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A visit with the Novogratz family. (AKA And you thought Pinterest made you feel like a slacker)


in media,New York

Just when I was coming to terms with the fact that I will never beautify my Scotch Tape roll, and that clutter is just a sign of a busy, happy life (ahem) I have to go and accept an invitation to a cocktail party Chez Novogratz. Or as New Yorkers know it, 400 West Street–that six story reno on the West Side highway with the blue and white garage door, now reduced to a mere $17.5 million. (Snatch it up, ladies!)

Only in New York will people pay millions for an apartment on a highway.

But oh, what an apartment it is.

LEGO invited us over (boy I love LEGO) for a talk about how home design and play and creativity can come together for kids, and if that’s not up my alley, I don’t know what is. Robert and Cortney were gracious hosts, as were their kids who honored us with a memorable a capella rendition of Wonderwall. Overall, I spent a lot of time wondering whether I had accidentally fallen down some rabbit hole on Christopher Street en route. In a way, I did.

I don’t tend to write about press events that I attend for Cool Mom Picks here, but I thought this one was too awesome not to let you in. You can find fancy professional-like photos here, but these are just a few details that caught my own eye.

The exterior, courtesy Elliman/Sixx design. Tranny hookers have been photoshopped out.

The Novogratz clan, minus a few kids.

What, you don’t have a basketball court on your ground floor?

The kids’ table–not so many toys, lots of space for creativity. Decoupage skull chairs FTW.

Mini sliders served on LEGO trays. Awesome kids party idea.

Rebecca Levey and Edward Kennedy on the landing between the 4th and 5th floors. Or 5th and 6th? Hard to keep track.

Button Queen, by Ann Carrington, over the bathtub. It’s their favorite artwork in the house–I think mine too. Originally scavenged in a Vintage shop in Soho for $1000. Now it’s worth uh…a little more. Though the prints are more reasonable.

Vintage baby heads on a mantle. Of course.

Bieber has a home among the fancy art.

For some reason I’m obsessed with the sunglasses hanging in the kitchen.

Art made by the kids on the back patio. I suggested they auction it for a charity. Maybe the LEGO foundation?

“Apartment with a view. Does not suck.”

Eagle-eye Rebecca noticed hipster 5:00 shadow dad slacking on the swingset

While above him, rebellious teen girl mixes up some margaritas.

New use for a digital frame–rotating photos of Britney. I love this to pieces; only mine might be John Waters.


Cortney mentioned something to the group about how now that we’ve seen their home, they’d love to see all of ours. I assure you that should they ever come to my place,  I will have smelling salts at the ready.

28 shards of brilliance… read them below or add one

Suzy May 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm

I am insanely madly in love with all things Novogratz. I watched their show on Bravo, before they jumped ship to HGTV. Bravo had that house dissected to within an inch of its drywall.

Whenever I hang something up or place something somewhere I always ask myself if it’s Novogratzian enough. It rarely is!
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Mom101 May 18, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Hilarious! I’m sure they’d love to know their name is now an adjective.


Issa May 18, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I love it and want to move in. Now…where exactly did I misplace that 17.5 million?


Julie Marsh May 18, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Totally fucking awesome. Crass, but really — that’s what kept going through my head.
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Mom101 May 18, 2012 at 1:11 pm

What’s crazy is that it’s so not crass at all. It’s filled with drawings the kids did, and family photos, and amazing modern art. It’s very liveable. I suppose you’re either a collector or you’re not–but it’s a really functional home and I’d take it. Maybe the price will drop down to $101.99.


Marie May 18, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Hee hee.
I think Ms. Marsh was referring to her own comment being crass, not the decor.


Mom101 May 18, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Oh duh.

Sorry Julie! I need to read more good.


