The Novogratz Show You How to Upgrade Your Kitchen on a Budget

04/05/2016 at 11:09 AM ET

The kitchen is often the most popular room in a house, so needing to upgrade it every once in a while is normal. And according to Cortney Novogratz, “you don’t have to break the bank” in the process.

RELATED: Watch Every Episode of The Castle Next Door: The Novogratz Family Take Hollywood

“You can simply buy inexpensive subway tile and lay it in a clever way,” says Cortney in the seventh episode of PEOPLE’s home design web series, The Castle Next Door. “Or use black grout instead of white.”

“If you can’t afford expensive countertops maybe choose just one area like the kitchen island and do an inexpensive countertop in the rest of the kitchen,” she adds.

If you’re looking for a subtler upgrade, the designer suggests buying expensive hardware and changing it out on your existing cabinets. “It makes quite a difference,” she says.

Throughout the episode, the Novogratz family also take viewers to some of their favorite stores for customizing their home.

RELATED: A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Antiques From the Novogratz Family

Cortney and her sons Five, 10, and Major, 7, head to the Boffi showroom in Los Angeles to design their black and white kitchen. And Bob brings Major along to King Iron Works in Burbank, California to check on their custom gates for the front of the renovated castle.

“If you want to do something really interesting you can’t just go to the chains,” says Bob. “You’ve got to go to where the guys make the real thing, make it unique. I think we found the right guy.”

To keep up with the Novogratz family’s most exciting design project yet, visit

—Ana Calderone, @anacalderone

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms


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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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