Jeremiah Brent Talks Travel, Design, and Cocktails

Whether you know him as the host of the OWN Network's Home Made Simple, right hand man to Rachel Zoe, or husband to the one and only Nate Berkus, you're probably familiar with Jermiah Brent. What you may not know is that Brent is a powerhouse craftsman and entrepreneur in his own right. With an eye for detail and a commitment to sexy, vibrant style, the California native leads the talented team at Jeremiah Brent Design, a full-service interior design firm with offices in LA and New York.

As if hosting a hit show and heading up a cutting-edge company don't keep him busy enough (not to mention full-time daddy duties at home for daughter Poppy), Brent finds time to be a pro party planner too. In August, he partnered with Cointreau to host the Collection de Voyages, a soiree inspired by his passion for travel. Infusing each unique handmade cocktail with inspiration from his favorite destinations (including Croatia, Morocco, Vietnam, and more), Brent shared some of his favorite entertaining and travel tips.

We can't get enough of Brent, so we asked him to answer a few more questions on the topics of travel, tunes, and of course, cocktails. 

How do the places you visit inspire and influence your work?

I am constantly inspired by my love of traveling — and not just by the destinations, but by the absolute joy of the journey itself. When you travel and experience other cultures, you really take something away with you at the end — be it artifacts, traditions, scents, or recipes. The act of sharing these collectables with friends and loved ones is the ultimate celebration and encourages global discovery and a sense of wanderlust. I like to collect bold glasses, plates, textiles, antiques and other souvenirs during my travels to incorporate into my entertaining at home. They are a great way to serve cocktails and food and paired with regionally inspired ingredients, transport your guests to your favorite destination.

A view of the atmosphere at the Cointreau x Jeremiah Brent Soiree at Big Daddy's Antique Shop on August 6, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Cointreau)

How did this partnership with Cointreau come about and what’s your go-to cocktail recipe?

Cointreau and I share a love for creating environments that inspire others. By transporting and transforming someone’s experience through the art of curating an event, hosts can bring past memories and adventures to the present, elevating the art of entertaining, and the experiences of the guests. One of my go-to cocktails right now is the Cointreau Rickey. It’s a quick recipe you can make at home. Add a flavorful herb or a fresh, exotic fruit or vegetable to transport your guests to another place around the world.

What are some simple ways to integrate worldly elements into home design?

I like to collect bold glasses, plates, textiles, antiques and other souvenirs during my travels to incorporate into my entertaining at home. They are a great way to serve cocktails and food and paired with regionally inspired ingredients, transport your guests to your favorite destination. Tablescapes should be considered a canvas to help drive home your overall vision and theme for a soirée, they can serve as conversation starters, ice breakers even, and help to make a table feel layered and warm. Curate yours with items you have collected from your travels - a vase from Vietnam, beads you picked up on a trip to Peru, olive oil dishes from your honeymoon in Florence.

Jeremiah Brent attends the Cointreau x Jeremiah Brent Soiree at Big Daddy's Antique Shop on August 6, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Cointreau)

Imagine you're just returning home from a long day and remember your friends are coming over for cocktails in an hour - what are your top three tips for effortless entertaining in a pinch?

1. Probably my biggest tip would be to keep it simple. Do passed hand foods. Make the food easy. Dine family style.

2. I like to set up bars at my parties so people can make their own cocktails and mix and match and teach each other different things. That’s a big part of what we did with Cointreau. That interactive energy is really important to any party.

3. Dim, dim, dim, dim. Candles, candles, candles. I am always a fan of moody, low, soft, ambient lighting. It’s like a hug for the eyes

Guests attend the Cointreau x Jeremiah Brent Soiree at Big Daddy's Antique Shop on August 6, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Cointreau)

What’s your go-to playlist for a laid-back evening of cocktails with friends?

Scents aside, music is the final layer to any soirée. I’m a big fan of, and proponent for, ambient music, nothing over the top. The subtler – the better. You can curate a playlist inspired by the locale and theme of the soirée to help instantly transport guests to feel as though they are visiting the city. For me, It's always Rhye when I am entertaining.

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