Style Talk: Bob & Cortney Novogratz

Bob+Cortney  on couch courtesy of ONE.1
Image courtesy of One.1

You know that I always love bringing you a new Style Talk interview, and today’s segment is really special.  I have been inspired for years by the amazing interior designs by Bob and Cortney Novogratz.  I first spotted the two in The New York Times with their six children.  Their one-of-a-kind style immediately caught my eye, with rooms full of color, pattern, art, and absolutely fresh design.  Rock stars in the design world, the couple brought us into their reality on the BRAVO show 9 By Design, showing us how they worked as a husband-and-wife team balancing both family life (with seven kids!) and their design firm all at once.  It was an inspiring story for all up-and-coming husband-and-wife duos, like AphroChic!  And this year they are back on TV with their new show Home by Novogratz on HGTV which is all about the couple’s amazing design work.

murray hill gramercy park_0003125
Photographer: Matthew Williams

Today, Bob and Cortney stopped by to tell us a little about their new show, their passion for design, and some of the new things they’re working on, like their paint line for Stark Paint.  They were also nice enough to share some sneak peeks from upcoming episodes of Home by Novogratz.  But enough of me gushing about these two (I could go on and on), I’m turning things over to Bob and Cortney.

Photographer: Matthew Williams

Congratulations on the new show! It’s been great watching the first episodes. How has the experience been moving from BRAVO to HGTV?
The new show has been a lot of fun and a lot of work! We had to come up with ideas (and execute them) for thirteen different episodes. But you know we love the challenge! We really liked the BRAVO experience, and now we are enjoying the new HGTV experience. We have to say that everybody at HGTV has been so supportive. It is a great atmosphere. As for the BRAVO show, we are glad that the kids are not the focal point of our show anymore. They are getting older (we have three teenagers now!) and it’s nice for them to have more privacy.

model apt_0009297
Photographer: Matthew Williams

Our readers would like to know what inspires each of you as a designer? How do you keep your designs fresh and original? 
We pay attention to young, talented people and what they are up to. We try to keep up with everything that is around us. We love to take a risk, and we love change. All of those factors contribute!

So much of the fun of watching the two of you is seeing the dynamic of a husband-and-wife creative team.  Is there anything that you feel that each of you does better because of your partnership?
We enjoy the partnership aspect. We have each other when things are great and going well, and have each other when they go wrong. It’s also really helpful to have another person you really trust to give a second opinion. And frankly, we just enjoy hanging out with each other. We are lucky that way.

Photographer: Matthew Williams

Can you tell us about your new paint collection with Stark Paints? It’s clear that a lot of thought went into your new line. Creating a line that is “water-based,” “environmentally responsible,” and “kid-and-pet friendly” shows that you are concerned about more than just color. How do these concerns affect your overall approach to design? 
Regarding the colors, we try to be true to ourselves, and we always want to be different. Also, we are trying to streamline the process of picking the right color. You want the perfect shade, not a dozen or more tones of the same color that are really close and drive you crazy trying to find the right one! We have hopefully eliminated the pain of finding what works for you. Keep it simple and keep it fun—that’s our motto. As to making it “green”, with seven kids, how could that not be important. We want to preserve as much as we can for our kids and for their kids. That is one of the reasons why we work with a lot of repurposed goods and artifacts in our designs.

Photographer: Yuri Yasegawa

Charitable work seems to have always been a big part of your design focus. Tell us a little about the School of Rock Project you recently did.  How was that experience? 
It was such an amazing project, and we treasure working with kids. Kids mean a lot to use, but I guess that is obvious! Winegard Elementary really needed some help, and it made us so happy to give those kids some inspiration and the materials to make music, and in vibrant, stimulating surroundings. The principal of the school was a true rockstar, and we were privileged to work with her.

hoboken bachelor pad_0007354-2
Photographer: Matthew Williams

After seven kids, two shows, and scores of projects, interviews, and flipped houses, we can’t wait to see what’s next for the Novogratz family.  Any hints? 
Cool retail products (a line of home decor coming later this year!), on a budget commercial gigs, and hopefully some surprises. We feel like we are just getting going!

Thank you so much Bob and Cortney for sharing with AphroChic readers today!  And for all of those HGTV fans out there, check out Home by Novogratz on Saturdays at 10pm EST.  You are going to love it!

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *