Novogratz, TTU: All in the Family

Robert and Cortney Novogratz at the April launch.

Robert and Cortney Novogratz at the April launch.

By Allison Zisko

Husband and wife design team Robert and Cortney Novogratz have extended their family to include TTU.

The couple, who host a design show on HGTV and created a furniture and home decor line for CB2, recently partnered with the tabletop company to produce a line of brightly colored ceramic and melamine dinnerware and serveware, some of which pays homage to family, one of the Novogratzes’ passions.

Awareness of the Novogratz name, established through the couple’s HGTV show, books and regular television and print appearances, drew TTU’s attention, said co-owner Dar Molayem. “In addition we admire their mix of vintage and modern aesthetic and their very original ‘design without rules’ motto,” Molayem said. “On a more personal level we have great admiration for their sense of family and hard work ethic.”

People respond to family—of all sizes and types, said Robert Novogratz during the unveiling of the collection in New York in April. The Novogratzes, who live in New York’s West Village neighborhood with their seven children, have integrated a family motif into their past home furnishings designs—including a rug for CB2 that has the word “family” woven into it—and did the same with several pieces in their new tabletop collection. Colorful letters spell out the word “family” on trays, plastic to-go cups and other pieces; other letters spell out attributes like “wonderful” and “happiness” in grid arrays. A colorful pinwheel is another recurrent design motif. “The color wheel inspires us … we use a lot of color in our designs,” Robert Novogratz said.

The launch collection includes melamine and ceramic dinnerware, serveware and entertainment pieces as well as hydration products. There are all-white cookie jars shaped like busts of famous figures and scallop-edged popcorn containers that are not restricted to popcorn—they can be used to hold pencils, or flowers, or any other treasure. That’s the whole point of the collection, said Cortney Novogratz—it’s meant to reflect individual style and preference.

The self-taught Novogratzes have been designing for 20 years, and their design philosophy blends vintage and modern looks. “It’s nice to have pieces in your house that are quirky and fun,” Cortney Novogratz said.

TTU plans to target a wide range of retailers. “They fill a void in the marketplace,” Molayem said of the Novogratzes. “They are fresh and modern and not formulaic; they appeal to the millennial age group; and they are fun and keep it real.” The partnership, he added, will help TTU capture “a unique audience with a modern upbeat aesthetic.”