Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images
Since it was announced last November, speculation over Bobby Berk’s exit from Queer Eye has raged across the internet and in the tabloids. In a new interview with Vanity Fair, the interior design expert and former Fab Five member has explained the real reason that he’s leaving the show and shared what he hopes viewers will remember him for.
Shortly after the announcement that Berk would not return to the show, fans noticed that he had unfollowed cohost Tan France on Instagram, and many assumed Berk was leaving because of a conflict with France. While Berk admits that they did “have a situation,” the reality of his departure is less juicy. According to Berk, each cohost signed a contract through September 2022 when the show first began, and when they wrapped on the seasons covered by the contract, he and the others assumed that the show had come to an end. Then, after nearly a year had passed, Netflix decided to renew the show because of a programming shortage caused by the simultaneous writers and actors strikes. The new contract required committing to an option of four cycles, and Berk, having already made plans for his next moves, decided not to sign.
“We thought we were done. Mentally and emotionally, I thought we all moved on. I know I did, and I started planning other things,” Berk told Vanity Fair.
Now that the show is moving on without him, Berk has the opportunity to consider what he hopes his Queer Eye legacy will be. Anyone who’s watched season after season of Berk making guests feel more content in their spaces will recognize his passion for the powers of design. That power is exactly what he hopes people will take from his stint on the show. “Your space can really transform your life,” Berk said to Vanity Fair. “You don’t have to be rich. You don’t have to be able to hire a designer. I hope that my legacy is showing that you can democratize design. Learning how to make your space work for you can be healing for you and your family.”
On the show, Berk displayed this in ways big and small, from simply organizing guests’ spaces so that they were more livable to doing full-scale renovations that prioritized how each individual uses their space. His recently published book, Right at Home: How Good Design Is Good for the Mind, tackled this topic too. Whether in the show or in his work since, Berk has emphasized getting in touch with your own tastes, wants, and needs when creating a home that supports your mental health. There are so many approaches to using design to live a healthier life, and it’s important to figure out what works best for your lifestyle and your budget. AD PRO Directory designers have discussed how individuals can think about natural light and calming colors when decorating to enhance their wellness. Simply decluttering can help reduce stress too, as experts have told AD.
Bobby Berk’s final season of Queer Eye, season eight, premiered on Netflix on January 24.
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
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