Oprah asks if it feels like graduation day- it does, says Nate, and it does feel like it has been 8 years. He says that in the pictures of him he looks 5 years old. Oprah says that our homes should rise up to meet us, and Nate takes that further and says that our lives should rise up to meet us- we should love the lives we live. Oprah says she loves that and that she will be watching, even though she doesn’t watch TV.
Nate has performed 127 makeovers over the years, including yards, basements, playrooms, lounges and kitchens. Oprah’s all time favorite is the first one ever. Claudia’s whole house is 319 square feet, with a 6 x 6 foot kitchen. They sent Nate to “un-cramp her style.” In 48 hours Nate and his team worked and worked, Claudia loved it and couldn’t believe her new space. Her studio with no storage is now an innovative home with space to spare. The audience gave him a standing ovation. Oprah says he looked about 11 there. 8 years later Claudia is still living in her teeny Boston pad. She still gets chills thinking about it. She still can’t believe how beautiful it is. She loves that everything has a double function- she can entertain easily. She has left everything in its place, she wants it exactly as Nate left it. She wants Nate to know that he is a genius who transforms lives as well as spaces.
Oprah says she loves her home in California which is over 3000 square feet- when she leaves she literally says goodbye to the house and the furnishings because she loves it so much. Oprah’s housekeeper loves her own house as much as Oprah loves her house. Nate says that your house should be a reflection of who you are, you are what you live. Your house should rise to meet you.
Nate was nervous the first time he did a makeover on the Oprah Show. They didn’t order a dumpster, There was no place to put what they took out or all their trash. He ran after a garbage truck at 4.30am offering $100 or $200 for them to take all the trash away. He was terrified that the headlines would be about the trash.
Oprah asks his best advice for how to live big in small spaces. Everything has to be multifunctional- double or triple duty. He doesn’t like to use small scale pieces because they remind you that the space is small. A large sofa is more gracious and gives you more places to be. Oprah is surprised.
They show extracts of makeovers that Nate has done, where no one has changed anything at all that he did in the years afterwards. Nate is not nervous about his new show- he is ready and excited. That is good says Oprah, thats how she felt when the Oprah Show went national. Bring it on, she said. They show Nate going to Mr and Mrs Brown’s house to bring the 45 year old kitchen into the 21st century. He also rescued the Couch family and their country frou-frou clutter. Both families were dazzled by the makeover. Oprah loved the green ceiling, she says that it was a bold move. Oprah does not like white ceilings. The Police Chief Officer got a lot of flack for the stuffed animals on his bed, he got his office stuffed with animals when he got back. The Couches have transformed the rest of their house, room by room according to Nate’s advice. Nate loves that they were inspired to update and modernize. Oprah said that she realized she had dried flowers for ten years in her home in Indiana, it is an easy trap to fall into.
Some of Nate’s top tips include: Pillows, a rug and a slip cover can be bought for the price of a new pair of shoes. New drapes in a neutral color can transform your space. Hanging window coverings higher than the window, and wider, gives the illusion of bigger windows.
In 2003 Nate gave a back yard makeover to the patio, and the giant hill which was like a cliff in Lauren’s house. They had to level the hill. The Davenport’s were dazzled by their outdoor living room. Oprah says that this makeover took her breath away when she saw the bill, it made her scream. Leveling is a key word to either move or go to the bank, says Nate. Dirt and mature trees are expensive.
2 years ago, in the biggest Oprah makeover in history, Nate blew the roof off a house outside of Seattle. In 15 days he raised the roof and almost doubled the square footage. Everyone screamed when they saw what he did to the house. He transformed the cramped living area for the whole family. The master bedroom took up the entire floor, and the four kids all finally had their own rooms. The kids screamed when they saw their playroom. The entire family is their from Skype, with big news. They have a new baby to add to the family. The baby is currently sleeping in their closet. The master closet was so enormous they couldn’t fill it with clothes so they took out some shelves and put in the crib. The kids love their play area. The house transformation let the family feel that anything is possible, it reminded them all that good things are around the corner, even when times are tough.
