The Design Mistake Nate Berkus Wants You To Avoid

Moving into a new home can be an exciting life change. It opens doors for design developments, allowing us a clean slate to recreate a space that suits us best. But it can also be quite expensive to invest in décor, and too often, there can be pressure to have the place put together straight away. Nate Berkus, interior designer and co-host on HGTV's "The Nate and Jeremiah Home Project," encourages clients to slow down and not be rash in decorating. "When I moved into my first apartment in Chicago, I had four pieces of furniture in a 30-foot space. It was a whole year before I was able to afford to buy the sofa I wanted, but it was worth the wait," he told Domino. "I knew over time that the interior would speak to the person I was and the person I hoped to become. Your space should always be evolving."

It's easy to fall into a shopping frenzy, especially when things are on sale and there's space to fill. However, taking time to decorate, and adding little pieces here and there, will result in a more finely curated and personalized home. "It's really tempting to create an instant interior and say, "This set of bedroom furniture is a great deal, and I can finance it. It's easy, I'm done, and I can move onto other areas of my life," Berkus said via Oprah.com. "Take a beat and drown out the noise from all those makeover shows."

Designing your home over time

Allowing yourself time to settle in before a shopping spree will help create a functional space that meets your needs. Learning how you move around the area will determine where furniture fits best, and becoming accustomed to how much natural light you receive can completely change the paint color you had in mind. While not every piece of décor we put in our homes needs to have some grand meaning, waiting to fill up every nook and cranny with accessories will leave space for cherished trinkets found and collected with time. "Things — even ordinary objects — are powerful when they're gathered together," Berkus said on Oprah.com. "I had a client who loved to travel with her boyfriend. They collected sand from every beach they visited and brought it back in small black film containers. I thought that was one of the coolest things I'd ever heard and knew we had to bring it into their space."

When you go on a mission to find things you want and need, be sure to slow down and shop around. Don't just fill your cart with things from the T.J. Maxx across the street and call it a day, or you might splurge on items that were good enough only to find the perfect pieces a few weeks later. Follow Berkus's advice: "The best interiors — the ones that look, function, and feel the best, are the interiors assembled and collected over time."