intentionally used a subdued palette of denim, rose, steel, pearl gray, dove, and onyx patterns that are effortlessly stylish.

i+s recently sat down with Nate Berkus, an interior designer and television personality on the TLC network; and Ian Gibbs, co-founder and chief creative officer at The Shade Store, to talk about the Nate Berkus for The Shade Store collection. These exclusive roller shades were inspired by global textiles and are offered in 10 materials and 48 colors.

interiors+sources: Nate, your creations span from fabrics and home accessories to bespoke interiors for penthouses and lofts—what drew you to window shades? 

Nate Berkus: I have always liked how tailored and clean roller shades feel in a room. Adding a pattern on the shades is also an opportunity to express your
personality. I wanted to create a collection that can easily complement any interior and enhance the design choices you’ve already made. 

i+s: What was the inspiration for these patterns?

NB: I’m currently on my third passport because heading out to see the world and finding crafts and textiles while traveling has always been one of my great joys. This represents some of the best textiles I’ve found along the way, whether a placemat from Mexico, embroidery from Southeast Asia, or printed fabrics from Europe. I wanted the fabrics to feel hand drawn and unexpected. 

i+s: How can these roller-shade designs add flair to a commercial interior? 

NB: My job as a designer is telling my client’s stories through the things they choose for their homes and the same goes for an office space. We spend so much time at work—why wouldn’t you pay attention to the details? Window treatments are a great way to up the ante, especially in an office where the design should be working hard too. There’s a lot of neutrals and understated patterns in the collection that will look handsome in a workplace.

i+s: What was your collaboration process like with The Shade Store? 

NB: The Shade Store team is the best of the best. They are a leader in the category and really understand what is needed from a design perspective to impeccable customer service. I worked very closely with my Chicago-based creative team and we went back and forth playing with different patterns, scale, and colors. We wanted the collection to feel fresh and well-traveled. 

Ian Gibbs: We worked closely with Nate and his team in the development of patterns and colors that would work well with our roller shades. Our brand is all about creating products that are easy for our customers to incorporate, so this approach perfectly matched our goals for this collection. 

Our product development team worked to color match each swatch with Nate’s designs. The breadth of his patterns for this collection is truly refreshing when combined with the clean look of a roller shade. We think the final product is something that can be incorporated into any interior setting from kitchens, bathrooms, and nurseries to offices, hotels, or restaurants. 

i+s: Were there any challenges or unexpected turns when designing this collection?

IG: Scale is particularly important in a roller shade where a print is repeated over various widths. For us, getting the scale of Nate’s patterns right was the most interesting and challenging part of the design. 

NB: It was a very seamless process from start to finish—my favorite kind of partnership. 

Photography courtesy of The Shade Store