Bobby Berk Explains His Next Move

The former Fab Five member’s first post-“Queer Eye” project is a line of interior design templates he hopes will democratize style.

Though it is perhaps obvious to any casual viewer of Queer Eye, Netflix’s massively successful 2018 reboot of a Y2K-era trailblazer, it feels important to say this up front: Bobby Berk, the designer of the group, is the hardest working member of the Fab Five. While his counterparts certainly put in their own versions of sweat equity—from Antoni teaching clarinet impresarios how to use puff pastry to Karamo serving as de facto therapist—Bobby’s work is by far the most impactful, even though most of it occurs offscreen. "We meet the hero on Tuesday and I have the house back and done by Friday afternoon," Berk tells me as we sit and stare at each other through a computer screen on a Zoom. That this timeline is so tight makes sense for the show, but also, it’s impressive: the transformations that Berk and, of course, his team achieve in a few short days are often nothing short of incredible.

As you’ve likely seen, however, the eighth season of Queer Eye was Bobby’s last, due to numerous reasons elucidated in a January Vanity Fair article: the show was cancelled but then brought back in 2023, and Berk had already made plans to move on—and because he didn’t want to back out of his other opportunity, he parted ways. News of his departure from the show left fans (including myself) wondering what his next move could possibly be—a home decor line, a show of his own, or maybe a custom pantry organizer collection. What Berk is actually up to, though, is something that I’d not anticipated: a line of custom model houses for Nevada-based construction company Tri Pointe Homes.

It’s certainly an interesting pivot and one that I’d not considered in the realm of possibility, but as Berk tells me (and the website confirms), he’s worked with Tri Pointe in some capacity since 2015, when he served as "celebrity creative director" for the company’s Responsive Home project, helping design two concept homes aimed at millennial homebuyers in Nevada’s Inspirada master-planned community. That sheds a little more light on Berk’s new endeavor, the general gist of which is this: Berk has curated 1o very specific interior designs, from furniture to finishes, for Tri Pointe’s tract home offerings, so anyone who wants to buy a Bobby Berk-designed home can do so in one of the company’s many planned communities around the country, from Nevada, California, and Arizona, to North Carolina, Virginia, and elsewhere. (The first Tri Pointe communities to offer the BB Edit designs are in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Winchester, California, starting in the mid $400,000s, and Rancho Mission Viejo, starting in the low $1 millions; by 2025, the company plans to offer the Berk-designed homes in all of the 15 U.S. metro areas it serves.)

The Bobby Berk x Tri Pointe Homes collaboration (The BB Edit) includes includes 10 curated interior design collections, such as New Mediterranean, Luxe Bohemian, and Transitional Farmhouse. The New Mediterranean kitchen is pictured above, styled by Teressa Johnson.

The Bobby Berk x Tri Pointe Homes collaboration (The BB Edit) includes includes 10 curated interior design collections, such as New Mediterranean, Luxe Bohemian, and Transitional Farmhouse. The New Mediterranean kitchen is pictured above, styled by Teressa Johnson.

Tri Pointe specializes in planned communities of the sort that one’s parents might retire to when it comes time to "downsize" or, alternatively, that young families intimidated by the entire process of buying a home and wanting a solution that feels relatively turnkey, from showing to close, would gravitate toward. Potential homeowners can also work with Tri Pointe for financing options, so that the unsexy aspects of home ownership feel a little more manageable. Berk wants to be clear that his intentions are pure—he’s interested in "democratizing design" and proving that you don’t need unlimited, bountiful resources to live in a beautiful home. "The thing that excites me about design is the ability it has to really change people’s lives," Berk says. "It excites me for people in the real world to know that they can have beautifully designed homes and not break the bank to do so."

Tri Pointe’s offerings share a lot of aesthetic similarities with the makeovers Berk executes on Queer Eye—attainable enough to feel realistic but also a bit on the quiet side—that is, they lack any discernible personality for now, and are somewhat of a blank-enough slate upon which a happy family can imprint their hopes and dreams—just one where some of the more fiddly design decisions are taken care of for you. The 10 styles range from things like Luxe Bohemian to Transitional Farmhouse, and you can opt to get the whole package, including finishes and furniture. "My team and I just did a lot of research of what’s kind of hot and hip right now," Berk says. "I first started with the things that I love and I also, I wanted to choose looks that didn’t look too dated."

A suburban tract home of the sort that Tri Pointe builds and sells serves as a vessel for varied and different versions of the American dream—a brand new home built by a builder company in a planned community is a blank canvas in the truest sense of the word. But so often, these sorts of homes are architecturally uninteresting and mind-numbing in their sameness, from the gray LVP flooring to the matte black fixtures—features that I imagine are inoffensive enough to keep and are too much hassle to replace.

Even if the Berk x Tri Pointe Homes designs are a little quiet, they are at the very least, intentional. Taking the plunge into home ownership is a terrifying prospect, financially and otherwise, and the amount of decisions that need to be made can feel overwhelming—thinking about what tile you want for the backsplash in the kitchen while also juggling the concept of a mortgage is a recipe for a specific kind of cognitive dissonance. So for a celebrity of Berk’s stature to throw his weight behind a massive undertaking like this feels like a bit of kindness. But Berk assures me that Tri Pointe’s mission is to make the cookie-cutter feel custom. "It’s not like everyone else’s house on the block," he says, "which is why we went so hard to do 10 different collections, because we want people to be able to have different things, not just the faucets, and the countertops, and the tile and the flooring."

While initially befuddling, this is a choice that ultimately makes sense. The next logical step in a career similar to Berk’s is also the most expected. I’d gladly read a juicy tell-all about his time in the trenches of the design world and the Fab Five, and if Berk were to sell linen sheets at Target alongside Chip and Joanna Gaines’s Hearth and Hand collection and Nate Berkus’s eponymous bedding, I’d probably buy a throw pillow or two and think nothing more of it. But this decision is the one that allows Berk to do what he excels at—allowing regular people to see the possibilities for pleasure and happiness via the power of intentional design.

Top photo by Viby Creative for Tri Pointe Homes

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Megan Reynolds
Senior Home Guides Editor
Megan Reynolds is Dwell's Senior Home Guides Editor. She's previously worked at Jezebel, The Billfold, and many others. She feels strongly about neon as a neutral and loves a good lamp. Holler: megan.reynolds @ dwell dot com.




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