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For this episode of Home by Novogratz, we took the whole family and our crew down to Orlando to help out Winegard Elementary School. This deserving school won a $50K  makeover in a contest, and Robert and I were asked to give a fresh, new look to their music room. Our goal? Make the huge room colorful, comfortable and inspiring. First, we created custom stencils featuring the names of more than 150 famous musicians and arranged them in a border around the ceiling of the room. The Beatles, Beethoven, Placido Domingo, Pink Floyd, Tupac, U2… artists from a wide range of eras, backgrounds and styles to pique the students’ curiosity and creativity.

Courtney and Rob Novogratz

We also painted blue stripes (the school’s color) and piano keyboards on the room’s doors. These are both projects you can easily do at home (with the help of your local copy store) to bring in a “wow” factor to get your creative juices flowing.

Stripes and Piano Keyboard Doors

With a room this huge, we decided divide the space into activity zones working in from the corners. The art station is now filled with brain-stimulating supplies and iconic Panton chairs in orange and white.

Panton Art Center Zone

The chill-out zone, with its comfy mismatched pillows from India that we picked up at Wasburn Imports, is now the perfect place to lounge around and listen to music. There’s also the performance space. We took the whole family to the Discount Music Center to stock up on instruments for these burgeoning artists. Don’t you think the pink electric guitar rocks?!

Chill-out Zone and Instrument Center

Everybody at Winegard Elementary, the principal, the teachers, the kids, were so welcoming and so thrilled with the finished room. Nothing is more rewarding than designing for enthusiastic students and teachers. And as New Yorkers, we were all about enjoying some Florida sun, too! Our kids had the best time ever.

Novogratz Kids and School Students/Teacher

Sometimes all a child needs to succeed is the right tools. The same applies to us adults, too. Don’t be afraid to embrace your hobbies, motivators and dreams when designing a space. Your surroundings should fuel your senses and inspire your creativity. Take chances with design for a meaningful payoff.

26 Responses

  1. Karen C. says:

    Hi Courtney and Bob!
    I fell in love with your wonderful family when you had your show, 9 By Design, on Bravo. I am so glad you are now on HGTV! I look forward to unwinding after a hectic week by sitting down to watch your new show on Saturday evening. You guys are a great team! I hope you are on HGTV for a long time.

  2. Desiree says:

    Thank you for such a fresh show. I have enjoyed watching every single episode and have taken some ideas from each space that has inspired me in my own home.
    The Winegard Music Room just pulled at my heartstrings! I have painted, stenciled, stained, cleverly organized, and decorated my home for my 4 children for years and I really love doing it. I am also a choir director and feel as if I have 500 more children during the school day. I have always tried to make my music room inviting and inspiring. In fact, I was up at school building and sewing for this past week trying to makeover my class this year. Your makeover has totally lit a fire within. I'm almost bummed that I have to wait until Monday to get back to designing and decorating. We don't even report back from summer break until Thursday, officially. Thank you for that.
    If you could possibly share more specifics on the composer/performer wall stencil, such as how to make them or some ideas on where to get them made, I would love to take that into my room. I can not paint walls but that would work wonderfully!
    Thanks again for showing everyone they can think outside the box!

    • Anna@HGTV says:

      Desiree, Cortney mentioned in the show that these should be easy to make at a custom sign or copy center. I don't know if FedEx Kinkos, Staples or Office Depot offer these services. If not, check out companies like Fast Signs or your local sign shop. If you are searching on the internet, use keywords like "custom vinyl letters" "vinyl lettering". Rob and Cortney had the names printed in different sizes to create visual interest. Hope you have a fabulous school year. Music teachers and choir directors rock!

  3. Nancy says:

    The makeover of Winegard's music room was amazing. I am a school administrator at a high school close to Winegard and would like to use stencils like you did in the music room. How can I create custom stencils similarly? Any help would be appreciated!!!

    • Anna@HGTV says:

      Hi Nancy, you can order stencils for custom vinyl lettering like the Novogratz used from your local sign shop or a sign shop like Fast Signs. Not sure if FedEx Kinkos, Staples or Office Depot offer custom vinyl lettering. In the show, they went with blue, because it's Winegard's school colors. The letters could be done in a variety of colors and sizes. Good luck!

  4. Holt says:

    Just finished watching the elementary music room makeover. Seriously, I still have tears in my eyes. I started crying when you made over the kid's bedrooms and kept crying until the end of the show. That's a lot of crying! I think it's because I'm a special education teacher and when I started, I walked into an empty room with little to no books or teaching aides, let alone decoration. I had to purchase everything myself. My husband even built benches for my calendar area – it was so bare. I think it's absolutely fantastic that a parent nominated the school for such a wonderful and much-deserved makeover like that. You guys did a fantastic job with the room. What an inspiration for all of those children – and the teachers that work there. If only every school had a wonderful room like that one. Wow…

    • Anna@HGTV says:

      It's awesome to hear what you and your husband did to make your classroom inviting and stimulating. Yay teachers!

  5. Linda Denman says:

    This guy is the least talented designer I have ever seen, Due to the hype I was excited to see this show……until I saw this show!!!!!! Courtney is less obnoxious and may have a few more designing chops, but he ruins the show for me and every one else I have talked to.

    • Lovestolkien says:

      Sorry you feel that way. Perhaps this show is not for you or your friends then. I think that Bob is Cortney's able partner. He is a great sounding board for her ideas, helping to keep her grounded and motivated, and has occasional bursts of inspiration of his own to contribute. While she does most of the talking, he is the quiet one, ever present in the background, happy to play a supportive but no less necessary role in the partnership.

  6. sheri says:

    Great Design but how can you put clearly "residential fabrics" and finishes in a commercial space in Florida where there are life safety, flamespread etc. guidelines that by law should be followed. Were the fabrics treated? If so, it wasn't clearly noted.

  7. vmcg says:

    I cannot believe people would pay money for these results.

  8. TomF says:

    I love them because they never play it safe! Always pushing the envelope, thinking outside the bun, 'er box.
    I'm just sorry that the show's ONLY a half hour! Hey, HGTV!!!!…how about a FULL HOUR!?
    Keep up the good work, Bob and Cortney! I like that you utilize artists and, theerby, promote them and people buying art in general….being an artist myself. Keep pushing that envelope. Not everybody gets it, it sounds like, but those folks can watch the other, safer design shows.
    Again, HGTV…ONE HOUR!!!!!!!

  9. Barbara says:

    I'm really sorry, buy I LOVED 9byDesign–I really DO NOT like the new show…Too bad, I was really looking forward to seeing your unique style of decorating in homes.

  10. Lele says:

    HGTV editors! Watch your spelling!
    The word you want is "pique" – a verb; If something piques your interest or curiosity, it makes you interested or curious….
    … not "peak."
    Look it up. A dictionary by your computer is always a good idea!

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