Nate Berkus needs no introduction. The brilliant with bright blue eyes has been showcased on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," his own two-season series, "The Nate Berkus Show," and of course, the pages ofSiweb.
But beyond his impressive résumé, there's a slew of other noteworthy facts that make Berkus one of the most interesting designers working today.
1. He started his design firm when he was just 24 years old.
Berkus stepped out on his own as a very young man, starting Nate Berkus Associates in 1995. He's still at the helm of the company now, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in October, 2015.
2. Originally, his TV work was just for fun.
Berkus was a from 2002 until he started his spinoff series "The Nate Berkus Show" in 2010. But it was actually one of her producers who first approached the budding star at the bequest of Ms. Winfrey.
"I had an art opening in Chicago, and one of her producers came. I had done some work on HGTV just for fun, and they asked me to do a project on Oprah's show," he told in 2006. "I never slept less or ate more in my life. But the creativity was so palpable and the work ethic was so solid, and that was a real match for me."
3. But his love of design started at a very young age.
Berkus's mom, HGTV designer Nancy Golden, from yard sales and antique malls, so it's no surprise he developed a penchant for rearranging furniture while he was still a child.
"If you interview any of the mothers of my friends from elementary school, they'll tell you the same thing happened in their living rooms," Berkus said after a completely unplanned living room makeover. "At a sleepover I'd be looking around the room, bothered that it could be better."
4. He's laid his roots all over the country.
In his adult life, Berkus has called a number of bustling cities home, including , and Chicago, but his bicoastal life started early. He was born in Orange County, California, , attended , and went to .
5. But he cut his teeth working for a jeweler in Paris.
Despite his early onset love of interior design, Berkus started his career as an intern at a Chicago-based auction house, and then headed abroad to work for a jeweler in Paris, France.
6. He has a few surprising at-home quirks.
Speaking of thinking outside the box, Berkus isn't afraid to admit that he approaches more than just design in a unique way. For example, he decants his eggs, has a dedicated gift wrap drawer, and always peels the labels off of his shampoo bottles.
7. He will only keep things he truly loves.
Even though Berkus has a reputation for being the ultimate nice guy, he still won't hold on to gifts or home items unless he really adores them. But his philosophy behind that decision is actually pretty heart warming.
"I'm such a ruthless editor in my home that there isn't a coffee cup or hand towel I don't love. I don't want to have things — even things behind doors or behind closets — that don't make me happy. There's too many people who need stuff," he told elledecor.com in 2012.
8. He was a victim of the devastating 2004 Tsunami in Sri Lanka.
This did make headlines when the news first broke, but it's such a monumental moment that it's still worth mentioning. Berkus was on vacation with his then-partner, photographer Fernando Bengoechea when the tsunami hit and pulled them both from their hut. Berkus opened up about his fight to survive, and the devastating loss of Bengoechea in his book "," and wrote about how design helped him cope with the horror.
"I realized that reshuffling interiors and surfaces was a profound part of our relationship—that the best way to honor Fernando was to follow my instincts, to mix it up and continue the experiment," he .
9. Design isn't his only talent; he's also an executive producer in Hollywood and a best-selling author.
As mentioned above, Berkus wrote the book "" in 2012, but also authored "" in 2005. In addition, he for the Oscar-winning film, "The Help."
10. He even guest starred on a soap opera.
Berkus made his professional acting debut in 2011, of the long-running soap, "Days of Our Lives."
11. He and his husband were the first gay couple to wed at The New York Public Library
In May, 2014, Berkus and fellow interior designer Jeremiah Brent , becoming the first same-sex couple to ever say "I do" at the iconic Manhattan location.
12. And the couple continues to honor Nate's late partner through their own relationship.
Berkus and Brent, who are now parents to daughter Poppy Brent-Berkus, are committed to honoring Fernando Bengoechea, and his role in Berkus's life, by keeping photos of him throughout their home. Brent even called the tragic loss an important part of their relationship, and that their daughter "will know who he was."