Cortney and Bob Novogratz is a husband and wife design team behind Sixx Design. They work and live in New York City while also raising their six children that include two sets of twins. A majority of their work is purchasing rundown properties, and then rehabbing them to resell. Since they live in their properties with their children while doing the design work, many of their remodeled properties naturally become family homes. We talked to them recently about their work and creating a family home.
What’s important to you when designing a room/home for children?
First of all, we are not big into clutter. Kids don’t need all that stuff. They need room to move around and play and do their home work, etc. If you have art in the kid’s rooms like we do, make sure it is framed so they can’t destroy it. Plexiglass is a life-saver in that area. We actually had a seventh kid, but he was sent to the monastery for ruining a painting!!! We have all four of our boys in one room. They only live together for a short time in their life. Keep them young. Their childhood goes fast.
What have you found are the differences between what boys and girls want in their rooms?
Mostly in the color choices for the rooms. Boys don’t dig pink too often!
I would describe your design style as modern eclectic. Describe your design influences. Where do you find your inspirations?
We are inspired by big cities absolutely, and we get a lot of inspiration at flea markets and antique stores around the world.
Do you think parents or children are tougher clients?
are much tougher clients. “Ask your child what he wants for dinner only
if he is buying.” – quote from humorist Fran Lebowitz.
As parents of two sets of twins, what’s your approach to designing for twins?
per twins, we don’t dress them alike or match them up in any way. We
treat each of them as individuals as we do all our kids, though they do
both have the same beds.
When I was growing up our family room
was downstairs separate from the kitchen. Today, “great rooms” where
the family gathers to eat and watch TV are the central part of a home.
How do you approach designing today’s family room where everyone
We are all about comfort in our design aesthetic. We
are not a big fan of the formal home theatre. Our media room is
downstairs from the kitchen, and it is filled with soft, indestructible
couches and arcade games and a big screen where we watch movies
together. But we mostly all hang out in the kitchen and the dining
area that opens up to an outdoor space. We are not formal people.
Where are your favorite places to shop when designing and furnishing a home?
in Soho is amazing. That whole neighborhood has great contemporary
stores up and down every street! And as we travel, we find more and
more unique home décor shopping experiences. We also love the antique
stores in Hudson, New York, and flea markets all over France and Brazil.
and remodeling is certainly not perfect or stress-free process. Can you
share one of the challenging times you experienced and what you learned
Put your serious money into the construction part–like
structure, plumbing, electric systems, etc. Those are the basics and
the important things that need to be done right. Find people you trust
to do them well, and be involved in the process so there are no
surprises. The rest of it is decoration, and can be changed as the
project evolves. We’ve made some structural mistakes in our early
projects and had to fix them, obviously, but we learned a lot from
those experiences, so they are stressful, but also positive.
Finally, living with 6 children, do you have any design tips (or other tips) for large families living under one roof.
Style and kids can co-exist nicely. The key is to find your own
personal aesthetic, and relax into it. It’s all just stuff.
link: Sixx Design