At home with Nate Berkus's right-hand women
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Lauren Buxbaum (left) and Sasha Adler know how to put a look together-in the office or anywhere.
When you’ve got as much style as Nate Berkus, decorator-in-residence on The Oprah Winfrey Show, you need equally fashion-savvy people working for you. People to whom you can say “Dior gray” (a light gray inspired by the shade Christian Dior used for his dressing rooms, which Berkus uses in many of his projects) and they will know instantly what you’re talking about. Enter Lauren Buxbaum and Sasha Adler, Berkus’s version of Charlie’s Angels. “We meet on every project together,” says Buxbaum, who has been with Berkus for five years. “Nate relays his vision to us, and we go from there,” adds Adler, who joined the firm three-and-a-half years ago. By now, certain Nate-isms have become ingrained in their brains. “He loves pieces with age and character—he’s always saying, ‘Look for chipped paint,’” says Buxbaum. “He also loves layering and using natural fibers,” adds Adler. “Lately, he’s been into using pops of color.” It also helps that the two gals are old friends who finish each other’s sentences (they met at the University of Michigan, and both later completed coursework at Harrington College of Design); shop at the same places, ranging from eBay to Blake; and, like their boss, are obsessed with antiques. Buxbaum has decorating in her blood (her parents own Antiques on Old Plank Road, in Westmont), while Adler had a crash course during her college years when her parents redecorated a vintage apartment in Chicago (“I came to every design meeting,” she recalls). All this training has culminated in their most important projects to date: the decorating of their own recently purchased condos. Here’s a peek inside each of them.
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Photograph: Andreas Larsson