Celebrity Interior Designer Bobby Berk is Back in Arizona With a New Project
“Queer Eye” star Bobby Berk is at it again designing interiors for a new development in Chandler.
When Bobby Berk is not transforming everyday individuals’ looks, homes and lives as one of the Fab Five on Netflix’s “Queer Eye,” the Los-Angeles-based design expert is bringing his minimalist approach to dwellings across the country. Berk’s latest Arizona endeavor, Treeland—a development of 86 homesites by Tri Pointe Homes in Chandler—will include nods to the property’s past as a plant nursery with communal gardens and greenspaces. This marks Berk’s third community in the southern part of the Valley. We caught up with the Emmy Award-nominated co-host to discuss the project, the art of colorizing in the design process and how to channel his signature style.
Phoenix Home & Garden: What is colorizing?
Bobby Berk: It’s the process of doing what we in the design world refer to as ‘schematic design.’ It encompasses the selection of colors, materials, fixtures and other essential elements that will not only be
functional, but also beautiful and help support the design scheme.
How does your team typically work in a colorizing meeting with a client?
The goal is to understand who we’re designing for, what their motivations and desires are, and how we can maximize both functionality and aesthetics. It’s a collaborative process where numerous details are fine-tuned.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
Clean and contemporary but honoring classic design tenets. My palettes tend to be warm and grounded by contrasting black elements. I think black is endlessly sophisticated, yet people tend to be afraid of using it in design. Fortunately, that’s finally changing.
Anything specifically in Arizona that drove the inspiration for Treeland?
The desert is always an inspiration for our designs in this area. The architecture also invites a strong indoor-outdoor connection, so we aim to create a seamless integration of nature that blurs the lines between interior and exterior. Chandler has an agrarian past, so this history is something that the landscape designers and community planners take into consideration, and we try to mirror these ideas with nods to this history in our interiors.
How do you decide which materials, fixtures and finishes to choose? What’s your editing process?
We start by curating a variety of cabinet, tile, stone, paint, lighting and wallpaper options that work within our concepts, and we then begin to put it together like a puzzle. We first prioritize the main areas (kitchen, primary bath and bedroom), and then build on those. We consider the flow from one space to another, how we can make each room feel unique, with unexpected elements that delight and excite. Once we have initial schemes in place, we look at everything holistically to make sure we’ve addressed our design prompt and have given each home a distinctive character that people will identify with and remember.
What do you see trending in interior design?
We’re starting to see more of an emphasis on lighter wood finishes and color palettes. I’m also noticing more sinewy and curvilinear shapes making their way into design.
What is your advice to someone navigating the interior design process on a new home or remodel?
Share a Pinterest board with your designer, and let them work with you on selecting finishes to achieve the look you want. If you’re afraid of going too bold, I recommend decorating with neutral colors for not only your architectural finishes, but also the larger investment items such as sofas and sectionals. You can always add touches of color through your throw pillows, accessories or art—those things that are easier to change up down the road.
Bobby Berk, bobbyberk.com. Treeland by TriPointe Homes, Chandler, tripointehomes.com.