Jeremiah Brent: Our 2018 Design Creative of the Year!
December 1, 2018
There are a couple of names that are synonymous with impeccable interior design aesthetic, coupled with a sort of down home likeability. Although often rare finds, ahead of this category, confidently the name Jeremiah Brent easily comes to mind. Whether you met him back in 2011 on the hugely successful Rachel Zoe Project or later down the line hosting the Emmy award winning Oprah Winfrey network’s ‘Home Made Simple’. It’s impossible to not feel a glow, a certain, warm, je ne sais quoi Jeremiah possess, that shows up in almost everything he pours himself into. Since launching his very own interior design firm ‘Jeremiah Brent Design’ back in 2011, his life seems to have unfolded into eventful milestone after eventful milestone. He’s now one of the MOST sought after interior designers on the planet with ‘JBD’ offices in both New York and Los Angeles. Adding to his already incredible resume, 2016 met him with a partnership with furniture giant ‘Living Spaces’ fronting Jeremiah as a key face for their ‘Behind the Design’ demo-series.
In 2017 alongside his fellow famed interior designer husband Nate Berkus, Jeremiah co-launched the design enthusiast hit show ‘Nate and Jeremiah by Design’. Rave reviews has already earned the series 2 seasons on the TLC network. Skip ahead to 2018 and the world got an even yummier surprise: the co-launching of an exclusive upholstery collection: ‘Nate and Jeremiah for Living Spaces’. A stunning collection of gorgeous chairs, sofas, sectionals and accessories that are an almost unbelievable bridge between luxury and affordable home décor.
If you think his professional Curriculum Vitae is impressive however, his personal life profile only sweetens the deal with his MOST important job to date; father to not one, but two little ones, 3 year old daughter Poppy and 8 month old son Oskar Michael. Plainly put, Jeremiah Brent is prismatic and we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate him as our ‘Design Creative of the Year’. In true 26 Magazine fashion our curiosities loomed on the ‘hows’ -how did he manifest such a full, rich life? Was he intentional on what he wanted for his career? Did he always dream of having a family of his own? Or, is this all just a beautiful stroke of fateful happenstance? The moment he walked into our covershoot, emanating a field of THE best energy, we could not wait to get the answers! Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Jeremiah Brent:
Let’s start from the beginning Jeremiah, where are you from, where did you grow up?
I’m from California. I grew up in Northern California, in a little dairy town called Modesto. It’s known mostly for it’s farms but was actually a really great place to grow up. Later on I ended up going to college in San Francisco, then moving out to LA, then to New York, and now back in LA again.
So safe to say that you’re a legitimate west coaster then?
I mean, I just can’t seem to get away from California.
How long did you live in New York?
For six years!
Oh wow that was a significant amount of time!
Yes and I still have an office in New York, so I still get my fill, but I would move back to New York tomorrow if I could.
Who doesn’t love New York?
-It’s the best!
As cliché as it sounds, honestly if you can make it there you really can make it anywhere.
New York is one of those towns that felt like every time stepped out of the door I was part of a special world. I loved going out to dinners there and meeting and learning about the most interesting people. Even just walking on the streets in New York was an adventure, whether it was through conversation or observations of something like the way people would tie their handkerchief, in New York you just felt like you were a part of something!
-In LA, I usually just feel like I’m a part of traffic [lol]
So Jeremiah, we recently read that you are completely self-taught. Is that true?
Design was always a passion, I used to build furniture as a hobby and then it turned into me doing some rooms for people, which somehow turned into me doing some nightclubs, which eventually turned into full spaces, but it’s always been a passion for me. Growing up on the weekends I would go to my mom’s open houses & it was a blast, I always loved imagining the way people could live in those homes.
That makes perfect sense. Honestly who doesn’t love a good open house?
Right! Nothing has changed. Lol.
It sounds like you just kind of had an eye. Was there any sort of ‘go-to’ inspiration that you had as a child?
To be cliché it was honestly always the story of the people living in the home, so like even the model homes that I would go into I would imagine how the people were going to live there, what moments they were going to experience in their day. It’s kind of the same exact way now with my design firm. I create spaces based on the moments people are going to have in there, and I try for every home to have its own story and its own design aesthetic. I personally like modern, clean and black everything, but that’s obviously not the way everybody else likes to live [including my husband]. Lol.
Yes, some people like lots of color, while others stick to standard earth tones.
Yes, you never know. I had a client that initially said they wanted “traditional with a lot of color.” I was like, “Hmmm, I guess we will figure that out for you.” -It turned out beautifully though.
Of course, it did. YOU’RE Jeremiah Brent!
Can we fast forward a little bit? What is the life like filming with your husband and your children on your television show “ Nate & Jeremiah by Design”?
I can’t get away from em! [laughs]
Lol! Has filming changed the family dynamic at all?
It hasn’t changed the dynamic of the family. It’s changed the dynamic between my husband and I. I think we’ve actually become better listeners through the process.
Because you get to watch it later and get a bird's eye view of your interaction?
You can’t escape each other. These shows are a magnifying glass to really kind of show you parts of your personality and things that you can work on, as well as the things that are also already great. At the end of the day we love working together though and we have a blast doing it! He’s my best friend, he’s the most annoying/most amazing person at all times, and we do really great work together.
