When the Queer Eye cast arrives on the doorstep of one of their "heroes," they all have their work cut out for them, but perhaps no one more than the show's lovable interior designer, who somehow manages to overhaul an entire home in the amount of time most of us spend binging Queer Eye on Netflix. With today's release of the rebooted show's third season, Bobby, Tan, Karamo, Antoni, and Jonathan take on a new slew of heroes—in a new city—in what Berk tells CQ is "the best one yet." That's a big compliment from Berk, who was not initially psyched about the season's chosen location: Kansas City, Missouri. "I grew up in Missouri and spent my whole life trying to get out of there so when I found out we were going back I was not excited," Berk confesses. "The only thing that was ok was I could be near my family. But the city is so great. They welcomed us with open arms. The mayor made us individual videos asking us to come. Right off the bat, we just felt welcomed." And the team quickly began setting about working their magic on some of the city's residents (including the show's first female and its first duo, two barbecue pitmaster sisters). One of these lucky recipients is Robert, who the cast meets just days ahead of his wedding day. That's all we'll say about Robert to avoid spoilers (don't want to ruin your bingeing!), but Berk gave House beautiful a behind-the-scenes look at the renovation process for the now married couple. Click through to see the stunning transformation (which includes a sneak peek at Berk's line for A.R.T. Furniture, launching at High Point Market next month)—because let's be honest, we never see enough of the renovation process on film!
Robert's kitchen space had simple enough bones, but it was cluttered and messy—and didn't make great use of the space.
"This episode was hard at first because I really wasn't getting much from Robert about what he liked, which made it hard to come up with a design plan for him," Berk confesses. So, the designer decided to look to his own Los Angeles loft for inspiration, opting for the same graphic color scheme and textural details, like leather drawer pulls.
"I decided a black and neutral color palette would be best and something he would love," explains Berk. Plus, the choice was practical: "I did the bottom half of the walls black to give some architectural interest and to keep little toddler hand prints from showing up on my freshly painted walls."
Berk also added an appropriately-scaled dining table and modern chairs to give the family a place to eat together. A wallcovering adds pattern without straying from the graphic color scheme.
The living space pre-redecorating was an example of how to make a black-and-white palette not chic. Oversized leather furniture make the space look crowded and messy.
Berk cleaned up the space with modern, slim sofas and an elegant coffee table, then added organic touches like a wood paneled wall and plenty of greenery. "Plants are so very important to me in a home.," the designer explains. "Not only do they clean your air, but they bring life to a space and depth plus texture that only nature can provide."
Plus, organic wood looks great against the graphic wallpaper.
"Robert and his wife's biggest challenge was the fact that they slept in separate floors of the house due to giving their master bedroom to their oldest," explains Berk. "After talking to him about how that is not a way to keep a healthy long lasting relationship, his answer was to make a bedroom space for the two of them that would help keep the passion alive."
Mission: Accomplished. Berk created a serene oasis in the same style as the home's shared spaces.
A graphic headboard, cowhide pillows, and fringed pendant light add visual interest without going too over the top.
In the bathroom, Berk kept it simple with trusty white subway tile, wood accents, and, again, black on the lower walls. Says the designer, "It's hard for me to pick one favorite part of this project since I modeled it after my own home I love it all!"