All in good taste

‘The Nate Berkus Show’ is designed to make everyday life easier, more attractive and less expensive.

Nate Berkus Show (photo credit: MCT)
Nate Berkus Show
(photo credit: MCT)
If you liked him on Oprah, you’ll love him on his own show. And if you’ve never seen him, now’s your chance.
The affable, amiable, adorable (and Jewish) interior designer Nate Berkus has a daily program, which airs on the Good Life Channel (HOT 41), and it’s a total delight. Filled with tips, advice, celebrity guests and every kind of home and lifestyle improvement imaginable, The Nate Berkus Show addresses everything you’d want to know about everything – from organizing your closets and decorating any room in your home to cooking, cleaning, shopping, dressing and economizing.
In fact, it is everything I would have wanted The Martha Stewart Show to be but never was. When her show aired on our channels, I was so disappointed in it because it focused mainly on cooking.
With so many cooking shows already on the air, I expected the doyenne of design to favor us with the decorating tricks of the trade on which she had built her reputation. Well, we get that in spades with the genial, charming and talented Mr. B.
I have only seen a few episodes so far, but already I have learned a lot.
Dedicating to helping people improve their surroundings, the 41-year-old designer invites viewers to e-mail him their design dilemmas. In every show, he selects one and offers a solution.
Equipped with a computerized device that he calls his instant design studio, he reconfigures the viewer’s room on a virtual screen, rearranging the furniture and adding the accessories such as curtains, carpets and lighting.
Organizing and decluttering is another issue he tackles, calling on the expertise of professionals in the field to advise his viewers on how to straighten up any room in the house. The rule of thumb, says one of the experts, is to create SPACE. To do that, you Sort, Purge, Assign, Containerize and Equalize.
To save space in the freezer, guest Jamie Lee Curtis offered a very helpful hint. When you freeze soups or sauces, put the portions in Ziplock bags, label them, flatten the bags and stand them upright in a plastic box or a freezer drawer like a set of file folders. Brilliant! Cleaning, another favorite topic but a not-so-favorite task, is handled by other professionals.
One of the experts shared some of these cleaning tips. To remove Magic Marker “artwork” from a wall, use hairspray and wipe it off.
To clean up crayon mess, use toothpaste (not gel). To eliminate water stains from wood, buff the wood along the grain with a paste made from ashes (from a fireplace, perhaps) and water. And if your cellphone is dropped into the toilet or a sinkful of water, do not despair. Take out the battery, dry it off for 10 minutes, then place the battery in a bowl of uncooked rice for 24 hours, and the rice will absorb all the moisture.
In another episode, celebrity chef Katie Lee took a viewer shopping for a special dinner party – not for food but for items with which to decorate the dinner table. She took her to a Dollar Store (similar to our NIS 2 stores), and selecting attractive but inexpensive items, Lee set a table that looked truly elegant and extravagant.
Other shows deal with cooking nutritious food that kids will like, creating cozy niches in a small space in the home, as well as fashion, finances, relationships and many other facets of daily life.
Given the current economic situation, most of the tips and advice given on the show are based on doing more but paying less.
If you don’t get to watch all the programs, you can find the tips, recipes, design ideas, etc., on Berkus’s website:
Can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.
The Nate Berkus Show airs on The Good Life Channel (HOT 41) every weekday at 6:30 p.m. and 00:30.