He is so very handsome, has a head full of “May I run my hands through it?” hair AND he’s nice, to boot. SOCIALITE LIFE caught up with The Rachel Zoe Project‘s breakout star, Jeremiah Brent, who, btw, we refuse to call “The New Brad.” He started out this season as a stylist for Zoe Zoe and Co., wanting to try out something other than interior design, a craft he’s become very good at over the years.
When Brent decorated Zoe and husband Rodger’s new Beverly Hills home, everyone – Rachel, her staff and the viewers – was blown away by how wonderful the place looked. It was crystal clear that Brent had a talent for bringing to life a blank canvas. We caught up with Brent to talk Zoe, making a room POP, and what he’s up to these days.
You are hugely talented as an interior decorator, but what made you want to go into styling?
Thank you, first of all! At about age 25 I had a bit of a quarter-life crisis and expected to be at a certain place by then, which was unrealistic to some extent. I used to have a lot of passion for interior design but I somehow lost it alog the way, and so fashion was what I thought to be a new beginning, but in the end it just solidified the love I have for design. It was a chance to try something new, and the opportunity to actually learn something from Rachel Zoe. How do you turn that down?
What advice to you have for someone in their 20s struggling to find their passion and what they want to do with their life?
For me, the way to find out is to try something different. I fell into a pattern where I thought what I was doing was what I wanted, but when I discovered doing something out of my comfort zone, that was a different issue. It wasn’t about the occupation it was just about me personally growing and changing and I’ve realized in your 20′s there’s, like, 3 differents stages. In your early 20s you think you know everything and in your mid-20s you realize you know nothing. And then, in your late 2′s you start to figure yourself out and sort of come out of it. You realize who you are and who you want to become. I would just say try different things. Don’t always quit what you’re doing if something brought you there initially, and you just have to listen to that voice you know. You have to try different things, that’s how people realize what they’re meant to do.
Are you officially back in the interior design realm or are you still styling? What are you doing these days?
I’m officially Rachel Zoe’s home design expert … anything home or design related is all me.
Now that people are becoming more familiar with your style, what would you say makes it YOURS? What is signature Jeremiah style?
I pride myself on not having one specific style. A great interior designer is able to capture who someone is and adapt to who they are. Rachel is very Parisian chic and very glamorous, and I am more masculine and I like dark palettes. My signature would probably just be the layers. The best thing for me is having that final layer and every accessory is placed and hung exactly how it should be. I think it’s really important to make it seem like people live there.
What ties a room together?
It depends on what room. I think art is a really fantastic way to tell someone’s story and show what their space is about. I think that in a living room a really fantastic, beautiful sofa is something great to build a story around. For Rachel, I wanted to produce a more traditional aspect, but did it in a modern way. Use traditional accents, but still keep it modern.
What’s your advice for decorating a small space? For instance, a New York studio?
The greatest thing about my design background has been trial and error. I don’t think you always have to follow the rules. I have a small guestroom in my house and I just painted the entire thing black. It’s not something someone tells you to ever do, but ironically the room feels two times bigger! It’s so cozy. I think people should just break the rules and take some risks. You can always repaint and try something new. People get bogged down into “this is a small room so I have to have small furniture” No! Put a big sofa in there, a couple small side tables instead of a coffee table.
Everyone usually gets so scared to use black, but it’s really a great color work with. It’s so much fun and so pretty. It sounds weird, but it’s so much better than it was. I was excited to try something moodier.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
I’m doing a few things for Rachel that I can’t say. But I still have some home clients on the side, which I can say more about soon. I’m trying to find some new projects, which is exciting. Rachel’s new offices, which I may or not be doing…!
So, is Joey (Maloof) being nicer to you these days?
The thing with Joey is that he has a really big heart and he means well; he just doesnt have a filter. I’m one of those people who takes so much to get riled up, that half the time it goes in one ear and out the other. It’s so funny that I’m so aloof and focused on work that I dont even notice what he says half the time, then I’ll rewatch it and think “Wait a second…”
So you really enjoy working for Rachel’s company?
I do! I love working for them. I mean, obviously they’re like a family to me now, so we have our ups and downs. They take really good care of you once you’re a part of their family. I like playing with the fact that Rachel’s aspect is so different from mine. She’s feminine and glamorous, so it’s fun.