Home Chic Home: The Novogratz’s Family-Friendly Abode

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I’m obsessed with New York-based design duo Cortney and Robert Novogratz – the stars of Bravo reality show 9 by Design, which features them designing and selling luxe, high-end homes.

Not only are they ridiculously talented and business-savvy, they’re also parents to seven (seven!) children, including two sets of twins. Which makes it natural for them to create original spaces that are at once chic and family-friendly (not an easy task).

This summer, Cortney, 39, and Robert, 48, will once again showcase their signature style thanks to Home by Novogratz, a new series that follows the couple as they tackle residential design projects (it premiers on HGTV in July). And, later this year, the husband-wife team is planning to launch a home decor collection called Novogratz.

We caught up with Cortney to dish on style, adult-only time and how she juggles it all.

How would you describe your personal style?

Eclectic. I love a mix of vintage and modern. I love color. We both love to flea and [incorporate] elements from all around the world. And to put it all together harmoniously.

What’s the key to creating a stylish yet kid-friendly home?

I think too many parents have this mindset that having kids and being stylish can’t happen at the same time. You can have a chic home that the kids can enjoy. We expose our kids to art in every room – we just make sure it’s protected with Plexiglass. Our couch is from Cappellini, but it has a washable cover, which really helps with seven kids. And, often, a cute rug from Ikea can make your home look fabulous and it won’t break the budget. Get your kids involved – they’ll be excited to take part in making their home look nice (and in taking care of it, too). And don’t get sucked into theme rooms for kids. Give them something inexpensive but cool that will grow with them.

Where in the house do you and Robert hang out in the house for some quality, kid-free, quiet time?

During the day, the house is often quiet. Just Major [the baby] is home, so Robert and I can hang out in the kitchen to talk or have lunch. We go to the roof in nice weather – it is so beautiful up there!

Who or what inspires you?

The city of New York inspires me – just walking around on the street fills me with ideas and inspiration! Also, traveling – going to a new place and experiencing a new culture. Inspiration can come from so many different places if you are open to it.

You have seven children and a thriving career. How do you manage it all? What’s your secret?

Like all other mothers, I juggle a lot of things. And we have help. There is no way I’d be able to it all without help! You make time for your family and you find a way to fit in work, a little time for yourself and your husband. You have to be flexible – and it isn’t easy for me or any mother, no matter how many kids she has. As Robert likes to say: Don’t sweat the small stuff.


(Photo: Matthew Williams)[ITPGallery]