Have you been watching 9 by Design on Bravo? Two parents/designers (Cortney and Robert Novogratz) plus seven (yes, seven!) kids living, renovating and designing multimillion dollar properties in the city that never sleeps (which seems fitting because one imagines Cortney and Rob never sleep either) equals great television and inspiration (how can you ever complain again that there aren’t enough hours in the day?). Aside from how in the world they raise seven kids while constantly on the move and run an incredibly successful design firm, Sixx Design, in New York City, and found the time to write the new book Downtown Chic, the show is full of great decorating tips and styling tricks for creating artful spaces that make a big impact.

The Top 6 Decorating Tricks we’ve gleaned by watching 9 by Design:


Go Big or Go Home: Know the power of a statement piece. Whether it’s a large-scale Ann Carrington or a Karim Rashid sculpture, a large-scale piece makes a statement and a room. Instead of using tons of little pieces, make a bigger impact with one big piece. Don’t have thousands of dollars to invest? Make your own.  Pick up a large canvas from your local art supply store and go nuts, Jackson Pollack style. Or, hit up garage sales, flea markets and thrift stores for unusual pieces. Also consider visiting your local art school – student work is a lot more affordable than gallery pieces and you can say you knew and discovered that certain someone way back when.



Spray Paint Is Your Best Friend: What to do with all of those little pieces? Spray paint them one color. The Novogratz’s have taken toys and basketballs and spray-painted them all silver or gold to form a cohesive, cool collection. You can spray-paint nearly anything, from mirrors to toys to chandeliers, so why not have a little fun? Spray-painting is also a great way to personalize your décor on the cheap (a can usually runs less than 5 clams). The Novogratz’s shop at affordable stores like Pier One and then make the pieces their own by spray-painting them in funky bold colors like bright orange or aqua.



Don’t Be Afraid of Color: Neutrals like beige and tan aren’t in the Novogratz’s design vocabulary. Instead they choose bright bold colors that pop. Pick a hue or two that you love and then go for it. Paint is the easiest and least expensive way to change the look and feel of a room with the upside that you can always paint over it if you don’t like it or tire of it. Life’s short, embrace color.



White Is Right: The best accent to those bold pops of color? White. From white gallery-style walls to white painted floors and white couches, white is fresh and looks fabulous. If a family of nine can live with white, perhaps you can too. Don’t be afraid, be bold.



Blow-Up Black & White Photos: Again and again, the Novogratz’s take their clients’ photos, turn them into black and white prints and blow them up. Sometimes they frame them, sometimes they make them into canvas creations. It’s always cool, dramatic and personal. Large prints make a bigger statement than a bunch of little pictures in frames cluttering up your end tables.



The Element of Surprise: The unexpected is what makes life a fun adventure and it’s what makes your home an exciting, inspiring place, too. Use artful surprises to delight you and your guests every time you walk in the room. The Novogratz’s chose a very feminine fridge for a mostly male wrestling and boxing gym and it makes the space.

[Photos via Sixx Design]



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