An Interview With Genevieve Gorder!

Holy moly did you see that post title? Did it sink in? An interview. With Genevieve Gorder!! Oh my. So yes, I was so fortunate to have a little time last week to chat with her on the phone. I KNOW. I died a little. She is a superstar, and my favorite designer ever, so it was a little nutso to get to speak with her, but jumped at the opportunity.

Genevieve Gorder

My favorite store of all time, Homegoods, set me up with this and I was truly honored. They were having an event in New York called Happy Home Resolutions, and Genevieve was there talking about the small things that you can do in your home to boost your mood, and went through the 6 different looks/rooms that were there at the event. Here are a few of the spaces that were decorated with special elements:

Chaise Lounge Styled

Writing Desk Area

Homegoods Dining Room

Great spaces right? Genevieve showed how to create those spaces and how small pops of color and cheerful lighting can really have a positive effect on someone’s mood, especially for the upcoming winter months. All of these are very cost-effective, simple, and quick changes, a/k/a “resolutions” to make your home a happier place. And who doesn’t need an extra dose of happy?

I loved reviewing this information that came from a recent survey Homegoods did and found it all very interesting…


Especially from a blogger’s perspective, that’s great information to know. Do you all agree with the survey?

Well, I know you all want to know what Genevieve and I talked about so here goes it. I had some questions in mind and wanted to know more in-depth on these little resolutions for the home, and then I had other questions I wanted to ask so I went for it.

Q. I’d love to hear more about these happy home resolutions and the simple changes that can be done that will have a positive impact on people’s mood.

A. It’s really about creating affordable and stylish options so people can make small changes, that emotionally is a big impact. People tend to get paralyzed into thinking they have to do the entire house all at once, and that it’s incredibly expensive to do anything well, and that they underestimate the power of a beautiful landscape and how that affects your mood and behavior towards others.

Then she referenced how when we wear a beautiful outfit we tend to just act different vs. than when we are wearing our yoga pants around. I know many of y’all definitely can rock the yoga pant, myself included, but I do love dressing up too. So the moral, the same goes for your home. When you have a beautiful accent piece or a pillow you love, your mood will improve.

Q. Would you agree that lighting is key in every room?

A. Lighting is by far the most important factor in design in every space. It can ruin a space, and it can make a space. It’s one of those underrated things.

Genevieve recommends having several different types of lighting throughout your home, like dimmers, task lighting, lamps, etc. Rotate them and just don’t leave the canned lights on! Plus everyone just looks prettier under a glowy light. :)

Q. Are you a regular shopper at Homegoods too? What do you love about them?

A. Oh yea, absolutely. There really isn’t a lot of competition for this store. There is no other resource just like it that has an abundance of stuff from so many places at a price point that’s realistic and approachable. Homegoods is a good resource to lean on to find those powerful accessories when I’m working with a smaller budget. And I’m all about their cookware.

Ha, that made me laugh! I told her I love their cookware too and that I always find some great Le Creuset pieces there. She concurred.

Q. You have decorated many different spaces, so where do you like to go to be inspired for fresh and new ideas when you start a new space?

A. Every year I’ll take myself to at least 1 country that I’ve never been to. As designers, it’s absolutely necessary that we keep seeing, otherwise we stop creating new, and just create what we know over and over and over and it gets redundant, and you have a “style.” Our goal is to be ever-changing and accommodating to different client’s needs so you have to be able to see harder than anyone else. That’s our job. To see harder and imagine harder. And you can’t do that unless you get to travel and see and not understand everything, and that’s when your imagine unfolds. Beyond that, locally I’ll do my museum run maybe once a month or every other month, and I don’t go with people I go with headphones and just see. I have to tune out those other senses. Beyond that I go to new restaurants, new hotels, new coffee shops…you have to because someone is always going to be doing something that you aren’t, and someone is always going to be doing something that you haven’t thought of.

-Wow, that was deep. And I needed to hear that. Anyone else?

Q. How has your style evolved from Trading Spaces days? (You were my favorite btw)

A. I think I understand my clients much better now, and I have more integrity and people trust me more as a designer. I’ve seen a lot more than I did at age 25. But that doesn’t meant that age isn’t relevant. I think there’s a sense of playfulness and risks that comes along with being a young designer that you have to fight to keep than a more mature designer. You don’t risk it because you think you know how it’s going to feel when you fall, but you don’t always fall…

Q. Your home is gorgeous..can you give us a few sneak peeks or tell us what we can expect to see in your new “Genevieve’s Renovation” show starting January 2014? 

A. Everything that could possibly go wrong has gone wrong. So it’s going to be a GREAT show. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Q. Will you have a white kitchen?

A. I will have some white in my kitchen, but it’s not an all white kitchen. My appliances are not stainless steel.


Q. You’re a natural beauty, and I know all of my readers want to know if you always look that good when DIY-ing when you’re not filming?

A. When I’m doing television I have hair and makeup, but I dont like to wear makeup so I don’t wear a lot. In my show in January though you’ll see what I really look like when I’m making stuff. And I’m a man!! <surprise!>

-not really everyone.

Q. Is copper the new brass?

A. No. I don’t think it’s as flexible as brass and doesn’t have the same weighty-ness as brass. But do I think it’s going to become more popular than brass? I think they can share a stage and work nicely together with pewter.

