It’s not surprising that interior designers/HGTV hosts Robert and Cortney Novogratz inject a playful, funky energy into every space they decorate: The couple have seven children themselves, which keeps their projects both kid-friendly and sophisticated. They just published a second book, “Home by Novogratz” ($35, Artisan), based on their TV show of the same name (Sat., 5:30 p.m.). It’s full of the duo’s trademark blend of bright colors, vintage furniture and lots of interesting art. The Novogratzes also just launched a capsule collection at CB2 (3307 M St. NW, 202-333-6204), where they’ll be signing books Tuesday, 6-8 p.m.

What sort of pieces are you doing with CB2?

Robert Novogratz: We’re excited about the Hearty Table ($1,100-$1,300). The legs have an industrial feel, and it’s got a wood top that softens it up. It’s like the table we have at home — you can eat there, do work and let your kids color.

You guys are known for an eclectic mix. How do you get it right?

Cortney Novogratz: We just buy things that we love. And when they’re one of a kind, it’s going to work. But you have to buy complementary colors and shapes. And when you put things together and it’s not right, your eye doesn’t lie.

RN: The dots have to connect in a good room. It’s like good writing — you play around, move things and cut things.

How do you make rooms family-friendly without sacrificing style?

CN: Just because you have kids doesn’t mean everything has to be plastic. You need to have great designs that still function — sort of like that table!

RN: And sometimes it’s about living differently. Like we never have a coffee table at home, because our boys wrestle, and the corners would be dangerous. Right now we’ve got a circular fabric ottoman.

If you don’t have a big budget, what are some ways you can improve your space? And don’t say paint — we all know it’s great!

RN: Start by getting rid of clutter. It’ll really open up your space. And then rearrange. Or maybe go to a flea market and buy one great piece, something unusual that can be your focal point.

CN: I like to move things around, like take a mirror from your living room and put it in the bedroom, or turn paintings different directions.

Where can I find decor ideas?

RN: Magazines and blogs are great places to get ideas. They’ll help you know what you like and what you don’t like. And visit boutique hotels or restaurants that you like the look of. The more you see, the better you’ll have an idea of what your style is.

You guys love putting up family portraits on your show and in this book. Why?

RN: You walk into someone’s home, and you see family photographs, and it really reflects who you are. And it’s an inexpensive way of putting up things that are really different.

Do you have any things you avoid in design?

RN: We don’t like beige! And one major problem in design is oversized furniture in small spaces. That, and I’m not a big fan of the matchy-matchy look. It’s better to mix things up a little bit.



The Novogratzes turned a good friend’s New York three-bedroom rental from dull to downright swanky. Their upgrades included a French blue and neutrals color scheme, mixing the owner’s vintage furniture (an art deco dining table, a battered-yet-cool dresser) with contemporary art and artifacts (black-and-white photos, a framed Princeton sweater). The resulting pad is both macho and comfortable.