Alyssa S. May 18, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Aside from knowing full well I’d never be able to afford that spread, I’m sad I’d never be able to get my hubs to agree to such awesome decor. I’d have to drug him and he’d accuse me of BEING drugged for wanting that decor. *SIGH*. That and I’m totally crushin on the bitchin Legos!
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Cheryl May 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm

I loved them on their Bravo show and miss seeing them on TV. What a great family and a great aesthetic.
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Korinthia May 18, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I’ve never heard of the Novogratz family, but they have a great sense of style! (If it’s not on Hulu I don’t see it apparently.) Love the skull chair, but the LEGO plates look hard to clean.
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Mom101 May 18, 2012 at 4:53 pm

That’s what Caterers are for!


magpie May 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm

I’ve also never heard of them, but I love your pictures, especially the quirky ones (doll heads and sunglasses). Cool.
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Mom101 May 18, 2012 at 4:54 pm

They are super cool. Check out their website – interior decorators with a modern art collection to die for. And 7 kids. And a TV show. Did I mention a $17mm house? Sigh.


Fairly Odd Mother May 18, 2012 at 8:16 pm

What I don’t understand about them (and others with houses like this) is how do you have a bunch of kids and NOT have their stuff everywhere? Either the kids a) live in a cabin in the back, b) the house has a giant hole that opens up to shovel all their shit down the middle, c) they have someone running after them picking up all the time. And three decoupaged chairs around an empty play table and one meticulous LEGO sign do not count as “kid stuff”. I want to send my three there to live for a week and then go back to take photos.
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Mom101 May 18, 2012 at 10:38 pm

The answer is, they don’t have a lot of stuff. Also when you have six floors, there really is a place for everything.

Although they do have a crapton of clothes. I peeked in the closet.
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Kelley May 18, 2012 at 9:41 pm

And I was like “Baby baby baby ohhhhh” shit seriously?

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Marinka May 18, 2012 at 11:02 pm

did they mention if they were looking for a roommate?
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Mom101 May 19, 2012 at 7:26 am

There’s certainly the room. Or hey, pitch a tent on the terrace.


Rebecca May 19, 2012 at 9:44 am

Actually the sunglasses rack is pretty cool. Set up by the key rack.
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Morgan Wesley May 19, 2012 at 6:06 pm

These are the great ideas of decorate a home. Also we can decorate our child’s room using these awesome ideas. Thanks for this nice sharing.


Martha May 20, 2012 at 9:13 am

Kick ass commentary. I cannot imagine a world that does not contain LEGOs.
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The Mommy Psychologist May 20, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I want a basketball court in my house!


deborah l quinn May 20, 2012 at 2:51 pm

when i aim for hip, i hit muffintop instead. very sad. who are these people? why do they have seven kids and a house worth several million dollars and chi-chi legos? do they ever step on the legos and swear? it all looks very live-able & that makes it almost worse, because that means that I *could* with a hipness transplant & better shelving have an apartment like that. just like if I had a full-time trainer I could have a body like jennifer aniston’s. really. I could. after this next pop-tart, anyway.
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Mom101 May 20, 2012 at 8:58 pm

There were treadmills by the basketball court. So there’s a hint.

I did not see any Pop-Tarts.


Sara May 20, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Why can’t I be that cool?? That sunglasses idea is truly brilliant, definitely. Thanks for sharing!

Wish I could watch their show online…have read about them, seen photos, but never a show w/ my non-cable tv.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes May 21, 2012 at 7:29 am

Well I’ve always wanted to move to New York…
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RealMommyChron May 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm

I watched the first season of their show and totally thought that they were selling it at the end? I guess I should have continued watching when they switched to HGTV! Oops!

I drive by their house at least once a week but stopped trying to peek past the forever-closed white curtains because I thought some random old rich guy lived there now and not still the amazing Novogratz family!

Wait – that doesn’t make me seem creepy at all, right? Or like I’m bound to get in an accident while trying to see in someone’s windows while flying down the West Side Highway.

Hmmm…got to rethink stalking strategy…..

Great post! :)
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pgoodness May 24, 2012 at 9:54 pm

When is this show on and how in the world did I miss it? New York, Legos and awesome design? I’m in LOVE!!! Off to find more info!
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