Genevieve Gorder of HGTV Turns 36, Gives 5 Great Design Tips

Genevieve Gorder HGTV Design Star
Genevieve Gorder
Genevieve Gorder
, currently a judge on HGTV's Design Star, is celebrating her 36th birthday today, as well as a design career that's come a long way, baby.

The Minneapolis native started her TV career on MTV's Sex in the '90s (whoah!), which, combined with her degree from the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and experience in design firms, turned into a grand TV designer lineup that included Trading Spaces: Family and Town Haul on TLC and now Dear Genevieve and Design Star on HGTV.

In between all this, she also met husband Tyler Harcott (who at the time was working on another TLC program, Junkyard Wars) and married him in 2006. They had now-2-year old daughter Bebelle in January 2008. The three live in Manhattan.

Awesome! Happy Birthday, Genevieve.

We've rounded up some of the best of Genevieve Gorder's design tips as of late. She always has something useful to share.


1. On design fears

When recently asked the most common design flaw she sees in a home, Gorder responded, "Fear to create the space that they really want and defaulting on beige on beige on beige."

Most of us as homeowners on a budget can relate to that one. Better to be safe than sorry, right? Actually, wrong ...

2. On redesigning a home

When approaching a home redesign, Genevieve Gorder asks these questions about each space, “What gives me joy in a kitchen? Living room? Bedroom?" She then aims to create that joy. "That, in the end," she says, "is what a home is supposed to do.”

I love this.

3. On kitchen redesign

The goal for the perfect kitchen design should be to create an airy, uncluttered space for cooking and creating lovely meals. "When there's a clean butcher block out on the counter," Gorder said, "I want to cook."

"Especially by the stove," she added. "People tend to overfill the space" with decorative items and knickknacks. Don't do it.

4. Decorating around a retro piece

If you have and adore a retro piece of furniture or other decorative item, it doesn't mean you have to surround it with several other items from that same era. In fact, according to Gorder, it's quite the opposite.

"You won't notice [the retro piece] until you have something to give it contrast," Gorder said, and favors mixing vintage and contemporary pieces.

5. On favorite materials

Wood: Gorder recently called wood "the one medium that is eternal. It's been in interiors since the beginning of time and it's sitting in our front yards," she says. "There's nothing else like it."

She recommends mixing and matching new and old wood: "If you just keep matching, it looks like a bad pantsuit."

Gorder also explains how second-hand doors, shutters, crates, etc. can be repurposed into good design elements. "It's that soul you can't buy off the showroom floor."

Marble: Gorder is a fan of white Cararra marble countertops, which can look great with both a contemporary or classic kitchen decor.

When asked about their fragility, Gorder says: White Cararra marble "made up the entire city of Athens, and it's still standing."

Are you a fan of Genevieve Gorder? Which shows of her have you followed?


Image via HGTV

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