Q&A with Nate Berkus Protégés Lauren Gold and Sasha Adler

Staff Writer
New trends in entertaining — and budget-friendly must-haves
The design experts
Nate Berkus Associates
The design experts

While I am spending my days enjoying the endless sunshine of summer and hosting casual gatherings with friends at home, I can’t help but get excited about entertaining more in the coming months. As my children play in the pool, I always seem to find myself leafing through design magazines looking to see what's in style, and for guidance.  

I've noticed an increasingly growing number of interior designers, rather than home cooks, have started to become the tastemakers when it comes to entertaining at home. Perhaps it is their keen eye for detail, their ability to create something beautiful from nothing, or the simple fact that more and more people are entertaining from home that is causing this natural progression.

I recently had the chance to sit down with Lauren Gold and Sasha Adler, design directors at Nate Berkus Associates (and protégés of the design expert, TV host, and Oprah contributor himself) and two of the hottest young designers in the U.S. right now. Their love for entertaining at home, coupled with their fabulous design sense, makes them the perfect pair to explain what to keep in mind when planning get-togethers this year.


Coryanne: If you had a budget of $50, $100, or $200 to spend on an entertaining essential or table top item, what would it be and why?

Lauren and Sasha: We would purchase fresh-cut flowers in a bright color with $50. Flowers immediately bring life and color to the table. Hopefully there would be a few left over to add to a bud vase in the powder room.

With $100, we would purchase a unique item to have at each place setting that is appropriate for the event and that our guests could take home with them. It could be anything from an individually potted plant to a natural shell, or even a framed personal photo of you and the guest. It makes the table festive and fun and we always like to send guests home with a little something.

For $200, we would love to purchase an old, antique textile to use as a runner down the center of table. It adds a warm, unique, layer to the table.


C: What modern design trends are transitioning into tabletop décor trends for autumn?

L&S: Rather than buying ornate arrangements, we’ve noticed a trend towards a more pared down look when it comes to flowers. We love setting the tone for autumn by substituting your typical bouquet for a natural branch. It could be as simple as cutting something from a tree in your backyard.