Home by Novogratz: Episode One

What I Learned from Bob and Cortney

Did you watch? I know I did. And my favorite designing couple didn't disappoint. The Rockaway Beach house had so much youthful energy that I found a ton of it relevant to kids' rooms. See what I learned from Bob and Cortney in episode one:

1. Pink is a powerful color.
Perhaps it's because of all the bad 80s nursery decor, but pink has certainly got a bad rap. I see all the time here at Ohdeedoh how parents who are creating spaces for baby girls want to avoid pink, and believe me, we get it. However, maybe we should rethink pink. Instead of viewing it from the perspective of bad 80s decor, let's view it from the perspective of good 80s decor. Enter Betsey Johnson, fairy godmother of in-your-face, glam girliness. "I need pink everywhere," she told Cortney, and Cortney jumped pink first into the Rockaway Beach project. Used the right way, pink can say, "Yes, I'm a girl, and if you don't like it, I'll jam my stiletto heel in your eye." Ok, maybe not the exact message you want to convey with a nursery, but in a tween girl's room? Yes! Powerful.

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2. Chandeliers don't have to be centered in a room.
Bob and Cortney are rule breakers, and this violation totally worked. The glossy white chandelier in the corner kept the space open and airy but still made a bold statement without ever having to smack anyone in the head. I will definitely keep this broken rule filed away for future use.

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3. Wallpaper is good.
If you've ever spent hours with a steamer and scraper peeling off someone else's bad design decision, this one may be harder than wheat paste to swallow. But it's inevitable, the cyclical nature of trends, and designers are once again embracing this one full on. Like Bob said, and I'm paraphrasing here, "Hey Cortney, this is art!" It was something to that effect, and he's right. And the print they chose? Hot pink pin-up old west scenes on silver foil? Talk about go bold or go home. It's go bold AND go home.

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4. Art, art, art.
This brings us to #4, which we really already knew but still love to see how the Novos reaffirm it in each of their designs. Art is essential. Whether it's a Tony Caramanico piece from a gallery (ka-ching, Bob!) or a 360 degree floor-to-ceiling graffiti flyer installation by Matt Siren, get the art in there. It makes a space personal. It shows who you are. It flies in the face of that whole home staging, depersonalization, appeal to as many people as possible idea. Would I let my kids cover their walls floor to ceiling with posters and fliers and squirts of paint? Sure, just as soon as my daughter is over her Justin Bieber phase.

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5. Surfboard wax, when placed in pretty apothecary jars, looks like fancy soap.
At first I didn't understand why Bob and Cortney put soaps in the living room, but then I saw what it was. Love it. So colorful and original. And I can think of many brightly colored collections of small things (Legos, Littlest Pet Shops, Matchbox cars) that would look so much better in clear jars than spread all over the floor.

And that's what I learned from Bob and Cortney this week. Thanks, Novos! Keep it coming! Readers, did you watch? What did you think of the work they did on this home?

(Home by Novogratz airs on HGTV Saturdays at 10/9c. Katie ponders it the rest of the weekend and writes about it Mondays on Ohdeedoh.)

(Images: Matthew Williams/Carol Leggett PR)

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