Bringing up children, building a business, traveling the world — they seem to do it all. Cortney and Robert Novogratz have been on HGTV and Bravo, written books, lived in NYC and LA. Their seven children look like models. As parents, we all juggle family and work. It is always great to take a peek into the lives of those we who are on magazines and t.v. shows.
If you google the Novogratz, you will learn they live in a “castle” in LA. Amazing right, a world not many of us know. Then you meet the family and hear about the renovations of the castle and your like wow it’s all about family.
Each of the seven children were part of the process of designing their rooms. The details in each living space is sophisticated for the adult and child friendly. Let’s be real, my home might not look like a castle but it is my castle. I love it.
As self taught designers, Cortney and Robert are eclectic. Every Sunday, Robert takes the kids to flea markets to hunt down great finds. His favorite is the Melrose Trading Post in L.A. Their 11yr old son, Five, hunts down these cool pieces and gets them framed. Things many of us would not even think about.
Cortney shares some tips about how to utilize your space for your family.
BALANCE OLD AND NEW
A SPACE NEEDS ART
INCLUDE NATURE IN YOUR SPACE.
What great tips. Flea market hunting with your children is a great weekend outing. It is a treasure hunt for everyone involved. The best part is you give your child the opportunity to express themselves. You can see your child’s personality grown, change and learn. A great day for all ages.
Space needs art. Art is subjective. Frame your child’s artwork. We all get plenty from school projects. Image your child’s artwork at 5 hanging in a great frame and then image them at 20 — you can look back on this artwork and see the 5yr old beaming up at you. Maybe it is a piece of art your teenage makes. Art can be on the walls, on the floors, and on the tabletop. It is up to you.
Cortney and Robert have a rug line with Momeni. Take a look at how rugs are art in the room. It is true, Cortney and Robert are inspired by their children. Their designs come thru life.
Check out one of the boys space and one of the daughters space. Bedrooms are shared. No these kids do not get their own room. Instead, the space is laid out to give each child a space to illuminate their personality. Their bed area is designed by them. Each room then has a common area, which looks to me like they blended their ideas together.
Sharing a room for siblings can be hard. Space might be tight. Best advice is to let them make their bed area their own. If possible, use a rug by each bed to help define space. Use the rest of the space to let them create together. Sit down and ask each child to list what they would want if they had their own room. Once each child has made a list.
Sit down as a team and discuss how they can create individual space and blend together their ideas in the other spaces. This does not guarantee the kids won’t fight, at some point, draw a line down the middle of the room during a fight. What you are doing is showing how you respect their individuality, while dealing with the reality that they need to share the space. The sneaky side of this — it also means when they fight over space, you can use the line – the two of you created this space, the two of you need to work it out together. Conflict resolution starts at home.
This is one of the children’s shared space. A mixture of art and lego’s. Sophisticated for the growing child and youthful for the child.
The term family space bothers me. I think because some people think it means the takeover of children. The reality is we no longer live in an era where there is a formal living room and a family room. It is now all family space…with the exception of the parents bathroom.
When Cortney and Robert were trying to get their first book published and struggling to find a publisher, she said ” let’s have them in our home, touch & feel, let them get to know us.” It worked. They now have three books, Beachside Bohemian, Downtown Chic and Home By Novogratz.
Just look at their current home and family space.
There are a lot of rugs — this is not the full norm of the house. We got a peek during their rug launch with Momeni. What I loved was how art was mixture of family work and a variety of art styles. The furnishings were fun. You could see how ever member of the Novogratz family was a part of the living space. It was their lifestyle.
How does this translate for you. Think about what you want to do with your family. Clearly they love a good friendly game of table tennis as family entertainment. I envision Friday night tournaments with pizza, music in the background and who can beat who. Whatever your family is into, make a space available, welcoming and cozy. Furniture does not need to be new. Pinterest can lead to some great ideas of how to convert flea market finds into new items. Find fun frames and change them to meet your style needs and show off your art. Use light to help highlight corners of space. Use rugs to help define space.
It is said the kitchen is the heart of the home. Does your kitchen reflect your heart. There’s does. With a center island which allows both for food prep, has a sink and stools, adults can cook and talk with their children or friends. There are many ways to enter the kitchen, from the back outdoor space, the entrance area, walk into the dining area. The space was designed to be an anchor for the home, for the family. Now not all home have an open kitchen option. Ways to create the feeling of an open kitchen, without knocking down some walls is by thinking about your relationship with those who use it and how you use it. If it is a galley kitchen, consider finding a stool for one end- then someone can sit and help chop or sit and talk while you cook. Put cups and utensils in reaching distance of children. This allows them to help set the table and put away clean dishes. If your kitchen is small, consider using light to open up the space. I do believe that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It is also one of the most difficult spaces to organize that works for all ages of a family.
Depending on how your sessions role, your outdoor space will have to adapt. All I can say is I am drooling over their outdoor patio. It literally is an extension of their kitchen. The family dinners, the dinner parties — oh it is drool worthy.
I could go on about each living section. I could speak more about the Novogratz design abilities. They have amazing talent. They have a great family. They balance work and family. Every day is a new challenge. Focus on how each living space in your home reflects you. Work with your children on what they want, what they envision. I know, I know children’s minds change a lot. Thing is we learn can learn a lot about their personalities, what makes them excited, how they view the world and so on by letting them help design the home. Their home. Your home. The family home.
If you want to know more about the Novogratz family and designs check them out