Robert and Cortney Novogratz Bring Their Design Savvy to DC

The husband-and-wife design duo talk about their new book, their exclusive line with CB2, and why they’d like to get their hands on the White House.

By: Samantha Miller

America’s favorite design pair, Robert and Cortney Novogratz, are known for mixing flea market finds with contemporary design. They’re also known for starring in HGTV’s Home by Novogratz, managing their firm Sixx Design, authoring Downtown Chic, and raising seven children between the ages of 3 and 15. October also brings the launch of their debut furniture line with CB2 and a new book, Home by Novogratz. We caught up with Robert and Cortney to chat about upcoming projects, Washington’s style, and how they manage to stay grounded.

What makes Home by Novogratz different from other design books?

We break down the costs and budget for each project and give people a realistic look at things, as well as sharing great design tips. Some design books are just pretty pictures, but our book is filled with insider tips, fun interviews with various experts, and, of course, some humor.

How would you describe Washington’s style?

Robert: I grew up in Alexandria, so I know the area quite well. It’s sophisticated, conservative, and really preppy, which we love. In fact, the new hotel we’re working on is going to be really preppy.

Cortney: We had the privilege of filming with Tipper Gore, and her art is featured in our books, as well. We feel she personifies the classy Washingtonian woman.

If you could decorate anyone’s home, whose would it be and why?

Obama’s White House, because they’re a fun, young, hip family and the White House needs a little bit of that vibe. Michelle has such a great fashion sense, and it should be reflected in her home.

What made you want to partner with CB2 for your first furniture line?

Partnering with CB2 was a no-brainer for us. We’ve been shopping there since they first opened. We love their innovation and that they offer great pieces at great price points. It was a really organic fit for us to partner with them.

Tell us about your favorite piece from the collection.

The Family rug—it’s fresh, colorful, and happy.

What other projects are you working on right now?

We’re working on our second boutique hotel (in Long Branch, New Jersey), a unique rental property in Seabrook, Washington, and some other top-secret projects!

How can homeowners accommodate growing families without sacrificing style?

People with growing families should not have to sacrifice style. There are really great design-savvy solutions out there for storage, which is always helpful for large families. One thing we always tell people is to get rid of the clutter. We also tell people (especially with growing families) to think outside of the box. A beautiful vintage trunk works great for storing toys, and it’s been around for so long that you know it’s durable. And it’s already chipped, so you don’t have to worry about that!

Where do you look for inspiration?

All over—our children, our travels (Brazil most recently), and our own hometown, New York City.

How on earth do you juggle promoting a new book, raising seven children, and managing your own firm?

Lot’s of coffee in the mornings and red wine in the evenings. Most important, we love what we do.

You’re stopping by Georgetown’s CB2 this Tuesday. What can Washingtonians expect to learn?

That Robert’s a lot taller than you think, and Julia Roberts wrote the foreword to the book!

Meet Robert and Cortney Novogratz at CB2 (3307 M St., NW) this Tuesday, October 23, between 6 and 8 PM. Free. RSVP through the event’s website.