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Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent on Why It's Important to Include Family Moments on Their Show

Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent on Why It's Important to Include Family Moments on Their Show

The interior design duo recently welcomed Oskar, their son, to the family.

Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent, the interior design duo behind TLC’s Nate & Jeremiah By Design and dads to Poppy, 3, and Oskar, 2 months, were in NYC this week celebrating the launch of Huggies® Made By You™ personalized diapers—and the birth of their son. We chatted with Berkus and Brent about welcoming Oskar to the family, how they plan to keep their kids grounded, and why it’s important for them to include family moments in their show. 

Both Poppy and Oskar were born via surrogates, and Brent said the couple has been very fortunate in that regard. “The surrogacy process for us was beautiful,” he said. “The best part of surrogacy that nobody talks about is the opportunity for it to be really special and really emotional. It took a lot of love to get our children here, so we are really grateful to [our surrogates] and will continue to be really grateful to them for the rest of our lives.”

Poppy was included every step of the way throughout the process, including attending doctor’s appointments, Brent added. And “she hasn’t broken stride” since he’s come home, Berkus said.

“She knows her value in that household. She’s not worried about it,” Brent said. “She engages when she wants, she takes care of him when she wants, and that’s all she has to do and all she has to be.”

If you’re a fan of the show, you’ve caught little glimpses of Poppy knowing her value even before Oskar arrived. And showing those family moments on screen are important to Berkus and Brent.

“Like everybody, there’s several facets to us as a couple and to our home life. We recognize that there aren’t a lot of gay families on television, and so we really wanted to take the opportunity to just be authentic and allow cameras into our home…to see what our lives are like day in and day out,” Berkus said. “And I think that the most important thing for us is when we hear from someone who’s living anywhere who says, you know, ‘I’m a gay kid, I’m 17 years old. I never had role models. I’ve never seen a family with two dads on TV raising their children. Thank you. Thank you for giving me something to watch.’ I didn’t have that, Jeremiah didn’t have that, and so it’s a big responsibility for us.”

The uniqueness of their family life isn’t lost on them either, “but it’s one that is rooted in authenticity and vulnerability and honesty, and that’s the best lesson we could teach our kids. We live our lives openly and authentically, the same version we are on the show as were are here,” Brent said, adding that it’s not about what you have, it’s about what you do with what you have, like being able to partner with brands like Huggies that are aligned with how the couple views the world.

Berkus and Brent said they stayed in the Village during their visit to NYC, which is where their first apartment was. So it’s been something of a full-circle moment being here with their kids. “When I moved here, I walked those streets of the village by myself, and I really found myself in the city and I figured out who I was walking those streets. To be back there yesterday walking our kids up and down the street was really good,” Brent said.

As a 3-year-old walking the streets of NYC, everything was a wonder for Poppy, Berkus said. “I didn’t realize it would take us like four and half hours to go one block, but she has questions about everything. ‘Dad, why are the guys fixing the hole, what’s wrong with the street?’ ‘Dad, why are the police here?’ ‘Look at the tall building.’ ‘Look at the flowers.’ ‘Look at the garden, who takes care of this garden?’ She had a thousand questions in one city block, and watching the wonder that she has and the excitement that she has about being in New York is really amazing.”

Main photo: Jeremiah Brent and Nate Berkus with Poppy and Oskar
Courtesy Huggies® Made by You™/Ashley Burns

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Author: Katelin Walling is the former editorial director for NYMetroParents. She has been writing about parenting, health, finance, education, fun things to do in NYC and the surrounding area, and more for nearly 10 years. She also has 20+ years of child care experience and was a babysitter in NYC for 8 years. Katelin graduated from the University of Maine in 2011 and attended the NYU Summer Publishing Institute during the summer of 2011. To unplug in her free time, she can often be found reading, knitting (or general crafting), or whipping up a vegan treat—all with a cup of coffee nearby. See More

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