Nate Berkus on fatherhood, his bucket list and the missing link in home decor

“Jeremiah and I are so excited! I mean, we just want to meet the baby,” a delighted Nate Berkus recently told Hello! during a sit down at Maison 24 in New York. The acclaimed interior designer, who was on hand to help launch Unstopables new line of home fragrance and fabric care products (the luxurious collection will be available in Canada in April), couldn’t contain his joy at becoming a first-time dad with his husband and fellow designer, Jeremiah Brent. “It’s happening soon, but we don’t know when,” he shares, “it’s not in our hands.”

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Fatherhood is the latest chapter in Nate’s inspiring journey that has seen him become an international best-selling author, producer, TV host, humanitarian and Oprah Winfrey-approved designer. In 2005, he bravely shared his story of survival and grief with the talk-show host after losing his partner, Fernando Bengoechea, in the devastating tsunami that hit Southeast Asia 2004. In a personal essay penned for the Huffington Post in 2013, Nate revealed how he felt in the weeks that followed after the tragedy. “I saw a glimmer of my former self," he wrote. "A lot of people can feel really guilty about that choice of wanting to live, but I embraced it. That was somebody -- something -- giving me a second chance.”

Here, the 43-year-old design wizard tells us all about scent décor and just what, if anything, is left to check off of his career bucket list.

What exactly is scent décor?
When Unstopables came to me and asked me to help spread the message about scent décor I was like, 'What does that mean?' When I realized that it’s the final layer you put on your home to express your signature style, then it made a lot of sense to me. I’ve spent the greater part of 20 years helping people tell their own story in their space and I never really stopped to think of scent as a huge component of that.

How so?
When we walk through our front door, it should smell like something that makes us happy. It’s really nice to put your stamp on every aspect of the way you live.

How does scent décor fit into your design motto?
I think the best thing we can do for ourselves is to take risks, be bold, bust a move in your home, don’t look over your shoulder, don’t worry about what your mother-in-law or whoever and really create a space that reflects what you want it to be – and scent is a huge component to that.

Are there any scents that you find comfort in or that really stand out?
Gardenia. My stepmother used to wear a perfume called Jungle Gardenia. Sometimes I’ll walk past somebody in an airport and I’ll smell their perfume on them and I’m like, “Whoa.” That scent brings me back to being a kid in three seconds. It’s really funny.

Soon you’ll have the best scent of all – a newborn!
I know! They smell like … toast! (Laughs)

You’ve already had so much success. What is left on your bucket list?
I don’t really have a bucket list. I feel lucky to have the career I have and the opportunities that I have. I have great products out in the marketplace and I’m grateful for my partnerships with that. I’m working now behind the scenes on a new TV project… that I can’t talk about just yet. So it’s not necessarily a bucket list for me.

How do you know when a project or opportunity is a good idea?
I always think: What feels like the most authentic opportunity? What feels like it would be really fun because I don’t think you should do anything that feels like drudgery and finally, what’s the best idea on the table and how can we make it better?

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