Monday, January 2, 2012

I’m happy to be starting the year off with an interview with none other than Bob and Cortney Novogratz.

Bob and Cortney are a husband and wife team with seven children (including two sets of twins) who have been creating vibrant and hip spaces for 16 years.


They began their career in renovating and design by purchasing a condemned townhouse  in Chelsea, NY in 1996.  “They gutted and rebuilt it, and discovered they were not only skilled at doing so, but also that they enjoyed the process. “We liked the chaos, and we grew as a couple,” Ms. Novogratz said.”  {Excerpt from here.}  That was the beginning of a series of real estate purchases and renovations some of which are chronicled in their book Downtown Chic.

Their recent design show, Home by Novogratz, premieres in Canada tonight.  Viewers of each half-hour episode will witness their unique design talent  as they transform spaces, be it residential or commercial, from concept to completion.  It’s just what Canadian design TV viewers have been waiting for!

You can watch a short clip (love this scene which comes across as unscripted) from one of the episodes airing tonight and also get a tour of their Brazil home here.

This was their recent holiday card  -  adorable!  The Times of London called them the “Coolest Family in the World.”

What do you think sets Home by Novogratz apart from other design TV shows?
On Home by Novogratz, we attempt to show new, edgy decor ideas you might not have seen before.  We always want to be different and original.  We urge our audience to step outside their comfort zone and try something new.

Before of  the Living Room featured in the first episode of Home by Novogratz.

I have to ask this question! Do you have a nanny or someone (a team?) help you out with the kids or at home?  
We are very lucky to have help.  We are appreciative for every bit of it.

Who inspires you (each of you)?  
We are both inspired by people who take risks, who innovate; individuals who are unique in their outlook.

Name one thing about yourself that readers may be surprised to learn? 
Even though we are both so identified with New York City, we both have southern roots.

I love that one of your design mantras is “There are no rules.”  Do you have a design element that you always try to incorporate into your designs?
Each project is different but if you wanted to know things we do consistently – we love pops of colour, we use interesting art to enhance every project, we love a mix of vintage and modern, high and low.  But having said all that, we love to approach each space with fresh eyes and do what that environment calls for, as well as the needs and lifestyle of the people who will be using the space.  So we’re open to anything and try to come up with new ideas all the time, challenge ourselves and push the envelope a little bit (or sometimes, a lot!)


This is the After of the first episode airing tonight.  The young, urban clients wanted “industrial cozy” and the Novogratzes delivered.

What is the most common mistake people make when decorating?
Scale is often a big problem for a lot of people.  They tend to have too many furnishings and pieces that are too big for the space they are decorating.

What does every room need?
Art – anything from your kids’ creations to collectibles, family photos, flea market finds, gallery pieces.  Mix it up, but putting art in a room can change the whole dynamic of the environment immediately and with great impact.

What are three simple changes someone can make to their home right now for maximum impact?   
Clean out your clutter and make your room spacious.  Go for a fresh coat of paint, maybe with a focal wall in a bright hue you had never considered.  Hang a cool piece of art on your wall (see above.)

Note: The Novogratz’ have a line of low VOC paints with Stark and the colours are gorgeous!

What’s next for you? When can we expect to see your collection for the home?
We have a lot of new, cool things coming in 2012—including a home decor collection and a new season of Home by Novogratz.  Stay tuned!

Thank you Bob and Cortney for taking time out of your schedule to answer my questions!

Be sure to tune in to HGTV Canada at 8:00 pm EST today (Monday, January 2nd) for back to back episodes of Home by Novogratz.

I screened the first two episodes and what I loved about the show is how Bob and Cortney work together as a couple – blending their differing design points of view to come up with a stellar result.  They make life with seven children and their design projects seem easy, cool and fun!

Will you be watching? 


Post a Comment