The Novogratz mix modern furnishings, vintage finds, and memorable artwork to fulfill wish lists. Bold yet functional choices prove their commitment to good design.
Home by Novogratz on HGTV chronicles the duo’s latest projects. Each layout – regardless of size or budget – receives hand-picked pieces and personalization. We spoke with Robert Novogratz on the importance of creating efficient spaces, utilizing color, and doing what you love.
A blend of flea market finds and ultra-modern designers form your signature aesthetic. How do you strike a balance between old and new?
In this homogenized world we live in now, it’s very hard to stay unique. So anytime we come across an interesting piece, if it’s affordable we’ll buy it for projects or keep it in storage. Some people love to golf – we like to shop. We love doing it, even if an item is as low as one dollar.
Can you elaborate on your philosophy for mixing high and low?
Good taste and good design can remain within a budget. We always try to have clients create a wish list and decide what’s within reach. We run around to find intrinsic vintage items to contrast high-end pieces.
What comes first – the wall color or the furniture?
The wall color. We try to use the walls as a canvas and build around it. If the walls are white then the art and design will have color. If the walls have color the art and design will have more white tones.
The Novogratz Stark Paint proves your commitment to color. Are there any guidelines when using bold combinations or painting particular rooms?
Most of us can’t do electrical work, plumbing, or hardwood floors. But most of us can paint. It can be fun. 20 years ago we didn’t have these great taping tools that make the job that much easier.
Paint is the one area you can really take chances because it’s not forever and it’s relatively inexpensive. If you don’t like it simply repaint it. With the bolder colors, use a focal wall. It’s important to pick and choose where you want to take a risk. With kids’ rooms, you can really get away with anything.
Soaring prices often deter artwork purchases. Can you recommend some budget-conscious projects for do-it-yourself art?
Last season we did a lot with personal pictures. We always say your home should be a reflection of you. Instead of mismatched frames, white frames add uniformity to photo collections.
We’re seeing formal dining rooms give way to open layouts. What are your favorite elements for a family-friendly dining space?
With our wish list – more dollars would go towards a great dining table. We feel people are doing more at their dining table, more than just eating. Our kids are doing homework, we do our work, we host fun dinners with our friends, and we’ve been known to play ping pong on our table. If you can make your dining area a more communal – the more people will want to hang out there.
Do you have any organizational tips for residents with limited space?
1.When it comes to closet space, don’t spend a fortune. At the end of the day your door is shut. Look for inexpensive closet storage solutions.
2. Scale is a big part of any room. If you have small spaces don’t use large furniture.
3. Kids don’t need so many toys – we’ve gone to places where the kids have 900 Barbie castles. We’re about books and balls and the creative things. Our kids like to play with Star Wars figurines, they’re kids, but they don’t need a million of them.
Your partnership with HGTV brings Home by Novogratz into households across the country. When balancing work, family, book deals, and now a camera crew – how do you maintain your tireless ambition?
We’ve had a lot of luck on our side, that’s a big part of everything. It takes a community to build a village – we have good people around us. We do most of our work from our home. We really love what we do – so much that we’d rather be flea marketing than at a party. It’s a lot of luck, loving what we do, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously.
Shop The Novogratz Designer’s Gallery on December 7th at 11 a.m. ET. Expect to find inspired furniture and accents along with hand-picked items from their own home.
Click here to learn more about The Novogratz family and their past and future projects.