Downtown Chic by Robert and Cortney Novogratz

Downtown Chic by Robert and Cortney Novogratz

Lindsey Roberts
Jan 26, 2010

Downtown Chic, Designing Your Dream Home: From Wreck to Ravishing by Robert and Cortney Novogratz, with Elizabeth Novogratz, documents multiple renovations over ten years of buying and selling homes as design firm, Sixx Design. The couple took what they learned and turn it into a book and a TV show, coming this spring.

The name for Design Sixx comes from the couple's six children, but during Obama's inauguration they had their seventh &mdash the name stayed, nevertheless.

Our favorite ideas and tips from Downtown Chic:

Use Vintage: The couple was trying to create a French industrial look in the living room, and so they added vintage lights, put an old post with a new staircase, and salvaged a mirror from a hotel (Image 2). They note that doors can be refinished, old light fixtures can be rewired, old tile can be mixed with new tile, and new glass can make old windows function.

Flea Market Collections: The Novogratzes are fond of inexpensive decorating solutions, as well as flea markets. Before their first child was born, they decided to frame old comics from a flea market in inexpensive frames the decorate the room (Image 4). For a guest room, they hung pictures and paintings collected from flea markets over the years (Image 5). Image 12 is another great flea market find.

Cheap Can Be Chic: In their country house (Image 6), they went for cheap chic, with folding chairs for $50, blue leather chairs for $250, faux snakeskin dining chairs, $80 and a Kartell "Ghost" chair for $100 at a close-out sale! Sometimes it's all about being in the right place at the right time!

You Don't Have to Do Everything at Once: Because they couldn't afford to pay to get the fireplace working, they decorated it and let it sit (Image 11).

Planning, Patience and Practicality: Cortney writes that they have learned not to obsess over perfection. With six (now seven!) kids, she says, "With planning, patience, and a good dose of practicality, we make it work." One of the things they let slip are nightly home-cooked meals.

And this spring, the couple's TV show, Design Sixx debuts on Bravo. We'd say that their first investment into their own home has reaped many, many rewards!

Images: Courtesy of Rizzoli

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