We absolutely relished the opportunity to bring great design to a deserving high school’s gym in this episode of Home by Novogratz! We traveled to sunny California to tackle a locker room design makeover for the boys’ basketball team at Inglewood High School — alma mater of nine-time NBA All Star Paul Pierce!
Basketball is THE sport in the Novogratz family, so we were super excited to work with Paul Pierce to give some deserving kids a great space to relax, study and work out. Our family loves the New York Knicks and Paul plays for the Boston Celtics, but we put our rivalry aside for a great cause and an all-around great guy (and player!).
Because it’s a school (and schools have rules!), we were somewhat limited in our use of furniture and paint. So, we chose to make a statement with the lighting. We went wild and bought over a dozen huge Suspension Lamps. We essentially created our own massive chandelier by hanging them all in a group at staggered heights. Aside from the room’s massive size, the hideous metal bars on the walls provided our biggest design challenge. Those bars made it feel like a prison! We overcame this obstacle by covering them with giant murals we had printed that feature the work of renowned photojournalist Chi Modu. The result is stunning and truly inspirational.
We also wanted to make a cozy hangout for the boys with a place where the team could comfortably meet to discuss plays or do their homework. To accomplish this, we took a huge space and broke it down into more intimate and manageable areas. We created a space for lockers, then a lounge area (with furniture by designer Jonathan Adler), a “dining room” for eating or hitting the books and a workout space. The room mixes young, fresh design with classic sports elements. Our son Wolfgang even parted with some of his trophies for the project.
Paul’s nickname is “The Truth” and his non-profit, The Truth on Health, works to prevent childhood obesity. So, we made a special shopping trip to TINI for huge mismatched letters to spell out his nickname. Paul said he loved the room so much that he wished he could go back to school!
Sometimes our most interesting projects aren’t residential designs. You can create an inspiring and personal space in your workplace, church or school with a little imagination and creativity.