Ever since your last bad wallpaper incident, you've left your interior-design choices to the professionals. And there are no pros more posh than Lauren Gold and Sasha Adler, design directors at Nate Berkus Associates. While Mr. Berkus balances his jam-packed schedule (including, you know, a TV show), these ladies keep things oh-so-cute on the home-front—literally. Luckily, we had the pleasure of spending some quality time with Lauren and Sasha to find out where Chicago's coolest design minds love to spend their downtime. We also got a dose of their super-covetable personal style, and are now plotting the greatest closet-copy in history. Read on for an exclusive chat with our city's most impressive design duo, and score some style secrets, interior-design tips, and a unique look at some of Chicago's best shopping and dining—all through the eyes of two total stars.
Photo by Heather Talbert
What are your rules for workday outfits?
Lauren: "I don’t have any rules, per se, but people are very fashion-conscious in our industry. I always try to add an interesting detail, whether it be in the form of vintage jewelry or a cool shoe."
Sasha: "My outfit selection really depends on what’s on my agenda for the day. I have tried to build a collection of classic, timeless pieces that can be assembled in interesting combinations without a tremendous amount of effort. I adore wearing heels, but flats are a must if visiting a job site is on deck."
On Lauren: Jil Sander blouse, Balenciaga skirt, Prada shoes, vintage Givenchy necklace, Chanel 2.55 bag.
On Sasha: Zara Blazer, Stella McCartney shorts, Jason Wu tie-neck blouse, Givenchy lace shoes and Celine bag.
What is one interior-design must for those of us in need of a quick-change?
Lauren: "People sometimes overthink paint colors and get sucked into that whole 'accent wall' situation. If you’re stuck in a paint-color rut, I would recommend painting your walls a light warm gray and making sure your trim is a bright white—it will freshen up your home."
Sasha: "You cannot go wrong investing in a gorgeous, over-sized mirror to liven up your space. It functions like a piece of artwork and immediately adds architecture to the space."
On Lauren: Marni Skirt, J.Crew button-down, Manolo Blahnik booties, vintage necklace.
On Sasha: Derek Lam Blouse, Chloé wide-leg jeans, Bottega Veneta raffia wedges, vintage gold chandelier earrings, vintage gold cuff with green stones, Hermès Birkin.
What do you love about Pavilion Antiques?
Lauren: "Their furniture is like art and can stand on its own. The pieces epitomize classic modern."
Sasha: "They have an incredibly curated collection of French and Italian, 20th Century furniture and objects. The owners are extremely knowledgeable about the various designers they carry, and I learn something new every time I visit the store."
What is your go-to shopping ensemble?
Lauren: "In the summertime, I like to wear clothes that are easy and comfortable, but stylish. I am usually in a long, fitted black dress from Rick Owens or The Row, black Alaïa flats, and a stack of gold bracelets."
Sasha: "I usually wear something comfortable, yet still assembled. In the summer, that’s probably a light dress paired with flat sandals and a great vintage necklace. I usually forgo my large tote for a messenger-style bag, like my Proenza Schouler PS1 or my Chanel 2.55 to keep my hands free."
What design rules do you follow in your own space?
Lauren: "Since my apartment is small, I really pay attention to scale. It can make a world of a difference in terms of how spacious your home feels."
Sasha: "I wait to find pieces that I am absolutely in love with rather than rush to fill my home with furniture."
How would you describe your personal style?
Lauren: "I like classic, tailored pieces accented with a great piece of vintage jewelry."
Sasha: "Thoughtful, refined and classic."
On Lauren: Marc Jacobs top, Vanessa Bruno pants, YSL Tribute sandals, vintage crystal necklace, Chanel 2.55 bag.
On Sasha: Jil Sander pants, Zara blouse, Marni necklace, Christian Louboutin pumps, Céline bag, vintage cocktail ring.
Why is Revival one of your favorite shopping spots?
Lauren: "While I love this store for its reasonable prices, I also love the interesting and often quirky inventory."
Sasha: "Revival has an amazing collection of everything from Mid-Century furniture to pottery and architectural elements. It is always on our shopping list."
Where would we find you shopping in Chicago?
Lauren: "I don’t get out to the stores too often, but when I do, it’s within walking distance of my apartment in the Gold Coast area, and anywhere that will allow me to shop with my dog."
Sasha: "With my busy schedule, I love to spend my free time with my husband and daughter, so I am definitely more of a destination-shopper. I usually head to where I know I can find what I am looking for quickly."
On Lauren: Marni Top, Marc Jacobs skort, Prada shoes, vintage ivory bracelets, Barton Perreira sun glasses.
On Sasha: 3.1 Phillip Lim dress, Chanel booties and sunglasses, vintage YSL necklace.
What do you love most about living in Chicago?
Lauren: "To me, big-city living doesn’t get better than this. We have amazing restaurants, museums, parks, and a gorgeous lakefront, and we don’t have to live in a closet to reap the benefits."
Sasha: "I grew up in Downtown Chicago, so to me it just feels like home. But it truly is an energetic, yet extremely livable city. During the nice weather, I seize every possible opportunity to be near the lakefront, my favorite aspect of the city."
On Lauren: J.Crew blouse, Albino skort, Manolo Blahnik booties, vintage jade and gold ring, vintage snakeskin handbag.
On Sasha: BCBG blouse, Marni Skirt, Miu Miu platform pumps, Hermès belt.