It's no doubt that 2020 has been an unforgettable year. Our homes becames our offices, gyms, classrooms, and so on. Our friendships went virtual and our daily routines got some serious change.
Interior designer and dad-of-two Nate Berkus can sure relate. He spoke with House Beautiful about his time spent self-isolating this year, which was split between his Montauk home and West Village apartment. For Berkus, it was a complete change of pace. Suddenly, he wasn’t traveling or filming, but instead spending almost every waking moment with his two kids, Poppy and Oskar, and husband Jeremiah Brent. This experience gave him a newfound appreciation for the smaller moments in life.
"These little moments throughout this past year have been so beautiful," Berkus tells us. "I've been moved to tears at moments, you know... just walking with my kids to get the mail from our mailbox."
Berkus explains that prior to the pandemic, checking the mailbox was never a family affair. However, it had become their nightly ritual. "Potentially one of the most mundane tasks ever became something that the entire family looked forward to and celebrated," he says. He notes that they'd sing songs and hold hands on their journey to the mailbox. This got Berkus curious as to how other families found joy during these tumultuous times.
While this year has been far from picture perfect— and not one that many probably want to remember, Berkus teamed up with Starbucks for its first Holiday At-Home Portrait series. Via zoom, he virtually visited the homes of four other families across the country, listened to their stories, and helped them pinpoint the small unexpected things that made them smile this year.
Then, he helped these families capture it all in a holiday portrait. Since he couldn’t physically be there, Berkus aided each family in staging their photo— from choosing their location, theme, lighting, and more. "Even working virtually, I was like, 'Hey, can you guys pick up that sofa? and pivot it so that your, your lighting will be better?" Berkus jokes.
The result? Some stunning holiday portraits that are truly reflective of the wild year it's been. Take a look!
The Gundersen Family
Dianuh Aerin, the founder of creative watercolor design company Chasing Linen, welcomed her first child in 2020 and moved from California to Tennessee. She and her husband are finding joy in their new home and role as parents.
The Lopez Family
Mom-of-five and school counselor Kristen Lopez has been juggling a lot in 2020. Between work and virtual schooling, she and her husband still find time to enjoy the little moments with their kids. She finds the most joy when the family is all gathered in the kitchen, or the family's "hub" as she calls it. You can follow her parenting journey @raisingfivekind.
The Plessy Family
In 2020, the Plessy family got the opportunity to spend a lot of quality time together — despite packed work and virtual school schedules. Neferteri Plessy, CEO and founder of the non-profit Single Moms Planet, found joy in having her mother and two sons all under one roof with her.
The Yusuf Family
The bond between sisters Nasteha and Nuni Yusuf, who run the lifestyle and fashion blog The Yusufs, became even stronger in 2020. The ladies, who only live five minutes away from each other, spent more time with each other and their kids than ever.
The Berkus Family
Of course, we can’t forget Berkus and his family! Fun fact: Nate Berkus drinks his coffee black. When it comes to the holidays, he goes for a hot black cup of Starbucks Holiday Blend, where he finds joy in the blend's sweeter notes.
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