Last night I attended a class taught by Robert and Cortney Novogratz . Most people know them from their Bravo show 9 by Design, a huge HIT.
“ Robert and Cortney Novogratz, native Southerners, moved to New York City more than 10 years ago. Soon after they purchased their first home a crumbling townhouse in Chelsea, a once neglected neighborhood in downtown Manhattan, that has since become very trendy. Through the daunting process of rehabilitating that building, they discovered they had knack for renovating and designing amazingly inventive and comfortable homes. They launched their business Sixx Design ( a name inspired by their brood of six children, that includes two sets of twins.) Navigating the treacherous worlds of real estate, the couple has attracted the attention of scores of American and European shelter magazines, including O Home an Living, Etc., which have featured their recent residential and commercial work.”
A few weeks ago while sipping coconut water martinis poolside at The Soho House with yummy mummy Dorka, I ran into Robert Novogratz. The Epicurean Man and I are obsessed with his show on Bravo, 9 by Design so I had to walk over to introduce myself of course. Charming and friendly as I had expected, I told him how we also bought and renovated two homes and are novice designers ourselves. We also discussed private schools, his older son attends a private school in Brooklyn, on our top list for Karate Boy. It was a lovely connection and I was only too excited to eventually get to meet his wife Cortney, who in my opinion represents the ultimate “Adventurista.”
Last night I was able to re-connect with Robert and finally got to meet Cortney. They are just the sexiest, charming, down to earth married couple. Their energy is alive and you can see they want to help folks not to be intimidated by home renovations or design. Very candid and honest in telling their stories on how they began with the very first home in Chelsea . As Robert put it ” All our families and friends thought Cortney and I were crazy, after interviewing many architect’s, designers, and getting bids way above of our budget, we bought a tape measure and Cortney and I became the architect’s.”
“YOU CAN BRING CHARM TO ANY 4 WALLS”
They gave great advice on sourcing out furniture stores that sell their floor samples at a great discount. And spoke in detail about evoking design around one’s budget. Another great quote by Robert was ” In New York City, you will always find someone more beautiful, richer, more talented, so BE YOURSELF, BE ORIGINAL.” Cortney has a passion for vintage finds, she talked about mixing modern with vintage, high end with low end.
Robert and Cortney discuss all of their buying, renovating, selling adventures and secrets in a beautiful, fabulous book called Downtown Chic – Designing your dream home from wreck to ravishing. Sold at www.amazon.com .
It was such a fabulous experience and I learnt so many things, as well feel more confident now with approaching properties that I would normally be intimidated by, like a parking lot, whare-house etc. I am hoping one day soon to interview Cortney for The Adventurista, she truly represent Mums out there who has mastered the art of balancing work with kids and not trying to make it all perfection. I advise everyone out there interested in home design, renovation to purchase their book Downtown Chic, it will be a wonderful guide.