Bob and Cortney Novogratz Blog: Our Professional Tips for Renovating Your Home

08/12/2015 at 09:39 AM ET

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THE NOVOGRATZ; Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for DuJo

Bob and Cortney Novogratz are a design duo—and parents to seven children—who recently bought a 1920s-era castle in the Hollywood Hills. Check back regularly on as they blog about the rewards, risks, messes, and successes of the project, giving their expert tips and tricks for home renovation. You can follow them on Twitter at @TheNovogratz.

Creating a smart renovation wish list is crucial for getting the most out of your newly purchased home.

If you’re like us and you purchased a fixer-upper, the to-do list can seem overwhelming. To stay sane and not go over budget, follow these guidelines while you’re creating your renovation wish list.

Bob and Cortney Novogratz
Courtesy The Novogratz

Be sure to work as a family when you’re discussing what needs improving.

Start by compromising with your spouse or significant other so that each of you has at least one thing you’re truly excited about when the house is done.

One of Cortney’s top priorities in renovating is having a nice tub in the master bath  it’s the hour in the day she somehow manages to hide from me and all the kids. For our bathroom in the castle, she picked a beautiful freestanding soaking tub from TOTO.

Bob and Cortney Novogratz
Courtesy The Novogratz

I’m a lover of music, so a Sonos home audio system is my top priority for the renovation of the castle. It’s also important to include the kids in the wish list discussion.

Our girls are really excited about choosing wallpaper for their room, and our boys are looking forward to a Brunswick pool table, and maybe some vintage arcade games from eBay.

Bob and Cortney Novogratz
Courtesy The Novogratz

When looking at your budget, allot more money to the parts of the house that matter for resale value: your kitchen, your baths, and your shared spaces.

If you have any inkling that you may resell one day, stick with neutral, classic finishes in your kitchen and your baths. Choose materials that are durable and sleek.

Our go-tos are subway tile, white marble countertops, and simple cabinets. If you’re like us and have used subway tiles in renovations before, mix it up with a different color grout. Black grout with white subway tile will give a kitchen a restaurant feel, while white is more traditional. Boffi cabinets are our top choice for a beautiful, timeless look. Bring in color through through either a vintage looking stove or fridge.

For shared spaces like the living room, keep the bones simple, and spend your time planning out functional, comfortable seating. You want the area to be so inviting that your house becomes the place all the teenagers want to hang out.

At the end of the day, your house will never be perfect you will always find things you can tack on to your wish list. You don’t have to do everything at once. Enjoy the process as much as you know you’ll enjoy the end result.

Keep in mind that the point of renovating isn’t to reach perfection; it’s to create a happy and comfortable home that functions well for your family.

Bob and Cortney Novogratz
Courtesy The Novogratz

Stay tuned for more about our newest project, the castle, and follow us on our Facebook page.

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Showing 2 comments

Anonymous on

Yes, because these tips are so applicable to all U.S. homeowners and our castles.

McCall Hazelton on

Remodeling can be a crazy process, there are some decisions you need to make in the beginning though to help things run smoothly. I really like meeting with a contractor to discuss what is possible to do with the space we have. After you know what you can do, you can kind of be creative, but you don’t want to pursue ideas that you simply cant do with what you’ve got.

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