Honestly, I never thought I was going to have a family of my own, so the fact that we have this beautiful family, the fact that I’m married, the fact that we have a show where we get to go into these homes and connect with different types of families, and it’s not about our story - I think is really powerful. And we love it, I mean; you have to really like the person you’re married to if you’re doing a show with them!
We can only imagine, you guys are spending a LOT of time together.
Yes, You have to really like your spouse to do a show with them, because we’ve seen those shows with spouses and it’s like, “I’m not sure this was a good idea” for you two. We honestly do have a blast doing it though; a great add-on is that we also like what we’re creating.
So note to our 26ers out there; if you ever end up working with your spouse, specifically doing a show with them, you really need to like them, don’t just love them, you have to legitimately LIKE them.
You have to like them A LOT! like, “I can’t wait to talk to you again tonight after being with you all day” a lot.
You know we love to expand the idea of luxury here at 26 beyond just the acquiring of things. To us luxury is deeply rooted in creativity as a driving force partnered with knowing that luxury is a state of mind. Simply knowing, believing that we are all born with every ability to manifest the best into our lives. After the productions, the projects, all of it, what is a personal luxury that you enjoy just for yourself?
I mean, quiet alone time is like the ultimate luxury for me lately. Also; spontaneity! Like affording yourself the opportunity and the space to be able to be spontaneous and to do things and kind of act on that is an ultimate luxury for me. I love pottery; [I told you I’m very boring]. I have a little pottery studio, like that’s a luxury for me. And just time, it’s never been about the stuff for me. I mean, I enjoy the stuff, don’t get me wrong. But you have to create a balance in life, so ‘time’ I think is like the ultimate luxury for me!
That’s like the perfect answer.
Yeah, I totally fantasize about having like a week at home where I have nothing to do but just “be” lol -so boring right?
No, that’s perfect, especially if you’re running companies and juggling children.
Yes with kids, there are always questions. Recently I boarded a 4 hour flight only to find out that there was no Wi-Fi. I felt myself almost starting to sob, like, “I don’t have to answer any questions” for 4 whole hours?! I can just like watch a really bad sci-fi movie? –ah that was nice lol.
Unplugging can be the best!
So can we chat about your gorgeous new furniture line?
Yes! Thank you! So we partnered with Living Spaces who I’ve been working with for about four and a half years. I love them as a brand. We started creating a collection about a year ago and recently launched the capsule collection for upholstery which is really like our bridge between luxury and the ultimate affordable collection. Every sofa is under $1000, it’s made in California, you can customize up to 20 different fabrics and even have it shipped out. -So it’s really what we think is going to be the future of design! We took these really high references like John Michel Frank and other French designers from the 50s and 40s, and tried to reinterpret those silhouettes and create something that really hasn’t happened yet. There’s even more coming around April 2019 when we’ll have all of the collection launching with even more upholstery.
Thank you. I know, it’s like my third baby. I had a sofa baby! [laughs]
Well, that is pretty apropos for interior designer extraordinaire
Jeremiah Brent wouldn’t you think?
Ha! We had a good time. It’s so wild sketching something out, creating it and watching it come to life. I had this this moment [which I think I posted about], when we went to the store and took our daughter and she looked at us and she was like, “Wow, dad, you guys made this.” And I was like, “Yeah!” –Such a cathartic moment.
That’s definitely one of the things that we talk about a lot here at 26 is our ability as human beings to turn our thoughts into things. When we say creativity as a driving force in our tag lines, that’s exactly it. Using your creativity to bring the best things to life.
It’s a big deal!
It’s a huge deal, and we all possess that magic if you will, to manifest these really, really awesome lives!
So one of our favorite celebrity success/journey story questions we like to ask is: Were you intentional about creating the life that you now have?
No. I always knew that I wanted to live a life that was honest. Everything that we do & have done from the start till now has been based in vulnerability. Like, that’s where we live. I never thought I was going to fall in love, I never thought that I was going to have a family. But I knew that I was supposed to do something and I’ve always believed that.
So there was that, that little voice inside.
Yeah, I wasn’t going to be doing nothing sitting on a sofa all day, I always knew that I was going to be doing something and I was really lucky when I was working with Rachel Zoe as a stylist to really figure out that what was driving my passion and what I was really interested in was design and the storytelling that design kind of offers you. So I was just really lucky that I figured out my passion early.
The Rachel Zoe project, a lot of people coin that as kind of your ‘big break’. What was that like? How did that manifest in your life? Can you take us from what we presume was an audition all the way up to finding out you’d been casted for the show?
At that time I was creative directing for a furniture company, and Rachel Zoe’s president at the time called me and said “Rachel wants to hire you as like her [day to day] like right-hand, doing a ton of different things.” At the time I was unsure if I wanted to fully focus on fashion, because well, I liked sofas, -obviously it ended up working out, and then she told me later that I was going to be on the show -which was a nice surprise.
Wow. So this opportunity that was meant for you, found you!
I can say now, Working for her was like a crash course in professional maturity. I had to grow up really quickly. I worked my ass off, and Nate always says that “people can show you the door, but what you do with it is up to you”. You walk through it and you work hard. And I walked through that door and I didn’t look back, I’ve been working hard ever since and I’m proud that I still have a really beautiful relationship with her, and I’m proud of what I’ve been able to build so far.
-And we cannot wait to continue to watch you design and build every step of the way.