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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Dowtown Chic!
have spent every minute poring over my copy of DOWNTOWN CHIC since I got it , which chronicles the design evolution of Robert and Cortney Novogratz of NYC, and their seven (!) kids. It is a combination of cool ideas that work for anybody who wants to upgrade or change their living environment, and a great aspirational story from people who seem to be able to have it all...
Published on August 13, 2009 by Susan Lake

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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's Good but Not What I Expected
I love the show so much that I ordered the book as soon a I knew there was one out there. I waited a very long time for the book to arrive, and I read it immeiately. I have to say, that while I adore the show, the book is a bit disappointing. It really didn't go into the history and details of their projects that I was expecting; it didn't have as many photos of the...
Published on June 22, 2010 by Leigh


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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Dowtown Chic!, August 13, 2009
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This review is from: Downtown Chic: Designing Your Dream Home: From Wreck to Ravishing (Hardcover)
have spent every minute poring over my copy of DOWNTOWN CHIC since I got it , which chronicles the design evolution of Robert and Cortney Novogratz of NYC, and their seven (!) kids. It is a combination of cool ideas that work for anybody who wants to upgrade or change their living environment, and a great aspirational story from people who seem to be able to have it all. Darn them! Personally, the book really spoke to me when it constantly urges the reader out of their safety zone when it comes to home decoration. Try a bright color of paint, dare to have mismatched chairs, mix cheap pieces with your fancy stuff. And don't settle for something boring and predictable just because you are parents! Or have a heart attack if there is a scuff or a stain. There are plenty of helpful hints, like how to get rid of clutter, and while I don't really have the time or the budget to travel the world looking for design objets, finding flea market treaasures is an activity I can do close to home and on any budget. Robert and Cortney have written a fun and funny book chock full of ideas of how to have the home of your dreams, with or without lots of cash. Their ideas are easily translatable to anybody to go boldly into home improvement, letting us know where it is fine to cut corners and where it isn't. I love this book and not at all ashamed to admit I needed a kick in the butt to get my unrealized dreams about my own living space to a place where I now feel I can actually make it happen.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Downtown Chic- Inspires bold moves, March 12, 2010
By 
Swee10 (Brooklyn, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Downtown Chic: Designing Your Dream Home: From Wreck to Ravishing (Hardcover)
Downtown Chic is a handsome coffee table book celebrating the work of Cortney and Robert Novogratz. Over the past fifteen years this husband-and-wife design team has bought and renovated houses for themselves and their seven children in Manhattan, upstate New York, Massachusetts, and Brazil. Their interiors have a chic, bohemian sensibility that mixes antique and thrift store furniture with ultra-sleek contemporary pieces.

The book has information that's useful for anyone remodeling their own home, like "Tips for Buying a Wreck" and a "Contractor Checklist." Some of the Novogratzs' ideas, like buying a building in SoHo, or shipping home a zinc-topped bar from a flea market in Paris, might be out of reach for most of us. But the designers' attitude is liberating. Their interiors feel loosely assembled, as if the objects inside a room weren't put in place by designers but accumulated naturally by its inhabitants. They make unconventional choices that seem just right, like painting a room bright orange, covering a wall with framed comic books, or leaving warped wooden floor boards in place.

As Cortney writes in the introduction, "A home isn't just where you live, or at least it doesn't have to be. A home is who you are." In both how to live and how to decorate, this book inspires us to make a bold move.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Order this book now!, May 3, 2010
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This review is from: Downtown Chic: Designing Your Dream Home: From Wreck to Ravishing (Hardcover)
I had big hopes for this book and I am usually disappointed when my hopes are so high. Not in this case. Downtown Chic is a book that will unleash your imagination AND you will never again be able to use the excuse that you are too busy to work on your home again.