Q. Chevron: In or Out?

A. Chevron is forever, it’s an ancient pattern. Chevron is not going anywhere. I think we’ve over-used it a little bit. I prefer the chevrons that have a bit of feather to them or uneven line.

-long live the chevron!

Q. Want to tell us anything about your magazine coming out at the end of the year? And when is the book coming out?

A. I have a digital magazine launching in December and that’s going to be everything that doesn’t fit into 22 minutes of tv. The book will be launching at the end of 2014 which will be in-depth on all of my renovations with all of the geeky details that creative people want.

And that’s a wrap for the interview. She was so incredibly nice and sounds exactly the same on the phone as she does on t.v. You know how people sometimes sound different? Anyway, not her. Even if she doesn’t remember chatting with me 10 years from now I don’t care because I definitely will! We are now BFF’s. Such an honor!

And p.s. her show “Dear Genevieve” starts up again with new episodes in October on HGTV. Can’t wait!

What would you ask Genevieve? Are you ready to implement some of these “happy home resolutions” in your own home?



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  1. Love her and have missed her show since we no longer have HGTV… we went cable-less unfortunately, but have ALWAYS enjoyed her show. Thanks for posting this interview. XOX

  2. Love, love, love Genevieve, how blessed you are to have an interview with her. My question for Genevieve and anyone else that wants to answer is how do you overcome decorating paralysis? I have been in my home over ten years and still don’t have anything on the walls in most rooms. We have painted twice, put in new floors, bought a new couch but the walls are bare, like completely bare, nada nothing. I should really add to that every flat space is also bare or should I say a dump station for my three boys. That would be part of my fear, investing in pieces that have a high probability being broken. So maybe it’s not paralysis but more giving up.

    • No pro here, but Kirsten, besides blogs, I would stalk places like Houzz or Pinterest and pin/save those spaces that you are drawn to and pay attention to the pattern of what you like. Then start to incorporate those ideas into your spaces. So many DIY blogs such as this show you how you can get really pretty results by reusing items found at thrift stores, etc so you don’t have to empty the bank account, especially if you are unsure of your taste. Most importantly, relax and enjoy. Unless it’s a major renovation, it’s just decor and can be easily changed!

    • Hi Kirsten, I loved what Lisa said too. It doesn’t have to be expensive. My favorite way to get the biggest bang for your buck is to just paint the walls and add some board and batten or any type of molding which can be easily done and for little money too. If you don’t feel you are handy with tools, try some stripes in colors you like, just like I just did in the mudroom. Once you get the walls looking pretty, then I think you would be inspired to hang things on the wall. I like to start with pretty mirrors, and I have a thing for big round starburst mirrors if you haven’t noticed yet. :) If you see some pretty fabric you like, frame that up and hang up. I have that around several areas in our house!

      If you feel like a lot of spots are dumping zones for your boys, try and make those areas look nice with baskets, storage bins, or whatever you like! Then it won’t feel like such a disaster area. I have baskets all around. :)

    • My suggestion is to just START.

      Put thing #1 on the wall. Actually, if you will compartmentalize the wall (for example, visualize a rectangle area on the wall above the couch or side table or whatever). Start just with that one area. Don’t worry about the rest at this point.

      Then put up thing #1. You’ll soon see that you like it and it’ll be easier to find thing #2.

      And remember: it’s just STUFF. If you *don’t* like it you can always move it or remove it.

      Good luck!

  3. How fun!!! I don’t think I would have been able to get my brain together to do this interview, I would have kept tripping on the fact that I had Genevieve on the phone with me. Awesome interview, love her tips. Sharing on my FB page. Everyone should read this!

  4. What a great interview! I have always loved her style. I was a big Trading Spaces fan too. And I LOVE Home Goods. When we moved to FL 4 years ago I was so very sad that we did not have one here. BUT, we are getting one at the end of the month and I’m so excited! I’ll be a kid in a candy store excited!

  5. Wow! What in honor. She is just the sweetest – you can tell that is genuine on TV and through her interview. I love how she gets her inspiration. I definitely agree that I needed to hear that. So fun!

  6. Awesome interview!

  7. I love this! What an honor and what a fun interview! :) I expected nothing less of the two of you. ;)

  8. I met her when she did a room for a friend of mine for her show Dear Genevieve. She is so sweet! Love her.

  9. Thank you so much for that interview … I am too a huge fan of Genevieve for a loonngg time now …! Can’t wait to see more of her on tv..! Oh ya and the magazine too !!! Yay !!!

  10. I like the point of mentioning how rooms make you feel, vs, always focusing on a look you want to achieve. We recently moved and my house makes me feel a bit tired lately. I think a lot of that is the direction it faces, the terrible window treatments, and low natural daylight on certain sides of the house.
    I went to the local library for a design seminar… The speaker was friends/coworkers with the lady who was a design star winner, and is hosting the new show, most embarrassing rooms… I have lots here to qualify, lol.

  11. I love this! Your questions were great. All things I wanted to know. The research by Home Goods is not surprising at all, but is so interesting. Thanks for sharing!

  12. I’m so jealous!! Great interview with Genevieve – thanks for sharing it!

  13. My wife is a huge fan of Genevieve so I know who she is. What a great opportunity for an interview. I bet you just had a blast on the phone with her.

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