When Nate Berkus launched his eponymous design firm at the age of 24, he likely had no idea what was in store. Today, he’s got an award-winning portfolio, a sought-after (and often sold out!) collection with Target, and a forthcoming television program. He still remains at the helm of Nate Berkus Associates, alongside two stellar Design Directors — Lauren Buxbaum Gordon and Sasha Adler. Their office in Chicago is energetic and collaborative, focusing on high end residential and commercial projects, worldwide. Their projects are memorable and inspired, with a “marked understanding of antiques, textiles, fine art and custom design.”

While the pair has a lot in common, both with each other and with Nate, they still have quite distinctive points of view — a total strength in interior design. We thought it’d be fun to put them through our #5MinutesWith Q&A to see the similarities — and differences — of this dynamic duo.

MY LIGHTBULB MOMENT:
LAUREN BUXBAUM GORDON: “I was planning on going into pre-law at the University of Michigan until the summer of my junior year when an internship opportunity with Nate landed at my feet. A week into the job, one of his designers asked me to design a living room, and as I was pulling together a presentation, I remember thinking that I couldn’t believe work could be so much fun. A couple of days later, Nate promised me a job when I graduated, and I knew that was what I wanted to do. I’ve been with Nate ever since.”

SASHA ADLER: “Realizing interior design was exactly what I wanted to do, after dreaming of being in fashion my whole life and starting in that industry.”

I CAN’T START MY DAY UNTIL:
LBG: “I have a cup of coffee and a cuddle with my 11 month old daughter, Georgia.”

SA: “I have given hugs and kisses to both of my kids (even via Skype when I am traveling) and then COFFEE!”

SUCCESS IS:
LBG: “Being passionate about what you do and feeling content.”

SA: “Being genuinely happy with where I am in my life and looking forward to (most) days!”

YOU’LL NEVER SEE ME WITHOUT:
LBG: “Cherry Chapstick and curled eyelashes. If you find me without, you know something is awry.”

SA: “My notebook (where I literally write everything from project ideas to grocery lists), my phone and a big vintage cocktail ring!”

MY DREAM COLLABORATION:
LBG: “I’ve always wanted the opportunity to work on a Bobby McAlpine house. I’m also a huge fan of Mira Duma and would love to do her home!”

SA: “I would absolutely love to collaborate on a line of jewelry. We often design custom hardware for clients and I am always thinking of how it could translate to amazing jewelry! We are all obsessed with great vintage jewelry and if Nate, Lauren and I have a free moment in between meetings you can usually find us combing the local estate jewelers!”

THE ONLY PLACE BETTER THAN CHICAGO:
LBG: “Minocqua, Wisconsin. I’m serious.”

SA: “A beach with my family!”

WHEN I FEEL UNINSPIRED:
LBG: “Travel is always my first pick, but if that luxury isn’t an option, I tumble down the Pinterest rabbit hole. I could pin for hours on end. I also love scouring for new resources on Etsy.”

SA: “I spend some time looking at things that reinvigorate my creativity. It could be anything from reading a magazine to spending some time on Pinterest, but nothing inspires and recharges me more than traveling. I absolutely love exploring a new city and visiting the local markets.”

ADVICE I WISH I HAD 5 YEARS AGO:
LBG: “Only do what makes you happy.”

SA: “I wish I could remind myself to stop worrying…I truly believe everything happens for a reason and it’s more important to enjoy the moment and be present!”

IN 5 YEARS FIND ME:
LBG: “Pretty status quo because, after all, I’m content!”

SA: “Hopefully still doing something I love everyday and being a good role model to my two children.”

ABOVE ALL ELSE:
LBG: “Family is everything.”

SA: “Trust your gut; it’s always right!”

To learn more about Nate Berkus Associates, click here.