11/09/2011 09:22 am ET | Updated Oct 11, 2012

Jeremiah Brent On Transformer Toys, Coco Chanel And Redesigning The White House

By now you've probably heard of Jeremiah Brent, the handsome lad who was most recently part of stylist Rachel Zoe's fashionable posse in the Bravo reality TV series, The Rachel Zoe Project. While Jeremiah is undoubtedly fashionable, it's a known fact that his roots lie in interior design, furniture and the home. We were lucky enough to catch Jeremiah for a quick chat about his start in home design and his inspirations.

First off, how did you get into decor?
I’ve always been fascinated with interior design. I would go to open houses with my parents as a child and I repainted my room at least 700 times as a kid. And when I was 19 I started building furniture because I couldn't find anything that I liked. I bought $220 worth of Transformer toys and kind of taught myself from that by learning how all the joints for the pieces worked and how they came together. After that I literally just started building things for friends and then I got more clients and then it got me to designing nightclubs.

Wow. So what ended up being the first piece of furniture you built?
It’s an old farmhouse table built from salvaged wood that I found on the side of a road. I still have it to this day and I use it as my desk in my office.

What inspires you when it comes to design?
To be honest with you, it's people. Theres always art and environments and the outdoors but it's the people that I work with that inspire me. When I'm designing for a client I come to understand who they are and what they want and I translate all that into the space they're living in. And so really what's given me success are the people that I’ve met for each space.

Speaking of the spaces you've designed, how would you define your decorating style?
Rachel's husband Rodger has coined my style as 'Garage Sale Chic'. The truth is that I really like the juxtaposition of modern and vintage pieces. And I also love warmer colors like bourbon...it's more masculine. Although, recently I've also been obsessed with black rooms and black walls.

Now we're curious to know, how is your home decorated?
I just redid the media room in my house and painted it all black. There's a black ostrich egg chandelier, nickel accents and chairs with metal and bourbon colors. It's dark and moody there. But aside from the media room, the rest of my house is actually very light and organic with a lot of vintage and salvaged-wood pieces. I love the natural furniture from Environment and I also love furniture that have history and a story to it.

What are your favorite color combinations?
Right now, I'm 'obsessed' with brown, black and white.

Do you have any fail-safe decorating tricks for us?
As Coco Chanel said, 'When accessorizing, always take off the last thing you put on.' With a room people always over accessorize. My concept is less is more, so if it’s not absolutely beautiful or functional, edit it out.

Since you mention Coco Chanel, in your opinion, what’s the connection between fashion and design?
Both run on a lot of the same principles. A lot of times in fashion it's about taking classic staples and punching it up. In interior design it's using clean-lined sofas or simple armchairs or pieces that are timeless and punching it up with amazing art and rugs and accessories.

Are there any interesting home projects that you’re working on right now?
I’m doing stuff for Rachel still obviously. On the side I’m actually working on a lounge for Sundance, but I can't really talk about it yet.

And we want to know...what's your ultimate dream project as a designer?
Well, working with Rachel’s pretty high up there. I'd also like to come out with my own line of furniture. And I’d be happy to redo the White House -- it could use some updating.

Any ideas for gift-giving this year?
I’m a huge fan of personalized gifts like using polaroids as artworks for friends, etc.

And on your own personal wish list?
All I want in life is an iPad! I don’t know why I’m so behind, but that’s all I want!