9 by Design

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
9 by Design TV Poster Image
Hipster parents hawk their design firm amidst family chaos.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The overall message is about working together, taking risks, and embracing creativity. Family is important, too, and everyone plays a role in helping things come together. The family's lifestyle is high-end, with expensive homes, clothes, etc.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Robert and Cortney are good parents who instill both creativity and responsibility in their kids while operating a successful business. (Sometimes, Robert comes across as one more kid for Cortney to handle, but he also steps in as a disciplinarian.) Both dislike traditional "planning," but their methods seem to work for them.


Some minor squabbles and disagreements, but nothing physical.


The family's latest house used to be a sex club, but it's only mentioned in passing.


Occasional use of words like "hell," "damn" or "piss" with some bleeped swearing (like "s--t" or, rarer, "f--k") in moments of frustration.


The show functions as a living, breathing, commercial for the couple's design company, Sixx Design, but the business blends into their everyday lives.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some rare social drinking (a glass of wine with dinner, celebratory champagne, etc.).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality show -- which involves a set of working parents and their seven kids -- features a decent amount of bleeped swearing in moments of frustration (which appears in some episodes more than others) and audible language such as "damn," "hell" and "piss." The show also functions as an advertisement for the couple's top-dollar design firm, Sixx Design, and glamorizes city living in upscale digs that cost upwards of $15 million.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 2, 5, 7, and 13-year-old Written bybuttercup28 September 5, 2012

Awful, Awful show

This is an AWFUL show! WHAT are they trying to show you?? How crazy they can get and what drives them to profanity?? I am all for large families but raising kid... Continue reading
Parent of a 14-year-old Written bytatiana nashira... June 4, 2010
will my ok movies
Teen, 13 years old Written byskater girl June 29, 2010
i think this show is awsome
Kid, 10 years old May 31, 2010
The show really shows how hard work can pay off and how you can balance your job and have a family (of 9). Verizon Wireless and Sixx Design is showed. Some smok... Continue reading

What's the story?

In the reality series 9 BY DESIGN, New York City home designers Robert and Cortney Novogratz are pretty comfortable with chaos. After all, when the series begins they've already got six kids ranging in age from 11 to 3 months with another one on the way. And while some might consider them crazy, their risk-loving approach to work and family has paid off with a successful business and a rotating line-up of beautiful, well-designed homes that they live in for a short time before moving on to the next project. They crave a world that's constantly changing...and that's exactly what they've got.

Is it any good?

In the already-crowded realm of reality television, 9 by Design is Bravo's response to the families-with-multiples trend, and the Novogratzes prove fitting subjects -- particularly for style-conscious urban-dwellers who view the ever-expanding Duggar clan (of TLC's 19 Kids and Counting franchise) with a blend of alarm and bewilderment. Sure, all of the Duggar children's names start with the letter "J," but the Novogratzes have upped the ante by naming their kids Wolfgang (11), Bellamy (10), Tellulah (10), Breaker (8), Five (3), Holleder (3) and, most recently, Major (3 months).

Between multiple moves and new house projects, playdates, and delivering babies, there's rarely a dull moment here. But some of the best times are when the cameras stop to catch the kids in action. While a very pregnant Cortney is lifting wing chairs over her head, big sister Bellamy is playing diplomat over a bunk bed spat and middle kid Breaker is showing 3-year-old Holleder how to put his clothes away. No, the Novogratz family isn't "normal," but you get the sense that what they've got works.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about consumerism and how the series subtly (or not-so-subtly) promotes the couple's design business. Why would Robert and Cortney agree to open up their personal and professional lives to viewers at home? What do you think they're getting out of it?

  • Does the series come across as overly scripted, or relatively unplanned? How does that mirror the couple's design sensibility and their joint approach to parenting?

  • Do you think this is a good show for families to watch together? Why or why not?

TV details

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