In its recent feature on the first home of supermodel/it-girl Karlie Kloss, Vogue touches on exactly what makes the houses of professional pretty people so compelling: there's a lot of tension in carving out a space that reflects their life and personality, a process that's tricky for most, but downright labyrinthine for someone whose actual job is to embody the designs of some of the planet's most influential tastemakers. Even on the shoot, Karlie Kloss demurred about not knowing how to take photos as Karlie Kloss: "It's taking me out of my comfort zone," she says, and the same is true for building a home—the first for the 21-year-old—that reflects her private aesthetic. "I knew I wanted to make it mine, but I wasn't quite sure how to go about doing that." The easiest way to figure out what is "you"? Hire someone else to do it. And that's about when interior designer Nate Berkus comes in.
Kloss shopped around for about two years before falling for a greenery-covered townhouse in NYC's West Village, the very same neighborhood Berkus is known for buying and selling (and buying again) houses. Berkus and Kloss met through a mutual friend (let's pretend it's Oprah) and soon enough they were unwrapping antique mirrors shipped from Chicago—"to work with someone who gets so excited over the delivery of a mirror is really nice," Berkus tells Vogue—and brass lamps from One Kings Lane.
While the townhouse is obviously cultivated and somewhat gilded, Berkus refrained from creating a space that was, as Vogue puts it, "overly cluttered with inappropriately expensive rarities," so he brought in a mix of accessible add-ons, like a bench from Ikea and iron hooks from Anthropologie. Here a vintage Curtis Jere brass wall sculpture hangs above a bistro table from Restoration Hardware, and expensive feather wallpaper stands next to budget drapes—also from Restoration Hardware. "I wanted to mix and match the same way I do with fashion—wearing, say, a beautiful Saint Laurent tailored blazer with an H&M T-shirt," Kloss tells the magazine. Other amalgamations include ivory sheepskin (on the Ikea bench in the living room) and grass-cloth wallpaper (in the kitchen).
"As models, we're dressed in everyone else's designs, but this is my space," she says. "It's definitely been an opportunity for me to learn who I am."
Magazine cover photo by David Simms/Vogue