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Cindy Hodnett

Swavelle/Mill Creek line reflects what Berkus loves

NEW YORK - The national retail launch of Nate Berkus' fabric collection manufactured by Swavelle/Mill Creek takes place this month, following its launch at the High Point Showtime textile market in December and preceding the spring to-the-trade introduction of additional SKUs.
     Although the spring collection is still "being edited," according to Berkus, the interior designer and television host talked about his inspiration for the fabric line and why affordability was a significant consideration during the development stage.
     "One of the things that is most important to me about this collection is that it be accessible," Berkus said. "I think if someone is seeing different fabric patterns and textures that they like in my collection, then they should be able to find and afford these fabrics for their home. You usually need between 18 and 23 yards of fabric for a standard sofa and between eight and 12 yards for a chair. That adds up fast." Prices for the Berkus collection range from $7.95 a yard to $25.95 a yard at wholesale, with an average price around $15.
     The initial launch included more than 100 SKUs in a variety of categories such as print, drapery and woven upholstery fabrics. For the new introductions, he is adhering to the same design philosophy he uses for his home.
     "I love textiles; it's the first thing I reach for when I'm traveling," Berkus said. "I like to see what's local, what color combinations are available. We all have sort of a visceral reaction to things when we love them, and with textiles, if you are including something because you love it, you will find a place for it. There is so much design influence out there; it can easily confuse people. But if you put a lens on everything that crosses your threshold and bring in only what you love, then the design works itself out."

Nate Berkus’

Nate Berkus' new fabric line for Swavelle/Mill Creek, shown at the December Showtime, incorporates influences from the designer's global travels and ranges from $7.95 to $25.95 per yard wholesale.

Swavelle/Mill Creek’s Nate Berkus collection includes more than 100 SKUs, among them print, drapery and woven upholstery fabrics.
Swavelle/Mill CreekSwavelle/Mill Creek is launching the Berkus collection nationally in January at retailer Calico. Shown is a Calico living room with fabrics from the collection.

     Berkus has many design favorites that influence his purchases, including a passion for French and Italian furniture from the 1970s. He created a line of home furnishings for Target that incorporates many of the style elements that he finds appealing, but he also emphasizes that his is not a one-style-fits-all design viewpoint.
     "My collections will never be one-note," he said. "It's not fashion - it has to last longer. I don't design for editorial; I design for people.
     "What's exciting to me about this fabric collection is the combinations of patterns," Berkus said. "Once someone connects with a pattern, texture or color, it becomes a question of, ‘Is it a sofa or a chair?' I look forward to seeing what people do with the fabrics and share with me through social media."

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