Even if your personal style is not reflected in this book, it will inspire you to think outside of the box and feel as if you can do anything!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars not a how to book, April 27, 2010
By 
L. DAmbra (Providence, RI United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Downtown Chic: Designing Your Dream Home: From Wreck to Ravishing (Hardcover)
Do you really need another "how to" book that'll show you how to make your rooms look like a Pottery Barn catalog when you could spend your time with something like this, a book that will inspire you to make your living space a place that will surprise you and comfort you and even make you happier? This is not the book for someone who thinks that you have to go to Paris to find something wonderful at a flea market. It's for the rest of us who know that you don't. Love it.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's Good but Not What I Expected, June 22, 2010
By 
Leigh (Morristown, NJ) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Downtown Chic: Designing Your Dream Home: From Wreck to Ravishing (Hardcover)
I love the show so much that I ordered the book as soon a I knew there was one out there. I waited a very long time for the book to arrive, and I read it immeiately. I have to say, that while I adore the show, the book is a bit disappointing. It really didn't go into the history and details of their projects that I was expecting; it didn't have as many photos of the unique design and decorations that I was hoping for (and looking for); and the print is really small, I could hardly read the words at all. I wish the book is less about giving pointers as to how to decorate, but, more on how they design and why and how they choose the specific decoration pieces.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious and Misleading...Save Your Money, March 15, 2011
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This review is from: Downtown Chic: Designing Your Dream Home: From Wreck to Ravishing (Hardcover)
Completely agree with the reviewer who said this book's subtitle should read "all about US."
DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY if you are actually looking for a guide to help you design your city home.
Not only is the title woefully misleading, but the pretension, arrogance and general cluelessness of this couple (when it comes to actual standard of living vs. former NYC stockbroker with a design hobby)...practically oozes out of this book.
And aside from the bedroom on the cover, the featured rooms and homes are not even terribly original. Sure, anyone can introduce interesting architectural details like a cathedral window when they have an unlimited supply of cash to throw at a design project. But what do you do if you are faced with a real life budget? Employ actual creativity! (something that is not done here). Save your money and take it to the flea market. You'll get something way more original and much more fun.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, May 14, 2009
This review is from: Downtown Chic: Designing Your Dream Home: From Wreck to Ravishing (Hardcover)
Every page of this book is graced with gorgeous photography, inspiring quotes and insights on how to think imaginatively about interior design. But it's more than just a show and tell. The unending supply of fantastic ideas is wrapped inside a compelling story of a family who had the courage to do things differently.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars title misleading, December 9, 2010
This review is from: Downtown Chic: Designing Your Dream Home: From Wreck to Ravishing (Hardcover)
I love their design sense and there are some fabulous rooms in this book BUT it's not a guide to how to do it. The book should be subtitled "How WE designed our dream homes: All About US" because this is a family photo album (many photos of their kids and okay they just happen to be in a cool room), not an accessible design book for others. As others have noted, you would need lots and lots of cash to do anything similar.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great info, great pics, great purchase!!!!!!!!!, May 13, 2010
By 
R. Richardson "RNRinAustin" (Austin, TX, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Downtown Chic: Designing Your Dream Home: From Wreck to Ravishing (Hardcover)
As someone with little knowledge on home renovations and design, I found this book to provide great information making home renovation seem doable. Overall, the book is very inspiring and has beautiful pictures -- a great buy for someone looking to remodel, buy their first home, or simply have a wonderful coffee table book!
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Redesigning NYC One House at a Time - Amazing Before/ After Photos,Witty Writing and a Wonderful Story, May 5, 2009
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This review is from: Downtown Chic: Designing Your Dream Home: From Wreck to Ravishing (Hardcover)
Robert, Cortney and Elizabeth Novogratz put together a GREAT book filled with wonderful stories and advice as well as fantastic photos of their remarkable design. I think anyone would enjoy this book particularly those interested in home design. The book will also appeal to those of us who love before/after photos. The Novogratz' convert old lots and buildings into diamonds and they offer wonderful tips along their journey. It will touch all whether those who appreciate our the finer things or those who appreciate the finer things (but on a much leaner budget). They come up with wonderful ideas on how to design high end at a low cost.

I forgot to mention that they also do all of this while raising a brood of children in New York City.

This isn't your everyday design book... it is much much more.
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Downtown Chic: Designing Your Dream Home: From Wreck to Ravishing
Downtown Chic: Designing Your Dream Home: From Wreck to Ravishing by Robert Novogratz (Hardcover - May 5, 2009)
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