He's designed hundreds of spaces for the Oprah Winfrey Show, but now Nate Berkus is taking UsMagazine.com behind the scenes of his latest makeover -- his own New York City apartment!

Relocating to the city from Chicago to tape his syndicated design series, The Nate Berkus Show, premiering Sept. 13, Berkus, 38, moved into a two-bedroom apartment in NYC's Chelsea neighborhood.

To give the ultra-modern 1,700-square-foot rental a cozy feel, Berkus relied on natural materials, antiques and "things that have meaning, like gifts from friends," he says. (Take a video tour of his space, above.)

One of Berkus' favorite pieces: a leather rhinoceros that was a wedding gift to the designer's parents, who divorced when he was 18-months-old.

"It ended up in the basement of my mother's house in Minnesota," Berkus says of the item that is now displayed in his foyer. "I looked at it one day when I was home and 10 years ago, my mother gave it to me. It's always been with me in every home I've moved to."

The designer's top tip to furnish your digs on a budget?

"The flea market is the best place in the world," he tells Us. "When you've got that bookshelf that seems so intimidating [to fill], you can buy things for $3 or $4 -- whether they're vases or little storage boxes or vintage coffee table books -- those are the things that really rise up in your home and tell the story of who you are. I would never go in and design something with all new things."

For more photos of Berkus's luxe apartment -- complete with views of the Hudson River and Statue of Liberty -- pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on stands today!