They show a montage of people screaming and crying when their makeovers are revealed. Oprah says that Nate has never let them down, he does not disappoint. In 2005 Bernadette, a single mom of 3, was looking after her kids, her brother’s 7 kids and her elderly mother in an apartment so tint they slept three to a bed. They surprised her with a new house decorated by Nate. In 2004 Sherry’s 80 style bedroom was turned into a timeless classic. Oprah asks for Nate’s all time favorite- he says that it was the Seattle makeover where the community brought them food on the site, doughnuts and Thai food and so on.
Nate’s favorite guest of all time was Brayden. The two year old that he watched for the day, when he played Mommy. For 12 hours Nate did all of Dana’s duties for the day. Nate had a lot of things to do on the list. After 12 hours he felt like he had been hit by a truck. Oprah says that Mothers, Fathers and caretakers need a reward. Nate said on the original show that Mom’s need an assistant, and Oprah said that Mom’s need a wife. The whole family are here, Nate picks up Brayden. Dana says that Nate helped her for a lifetime- when she shops she thinks do you want it, do you love it, will it make you happy? It’s changed her thinking. Nate says that he loved hanging out with Brayden, that the family were great to spend time with and that he has always wanted kids, he loves kids.
They show clips of Oprah repeatedly calling Nate Cutie-Pie. 6 days after Hurricane Katrina, Nate visited New Orleans and helped pet owners who rescued their animals but couldn’t take them on the buses with them. They took a few dogs in a limousine to a house in Baton Rouge where they were staying at Lisa Ling’s friend’s house. They took as many dogs they could and they were all reunited with their owners. Oprah says that everyone on the staff and all the people who he has worked with wanted to express their gratitude for him- so they each wrote a note to him saying what he has meant to them and made it into a special coffee table book. Oprah says that he has enhanced their hearts and lives and that Nate is going to make her so proud, may he continue to dazzle. Nate wipes away a tear and thanks her.
Oprah says that Lowe’s have been there for Nate and Oprah throughout the whole time. Nate says that their dedication is amazing. A viewer named Trudy lost her son Derek who was distracted driving while talking on his cell phone. She says that she was overcome with grief until she watched the show in January where Nate gave advice to another mother who had lost her son. Nate said that he realized that the date has no power, the memory can come when it wants to come, so he took the power back. That resonated with Trudy, she realized that she was remembering Derek with pain and they should have been remembering him with joy. In the audience Trudy thanks him for a personal makeover, wishing that she was their to thank him for a room makeover. Oprah hopes to add the Romeo clause to the No Phone Zone Pledge, in the future. Jonathan, Derek’s brother signed a pledge two years ago to say that he will always drive responsibly and safely and respectfully, not under the influences of anger, substances etc. He will never talk or text while driving and he will respect the privilege of using the car. Oprah thinks that this is great. Trudy wrote this in memory of Derek, Oprah and Nate say that this is the first No Phone Zone Pledge. Nate says that there is always a moment on TV where you decide whether to lay yourself open and reveal your most private feelings. He says that he is so sorry for their loss, but thanks them for thanking him, as something can come from their loss- he knows now when he is out there, people are listening. Derek’s fraternity brothers in the University of Albany in New York have taken the pledge. By Skype one of them, Mike, says that they loved Derek to death and they will do their best to make the family proud. Every chapter of their fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon, the largest in the world, will sign the No Phone Zone Pledge. Oprah wishes them the best and thanks Nate. She says that her son, her boy, has a new show, and she hugs him and wishes him good luck.
WHAT WE LEARNED TODAY:
Oprah’s “cutie-pie” “son” Nate Berkus, is leaving the Oprah Show after 8 years of makeovers to star in his own show, The Nate Berkus Show.
Our homes should rise up to meet us, says Oprah.
Our lives should rise up to meet us, says Nate.
Nate says that your house should be a reflection of who you are: you are what you live.
To live big in small spaces, everything has to be multifunctional- doing double or triple duty.
A VERY QUICK SUMMARY:
Oprah does not like white ceilings and she believes that every Mom needs a wife. Goodbye Nate Berkus!