Entertainment: What I’ve Been Watching

I have watched more than the usual (for me) amount of television since the fall. I get completely caught¬†by the Netflix-binge-watching bug, and before I realize it, I’m finishing off one television series and beginning another. Even with all that I’ve watched, there’s still more for me to see before I am totally in touch with what everyone else is talking about – my Netflix-must-watch list seems to grow on a daily basis! Who has time for all these shows? When do people watch tv?¬†Anyway, here’s a¬†quick recap of what I’ve watched over the last few months:

TV shows:

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Gilmore Girls – I¬†watched all 7 seasons over the course of a month or so. I can’t believe I watched all 7 seasons. That’s a whole lot of hours!¬†I loved following the day-to-day business of¬†Lorelai and Rory – the mother daughter duo who lead this series – in the quaint and comfortable town of Stars Hollow. Seven seasons, though, that’s sort of embarrassing!?

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I loved watching the two seasons of Mr. Selfridge. The characters are complex, the costumes are¬†fascinating, and the management style¬†of Mr. Selfridge¬†is interesting.¬†Jeremy Piven – as Mr. Selfridge – is perfect. I can’t wait for more! Two seasons¬†seems like a reasonable amount of tv watching, but¬†it really equates to about 20 hours of tv…half a normal work-week. Wow.

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I am now several seasons in to White Collar. I had never heard of it before I clicked on it via my Neflix menu. It’s been alright. I¬†like¬†that each of the characters is still around after so many seasons;¬†there has been zero – or little – character turnaround.¬†I also like the¬†dynamics between each of the characters.

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Homeland was incredible. I am certainly¬†eager to see what the next season has in store! I was never a fan of Claire Danes, but¬†I think she’s¬†amazing in the¬†role of Carrie¬†Mathison.

Movies:

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I’ve watched¬†Pitch Perfect¬†a few times now, and it still entertains me. The songs, the dancing, the amusing dialogue – it’s all fun! Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson are two of my faves in this film. Yes, it’s true, I do like a good teen movie. Pitch Perfect 2 is due to hit theatres in May.

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The Grand Budapest Hotel is a work of art. There is so much beauty in this quirky film. I feel like I need to watch it several more times just so I can can catch and analyze every detail that went into this film.

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I felt like I went on a lengthy trek after I finished watching Wild. The scenery is beautiful, the story is true, and Reese Witherspoon played her part so wonderfully that I almost forgot that she starred in Legally Blonde. I was surprised to learn that Nick Hornby wrote the screenplay and was one of the executive producers of this film.

What’s on your must-watch list? I’d love to know!

Interview: Robert and Cortney Novogratz

Robert and Cortney Novogratz do keep themselves busy. Not only have they been successful and inspirational designers for more than two decades, this dynamic duo has also been sharing their knowledge of design through the medium of television, most recently on HGTV’s Home by Novogratz. They’re also the authors of the successful book, Downtown Chic.

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Oh, and if you haven’t already heard, they have seven kids to take care of too!

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I recently had the opportunity to ask Robert and Cortney some questions about their approach to design. Before I share their responses with you, I thought we could have a little peek into their own homes (yes, multiple). I really love seeing how designers design for themselves (and, of course, how they incorporate white).

In New York…

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In Great Barrington…

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In Brazil…

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The Novogratz also bring in quite a bit of white into the spaces they design for their clients.

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I just love that while this couple obviously loves high-impact colours, industrial design, and a variety of materials, they also use white to make their designs complete. I recently asked them about their fondness of white, among other things, and I am happy to share their responses with you today.

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1. What is one of your favourite spaces to design?

We love all different kinds of spaces. Homes, stores, schools – we are always looking for a new challenge.

2. What are two of your best organization tips, tricks, or tools?

Two great tricks for instantly improving your space: 1. Get rid of clutter and watch your room open up and feel more spacious. 2. A new coat of paint can work miracles. Don’t be afraid to try a little colour (or more) if you are feeling bold.

3. What three elements define a well-designed space?

Does it work for the people using it? Is it comfortable? Is it chic?

4. What are four of your best ways to avoid clutter?

Get rid of what you don’t really need. Kids don’t have to have boxes and boxes of toys. Just keep their favourites and what they use regularly. Donate the rest, give it to friends or family, or have a tag sale! For what is left – get some good storage. Make it easily accessible to the kids. The same applies to adults. If you have a collection of something you really love, or books you don’t want to part with, find a cool way to display them that does not look cluttered. Closed-cupboard storage is great for things you really need but don’t necessarily want out for the world to see.

5. What are five of your favourite white accessories/objects/pieces of furniture (that you own or that you often use in your designs)?

We love white candles, white flowers, and white walls. They are all excellent for different reasons. Because we love bright pops of colour in our design, white is a really good way to make art, accessories, and brightly-hued walls pop. We have great white vintage dining chairs made from washable leather so they are easy to clean. The floors in our country home are painted white, which really opened the space. White is classic and always looks good.

6. What are your six top shopping destinations (i.e., for home, clothing, food, etc.)?

We have lots of shopping destinations. We love a good flea market anywhere in the world and the one in Brimfield, MA, is one of the best. We also love shopping for vintage pieces in Hudson, NY, and several locations around NYC. For decor items that are affordable, CB2, IKEA, Target. For clothes and food, there are nine of use, so the shopping choices are quite diverse.

7. What are seven of your kids’ favourite toys/books/objects?

Legos (especially Star Wars) are big with our twin sons, who are six. One of our sons loves music and musical instruments. Our girls love to read. Our oldest is an athlete so many of his favourite things are in that arena. Our three year-old has a stuffed dog he likes quite a lot.

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Many thanks to Robert and Cortney Novogratz for taking the time to respond to my questions. Thank you to Sarah Stevens at Shaw Media/HGTV Canada for arranging this interview.

Read more about HGTV’s Home by Novogratz here.