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Downtown Chic: Designing Your Dream Home: From Wreck to Ravishing Hardcover – May 5, 2009
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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“Hottest new home decor book!” ~New York Daily News
“… fresh, new design and decorating book by Robert and Cortney Novogratz. For this design duo, details make the design, and there are surprises everywhere, which to my mind give the houses a thoughtful and lived-in appeal.” ~Debbie Travis, syndicated house and home columnist
“There is an unmistakable playfulness to the [house] Robert and Cortney share with their [seven kids]. We dare you to look without saying ‘wow.’” ~O Home Magazine
“You might live in a box, but that doesn’t mean you can’t think outside of it.
With tips on decor from Sixx Design’s Robert and Cortney Novogratz, you’ll be living large in no time.” ~DailyCandy.com
“No matter what people think of the homes featured in Downtown Chic, few would dispute the uniqueness of their interiors.” ~Houston Chronicle
“Want to steal ideas from Robert and Cortney’s arsenal of [home decorating] tricks? Check out their book Downtown Chic.” ~Family Circle
About the Author
Robert and Cortney Novogratz, native Southerners, came to New York City more than ten years ago and soon after founded Sixx Design. Featured in scores of American and European shelter magazines, their work includes residential and commercial projects throughout the world. They are currently stars of the hit Bravo TV series, 9 BY DESIGN.
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Top customer reviews
There are some really fabulous ideas for families: like building a setting for a trampoline IN the ground. It's at ground level so kids can run and jump right on it, and if they bounce too high, well, they hit the ground sooner than the trampolines that are about three feet up in the air. This is such an obvious construction it's brilliant. And the domed chain-linked rooftop basketball court! I mean, why wasn't this done earlier? It's so beautiful and functional!Fab!
It is this sort of elegant problem solving that makes their style so innovative. Now, they are not perfect, for example, in the show on Bravo, they have located their laundry room on the fifth story of their five story house. What a schlep! Especially for a mom with SEVEN kids! I'm surprised they did not incorporate stackable washer/dryers in a couple of the bedrooms or baths. This would have been helpful, but for some reason they did not realistically address this in their current "Bravo" house.
Still, the most outstanding feature of this book is the way this dynamic duo celebrates rambunctious kids with the kid art and the kids using spaces to show decor should be family friendly. Kids, in short, are incorporated into the decorating ideas and functions. What also is amazing is the absence of clutter, (or maybe they just manage it well). The rooms and spaces are always airy, not overwrought. They succeed in being spacious but not sterile.
The Novogratz's have made a real contribution to millenium decorating. It is a new way to look at both art and functionality sans a materialist acquisitiveness or an in your face conspicuous consumption. Afterall, when they finish a house they are on to the next! They don't hold tight to their stuff; they are willing to part with it and seem to say, "this is who we were at this time, we may be someone else tomorrow...". Life and decorating are about the process. It's the journey. As such, there is nothing staid or so formal that you don't feel the fluidity of time or energy in a space. The family is always consumately in command of the space, not the other way around.
This "weightless" quality to their lives and decorating is one that is cutting edge and fitting for our time. In the end, the Novogratz style teaches us to just take risks, throw "rules" to the wind, be kids and imagine crazy outlandish things you REALLY want to do, like playing basketball inside your house, or having a real scoreboard in your room! And most of all: just have fun - houses and homes are to be enjoyed and celebrated.
This book, complete with the iconic photo of Madonna's head on a pillow with a cigarette in her mouth, which they have suggestively hung over a bed, is evocative of a romp in the hay with no commitments. Except to some real taste and style. Take the journey and examine this book. Have a romp with no remorse.
Although there are three names on the cover, this book is clearly written from Cortney's perspective, and I enjoy her approach. She gets things done with a mixture of charm and grit. The book follows her adventures starting from the first Novogratz project. She isn't afraid to say how they chose inexpensive white shades for all the windows in their first project, or to describe how to avoid making some of the mistakes they did when they were starting out. This is a huge contrast to most design books, which focus on the glamorous (and expensive) end result only.
Some of my favorite parts of the book are the two vacation homes, including the areas for a swimming pool and soccer. Simplicity can be beautiful -- and functional! -- and cost many thousands less than elaborate stonework, tile, jungle gyms, etc. If you're in a shopping rut, the resources section in the back is also a huge help.