Top 10 Tips I Learned from the Novogratz

The last episode of Home by Novogratz has now come and gone. And aside from teaching me that a creative couple can harmoniously work together doing something they love, raise seven kids in Manhattan, and use the word "sick" in a good way to describe their own designs, I've learned quite a few other good tips from the show. Let's review my top 10! Ready?

1. When you're adding a cushion to a bench or some other hard seat, I learned on the season finale to add a layer of carpet underneath the upholstered cushion for an extra layer of softness. This is so smart! The giant moose is pretty smart, too.

2. Chandeliers don't have to be centered in a room. A chandy over a kid's reading nook would create a wonderful, warm sparkle in a quiet corner.

3. Gold spray paint is the new silver spray paint. By the time you read this, red may be the new gold. Or black. Or yellow. But regardless, spray paint is fun and cheap and you should use it on everything from Chopin busts to garden gnomes to pianos.

4. Retail fixtures are made to maximize storage in small spaces, are durable, and can look super industrial chic if you find good ones like these.

5. Put really big art on the walls. Works especially well if it's pictures of your kids. Or fashion models. The bottom line is go BIG!

6. For your kids' art, go small. Artist Jan Eleni made an awesome shrunken kids art collage for episode 2. What a neat, clean way to display your young artists' masterpieces.

7. Thrifting is where it's at. It may take a bit more time to find the good stuff, but when you do, it's so worth it. When you get good at it like Cortney (vintage chandeliers follow her home like stray cats) the pieces you find will help turn your house into a home.

8. When you can't afford thrift stores, make stuff out of trash. Try these pom pom lights made from drink lids and plastic shopping bags.

9. Indoor slide. So cool it needs no explanation.

10. I regret that I ever gave up my career as a glitter artist. Look how cool it is! Bold, graphic, sparkly, and very DIYable.

But the most important lesson I learned while watching the first season of Home by Novogratz came from my 9 year-old daughter. As my son and husband were critiquing one episode with the usual "hate it, love it, hate it" that the design world loves to throw around, my daughter looked at the Novogratz family and said, "They seem really happy." And that's what it was all about. Family. Silliness. Art. Bright colors. Togetherness. Home.

Thanks, Cortney and Bob! See you next season!

If you missed any episodes this season, don't worry. HGTV will continue to air the show to give us our Novo fix until Season Two starts! Check HGTV for times!

images: Carol Leggett PR/as linked