‘Home by Novogratz’: Anything-goes design tips

It’s easy to hate Robert and Cortney Novogratz. And not just because they are hip and beautiful.

The married designers appear to have it all: seven children, a company designing and selling properties, a new line of furnishings for CB2 and a television show on HGTV.

And now comes the book “Home by Novogratz,” released Tuesday, which you might want to hate -- except that it’s filled with so many decorating takeways, it’s hard not to love.

“Oftentimes people complain that they’re just too busy to decorate, that they’ll wait until the kids are older or the job stress lessens or they have more money,” the Novogratzes write in the introduction. “But design doesn’t need to be so complicated, and the projects featured in this book were chosen to prove just that.”


The book works because of how the designers lay out the information: serious how-tos, comprehensive budget lists that include contractor fees and details such as window treatment prices and fun advice from experts as diverse as chef Mario Batali and fashion designer Betsey Johnson.

The 20 projects are presented with “before” pictures, in which the Novogratzes highlight what’s not working and why. (“The pumpkin-colored walls made the room feel like an orange box.”) The designers then walk readers through the remodeling and redecorating process step-by-step, detailing how to mix modern furnishings, vintage pieces, bright colors and personal mementos. They basically have no rules: Vintage armoires are used as media centers, industrial relics are repurposed as desks or kitchen storage. Bursts of color -- as simple as candy in antique mason jars -- prove to work just as well as expensive, store-bought accessories.

Sure, you will see some overkill. One $133,000 beach condo makeover is like a decorator show house. But for the most part, the book inspires readers to make simple changes without spending a ton of money.

The Novogratzes will be in Los Angeles on Oct. 25 to sign copies of their new book at CB2 from 6 to 8 p.m.

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