Here’s Why Nate Berkus Says You Should Shop Secondhand First

published Dec 5, 2023
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Headshot of nate berkus
Credit: Photos: Getty Images; Design: Apartment Therapy

Although Nate Berkus’s profession is creating fresh and new spaces for his clients, he often relies on bits of the old and antique to bring life into a space. He loves using lighting to add character to a design, and he’s a self-professed fan of shopping secondhand for unique lighting pieces to not only save on a redesign, but also find that one-of-a-kind hero piece your space is dying for.

And now he’s doubling down on his advice to always shop vintage for lighting, and showed off one of his new (to him) favorite pieces! “One place where you can definitely save money but not sacrifice finding an amazing thing with a lot of character and foundation is antique lighting,” Berkus said in a recent Instagram video. “This vintage lantern in its original finish was under $300 and it hangs above my desk in my New York City office.”

He continued, “So before you hit the catalogs, take a look at what you can find online. eBay, Etsy, Chairish, Facebook Marketplace — those are great sources.”

Berkus is such a fan of vintage shopping that he’s bought the same mid-century Soriana sofa from Scarpa twice because it’s just that good. Secondhand designer pieces like the Soriana aren’t going to be the least expensive option, but Berkus has previously noted that you don’t have to go designer to get a bespoke and timeless look.

If the pieces you’re finding are close to what you’re looking for but not quite right, Berkus has suggested getting crafty — you can’t go wrong with a little bit of DIY!

Vintage and antique fixtures, furniture, and even home accessories add so much character to your space, no matter your aesthetic. So before you buy new, do as Berkus does and check out secondhand sites and thrift and antique stores first to find that special something that will take your decor from good to great.