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One of our favorite female designers, Genevieve Gorder, continues to share her own unique style on Dear Genevieve and will also return as a judge on the fifth season of Design Star, premiering June 20th. We had the chance recently to find out a little bit more about her.

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Which female designers influenced you?

There are so many designers that influence me since design is constantly evolving. Recently I have been diving back into Dorothy Draper’s work. She was such a pioneer and what she was able to achieve as a woman in the 1920s is inspirational. Her color palettes and dramatic play on pattern and scale are still relevant in modern day interiors. She knew how powerful design was as a tool for expression and communication, and she didn’t just stop at residential and commercial interior design. Rather, she brought her passion for design to everything she could from cosmetic packaging design all the way to designing the interiors of jet planes and automobiles.

What’s the essential home accessory you use in your designs?

Textiles are one of the most important home accessory pieces. What a simple pillow, Roman shade or rug can do in a room is truly remarkable. The texture that fabric, rugs and textiles bring into a space is so important since they affect the sound of a room, the touch of the room and the visual beauty. Pattern is important to help break up the landscape of color and surface area in a space and the best way to play with that is through textiles.

What are your top three favorite places to shop for the home?

I love finding pieces for the homes I design in unexpected places. My absolute favorite place to shop is in architectural salvage yards. It is amazing what you can find and what character pieces have been around for years and years can bring to your home. I love vintage doors, mantels and anything mercury glass to name a few of the key items I look out for on my shopping ventures. I also love to shop at vintage flea markets. There are some amazing ones in my neighborhood in NYC, and I have found some true treasures. I am always on the look out for beautiful vintage glass pendant lighting, old mirrors and frames for my client’s family photographs. There is something about a lovely worn-in frame that makes a family photo feel that much more special. My third favorite place would have to be fabric stores. I absolutely adore scouring through bolts of fabric to find the perfect pattern that ties the whole room in together and adds the icing on the cake.

What’s the best design advice you’ve ever received?

The best design advice I have ever received came from my mother. I learned so much about design and home renovation from her. She instilled my lust for life early and completely fueled my love of traveling the world and incorporating nature into all my designs. She always taught me that design should feel comfortable and lived in, and it’s a principle I have clung to to this very day. I design rooms for my clients that they are a part of, rooms they will want to live and grow in comfortably for years.

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The master bedroom is a mix of masculine and feminine design. Watch the makeover (episode 308) when it premieres this May.

What room did you most enjoyed designing? Why do you love it?

I truly love every space I design and each space has its own unique story both from my end and from my clients’ end. One design that will be coming up in season three of Dear Genevieve is a bedroom in West Orange, N.J. I love it because it is such a balance of masculine and feminine. It really blended a refined classic feel with urban eclectic undertones and spoke volumes of both of my homeowners characters.

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20 Responses

  1. gloriann morelli says:

    Hi Genevieve, my den located in the front of my house was wallpapered in the 80's with browns and bieges that was in back then and the other wall is real barn pannel. The wallpaper will be coming down with a light paint and i want to leave the panel. what do you think. My small powder room is near the den with the same paper which I just took down what a job that was. would you just paint all the walls or use wainescoat up the walls? I just love your show and wish you could come to my home….. thagnk you

  2. Kristine Nguyen says:

    Hi Genvieve, we love to watch your wonderfull show. I have five kids age 17,15,12,10 and 20 months old.
    We love to have an idea to design a combination of study anh entertain room before the kids grown up.
    I love to welcome you into my house. Thank you and have a wonderful day.
    My cell is 510-648-9781 and my email :kvu94538@yahoo.com.
    Kristine.

  3. Carol Palmer says:

    Hi, Genevieve, my daughter-in-law and granddaughter will be moving in with us while my son is deployed to Afghanistan. I am attempting to redo his old bedroom for my granddaughter. I am stripping off the old wallpaper and am unsure how to treat the room. The rug is blue and we cannot afford to replace it. I would love to incorporate a wall color that will make the room more appropriate for a girl. One wall has a row of three large windows, the opposite wall has a closet and door. On one of the side walls, there is a niche that is filled with my son's childhood books. the room is very long and not very wide (a twin bed can be placed against one of the side walls with just about 1 1/2 feet to spare). I hope that you answer these questions quickly because they are coming in the next week or two. I guess I put off doing the work because I couldn't stand the thought of my son going on this third deployment. The baby's crib is blond, a twin trundle bed is oak and the dresser is dark wood. Can you please suggest a color or theme that could help me utilize the room as a nursery and also a guest room?
    Thanks you so much, I am such a big fan of your designs. My cell is 908-338-3485 and my e-mail is palmercarol@ymail.com.
    Blessings,
    Carol

  4. Mary says:

    Gen, whoever cut your hair for the battle on the block episodes need to be fired. Do you really think that 70's Carol Brady mullet shag looks good? Maybe you should invest in some extensions to fix this nest on your head.

  5. Jennie says:

    Need design assistance for a floor plan and interior design of a Southern Living Showcase House. This home will be a modular built home, eco-friendly, energy efficient, hurricane resistant, built in one-third the time of a traditional site-built home with a cost savings of at least 30%. Trying times often gives rise to "thinking outside the box." HGTV's participation and/or endorsement will make it possible to inform others of alternative home ownership possibilities available to them.

  6. Jane McDermott says:

    I WAS WONDERING WHY DO DESIGNERS GIVE IDEAS OR GO TO MOBILE HOMES AND SHOW PEOPLE HOW THEY CAN DECORATE THESE SMALL SPACES. JUST BECAUSE PEOPLE LIVE IN MOBILE HOMES DOES NOT MEAN THEY LOVE TO HAVE THERE PLACE LOOK LIKE A BEAUTIFUL AREA TO LIVE IN. Jane

  7. Norma says:

    Hi g
    Am repainting my living room in dark gray with white woodwork. what would be a good color and texture for curtains/drapes. oh by the way painted my ceiling a lighter gray. HELP

  8. Faith McKay says:

    Genevieve, I have a decorating problem with my living room and was wondering if you could give me some feedback and some idess. I would like to send you some pictures but I don't know where to send them. Please help!!!!!

    Faith

  9. Nance says:

    Dear Genevieve, love your connections with those you design for and your designs. Beautiful! MY problem is one large room, consisting of LR.,DR., and kitchen. I love the space but just updated appliances with stainless steel. I want to paint the oak cabinets gray, and the kitchen and DR. walls a lighter shade of gray. PROBLEM: all the walls are a deep mustard and the LR. has a cathedral ceiling! Area rugs and furniture are fall colors. How can blend the new colors with the old? HELP M PLEASE, I know there is a way.

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