On Working The Room, the newest TV show from A&E,  designer Nathan Turner stepped in full force to rescue a cluttered bedroom from design despair. The all-star designer convinced his clients to get out of their comfort zone, a tense move that ended up in (happy) tears. Checkout the transformation and the Sotheby’s Home pieces that helped bring the design to life.


The couple’s busy life has taken priority over their bedroom décor, which has been overlooked since they moved in 15 years ago.


Nathan Turner seemed sure of what needed to be done the minute he entered Matt and Karen’s bedroom. The carpet? “It should come with Zoloft or something, it’s so sad.” The broken bed? Gone. The walls? Painted or covered with wallpaper. Convincing his clients was a different story, though. Both of them are busy with full-time jobs, kids, and two dogs; while they were open to getting rid of most of the room’s furniture, they were reluctant to embrace a bold approach. “It’s just…busy. It doesn’t make me want to exhale,” said Karen, who ultimately decided to let Nathan “work his magic,” and did not regret.



A Festoni pair of table lamps in teal green added a pop of color mirrored in the Nancy Caperton bench, which was reupholstered to match color scheme

Nathan’s work onscreen is exactly how he approaches all projects in real life, with an open mind and ears to fully take in what his clients look for and what they struggle with. “My favorite part was starting to win Karen over with my ideas, but it was also the scariest part because if I push an idea on somebody, it better turn out! [laughs] It’s exciting, but then it’s like, ‘Oh crap, I hope this works because then I’m gonna be sitting there sounding like an idiot.'” Known for his layered approach, Nathan chose antique pieces from Sotheby’s Home along with newer items which he customized to fit his design vision.



With a compressed timeline for delivering the project, Nathan leaned in to his trusted sources for fast delivery and custom designs. His signature banana leaf wallpaper was toned down to a more muted color combination, paired with a striped pattern in the same color family. “So much of the room was already accounted for anyway, whether it’s the closet door or the windows. Once you really look at a wall, there’s very little space, so go bold with a pattern, go bold with a color, and then layer on top of it, which diffuses it even more. I’d like people to get out of such boring, quiet, beige decorating—which is funny since the final room was a beige room—but there’s so much going for it, those bold pops of color and pattern that made it more interesting.”


The seating area is now a reading nook with a Barclay Butera armchair and a Victorian-style ottoman, both reupholstered in same fabric to match.


The new bedroom is in a neutral palette that has plenty of visual dimension, thanks to the pairing of different wallpaper patterns, rug, and upholstery all in the same tones but with different textures. Karen’s only design request was to keep the chandelier found on a trip, which stayed in place, adding color to the entrance of the room. The couple’s honeymoon in Bula, Fiji, was the main inspiration, and according to Nathan, the new space  “is where you guys should come and truly relax, and feel like you are back in Fiji.”


For what should have been an area of respite, Karen and Matt’s current master suite’s sitting area left much to be desired.


For the working area, Nathan picked an antique French Provincial desk, paired with a vintage rosewood and leather side chair. The designer, who favors vintage items over showroom pieces, explains: “Clients are often surprised when they find out that a beautiful 19th-century chest of drawers is cheaper than making a brand new one. So for me, one thing I try to teach my clients about vintage is that it’s like a lifetime purchase; so if you buy a beautiful 18th-century French commode, it’s a nightstand in one house, and then an entry piece in another, and it just moves with you, and there’s always a place for it, always.”


The new working area: clean and simple lines in a antique desk and vintage chair, subtle colors for the gallery wall, and a pair of hand-painted table lamps.


About the show: Working The Room is an innovative new home makeover series, that follows highly regarded interior designers, as they come to the rescue of overwhelmed clients to make over a room in desperate need of transformation. Featuring the unique talents of Nathan Turner, Mat Sanders, and Tiffany Riggle, Working The Room brings to life each designer’s creative process, including how they choose items to help anchor each reimagined space from Sotheby’s Home.

Did you miss Nathan’s premiere on FYI? Or, simply can’t get enough? Catch the episode again, Saturday, May 11, at 9:00AM EST on A&E to watch the premiere episode of Working The Room!
Love Nathan’s design for Karen and Matt? Shop the look, with Nathan’s personally curated selection based off the episode exclusively on Sotheby’s Home.

Stay up to date on all things Working The Room by following along on FYI and A&E, and by checking out exclusive behind-the-scenes coverage on Sotheby’s Home’s YouTube, Instagram, and Working the Room online hub.

Keep up with Nathan Turner: Site | Instagram | Twitter

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