9 By Design (Episode 1) Recap

Sheri Reed

Did you catch the first episode of 9 By Design? I did.

Cortney and Robert Novogratz are self-taught designers who run a business in which they design build and then sell incredible homes, many times living in the homes and then moving their whole family when they sell. And by whole family, I mean their six kids. Another almost here (Cortney's 8.5 months pregnant with #7 in episode 1).

In the first episode, we follow the family on a stress-inducing "gotta move now" frenzy. I guess this is the Novogratz's everyday life, but whoah. They're living in their most recent "dream home" (it's soooo dreamy!) and have a renter who's ready and paying big bucks, so they have to move and fast.

"It's a business," says Cortney. "We design amazing homes and we live there and we have a great time and then it's time to move on."

We watch Robert weave between being lead contractor-designer-ball-breaker and the "fun dad" while Cortney continually reminds him about the practical matters they need to address -- like finding a place to live in a few short days, preferably with a washer and dryer. Robert tries to get Cortney to consider living in a bar and spends the days directing workers on their new house instead of looking for new digs for the family. In the mean time, Cortney mildly flips out and decides to move the family into a temporary 2-bedroom since time is running out.

Amid the chaos of the move, Cortney makes the house pretty while Robert shifts to the voice of practicality, constantly reminding her of its temporariness. But in the end, the two agree everything came out perfectly. Their personalities, energy levels, and willingness for lots of give and take in their own home really do seem to suit this business.

Robert says, "Our philosophy with parenting and design are somewhat similar. 'Life's not perfect.'"

Cortney adds, "As far as renovating and decorating and raising children, it's the ugly times that are the most exciting and the most fun. It's the process."

By the end of the episode, Cortney, two weeks from her due date now, experiences some bleeding from the pregnancy and she and Robert head off to the hospital for the early arrival of #7.

Pant, pant, pant! Got all that? Yep, it's a whirlwind.

Loved the show, love their designs (I now want a garage door that opens out into the backyard), and their kids are crazy adorable and seem incredibly well-adjusted to this fast-paced life, but I don't think I could live their extraordinarily, er, flexible lives!

Watch the full first episode on Bravo.

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