Family's Mega-Renovation of a Castle in Hollywood

After 22 years in New York, celebrity designers Robert and Cortney Novogratz and their seven children recently switched coasts to Los Angeles, where they are renovating a 1920s-era castle in the Hollywood Hills to be their new home.


(Hollywood castle renovation. Photo: The Novogratz)

Work on the property began two weeks ago, and people can follow their progress and design inspirations on Pinterest. The duo, known for designing boutique hotels and properties for stars such as singer Suzanne Vega and skateboarder Tony Hawk, has been featured on the shows “9 By Design” on Bravo and “Home by Novogratz” on HGTV.

(Vintage photo of the castle. Photo via The Novogratz/Pinterest)

They also have product lines at Walmart, Macy’s, Shutterfly and Old Navy that showcase their signature vivid colors.


(Photo: The Novogratz)

Some of that aesthetic will be included in the art of their new home, Robert Novogratz told Yahoo!, though the overall feel of the castle will remain intact. The white stucco on the outside will be changed to a cool gray. 

“We wanted something unique,” he said. “We always like old things and fixing them up. The trend, actually, in Hollywood sadly is to knock down these old houses and build big houses on small lots. We wanted to keep the integrity of the outside of the house … it will look like a castle when it’s done. It will just look better.”

(Castle view. Credit: The Novogratz)

The inside will undergo the most transformation, with walls being removed to open up the space on the first floor. “It’s big, but it was discombobulated — five different hardwood floorings, a lot of different small rooms.”

While the living area will be more “open and lofty,” he said, “We’re trying to make it actually smaller in feel. We don’t want it to have a McMansion feel, but it is big so we can’t get around that. We’re trying to make it cozier in design.”


(Photo: The Novogratz)

Among the elements the Novogratz hope to incorporate are:

A Sonos Home Theater

Wide plank wood flooring from Schotten & Hansen

Toto Toilets from the Connelly series, which combine contemporary design and water conservation

Rugs from ABC Home

Replacing some of the windows in the house to match the original steel-framed windows

Lots of vintage and flea market finds

Tom Dixon lighting, especially his Mirror Ball Lighting.


(Photo: Tom Dixon)

The most expensive item will be the flooring, made in Germany, to give “more of a country vibe.” The walls will likely be white, with wallpaper on focal walls. “We’re known for more pops of color. The color will come from the art, design and furnishings.”


Cortney Novogratz shows off the wide-plank wood flooring that is to become a canvas for the first floor of the home. Photo: The Novogratz

They will keep the kitchen open-air, “much more of a restaurant feel … more of a professional kitchen vibe.”


A La Cornue-Chateau 165 Stove in Brilliant Black with Brushed Brass and Stainless Steel is planned for the new kitchen. 

A major focus will be on creating indoor/outdoor living spaces to take advantage of the warm Southern California weather.

(Credit: The Novogratz)

In addition to having the kitchen area open to the back yard and pool, Novogratz said, they will include fun things for the family like an in-ground trampoline and a stainless steel sliding board running down a hill.


The existing steel-framed windows in the castle. They will be kept and matched where upgrades are needed. Photo: The Novogratz

Novogratz expects the home to have the “feel of a boutique hotel” while fitting in with the neighborhood. Across the street is Frank Lloyd Wright’s Storer House.

He said the entire clan is helping to add personal touches to the space. “We’re excited about this new adventure,” he said, adding, “The theme is more of a family place that’s fun.”

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