The interior of your home tells a story.

Because I have four daughters, work from home and lacked design skills, the story mine has told the past several years is: “OMG. Please send help!”

Help has finally arrived in the form of Robert and Cortney Novogratz, who run Sixx Design in New York City.

My daughters and I became addicted to their TV show 9 By Design because it tells the story of their design business and how they juggle clients along with raising seven kids.

We also page through their book Downtown Chic: Designing Your Dream Home: From Wreck to Ravishing kind of obsessively because the decorating tips are told in the context of the story of how they have built and sold several gorgeous homes in New York city.

It’s kind of laughable that I, of all people, would pore over a book called Downtown Chic.  I guess my design story could be called Downtown Chic Meets Small Town Cheek.

As a writer I live in my head and in the world of ideas, not drapes, paint colors and art.

But then I heard Robert say in one of the episodes that you can add charm to any four walls.

He also says: “Good taste doesn’t come with money. You need creativity, and that can happen anywhere. It’s our goal to get that across.”

All of a sudden I looked at our four walls as a way to tell a story. Interior design doesn’t have to be about perfection and fussiness, which is how I used to view it.

While paging through Downtown Chic I noticed they had a “Wall of Women” – a wall of prints and posters of women.

I got the idea to create our own wall of women, but with a different twist.

This would be a collection of photos of women in movies, comic books, literature, TV, etc. who I and the four girls have been inspired by or just plain enjoyed together.

My oldest daughter (unlike me she has actual design sensibilities) thought this was a great idea and we spent a Saturday afternoon printing out photos and buying frames at local thrift shops for less than $1 each.


(Click here for a larger version of the photo.)

If you’re looking at this wall and going, “What in the world are Mrs. Brady, Seven of Nine and Flannery O’Connor doing on the same wall??” then… welcome to my family.

There’s a story behind each photo. I smile every time I look at this wall.

And that’s not all. We’re working on other small projects inspired by them, including a unique “installation” of our kids’ art.

Thanks to Robert and Cortney I no longer view my four walls as “too small” or as something I can improve only when I have enough money.

And as Robert says about houses in this video, “Enjoy it, it’s just a house. It’s the people in it that matter.”


Filed under: Cool IdeasFunInspirationStories/Storytelling


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