Q+A | HGTV host Genevieve Gorder says look beyond beige

Updated: 2012-11-04T02:32:37Z


The Kansas City Star

JOB DESCRIPTION: Interior designer and host of “Dear Genevieve” on HGTV, GenevieveGorderHome.com

Q. Tell me about your home.

A. It’s an 1856 Fitzroy Brownstone in Chelsea. I have the top two floors. I love all the stonework, molding and flooring. How I fill its contents are a mixture of many things including items from global travels and stuff from where I’m from: Minneapolis. There’s a salvage shop, Architectural Antiques in Minneapolis ( archantiques.com) with doors and Norwegian woodwork that feels, sounds and looks like home. I’m using items from there in my current home.

Q. What’s your next house project?

A. Renovating. The entire home. No little things. I’m working with architects, general contractors and the Mafia to get this all done. But I’m in nutty, nutty design heaven.

Q. Do you collect anything?

A. I collect horn-handled knives and salad servers as well as items that are sentimental to my ancestry — Croatian and Scandinavian lace and embroidery. I also love items from Morocco. I have Moorish doors and brass bowls all over my apartment.

Q. What’s your favorite room in your home?

A. The living room. It’s connected to the kitchen. You can see a willow tree from the window. It’s my favorite room because of the light. I have layers of fabric from the tablecloths I have.

Q. You have a 4-year-old daughter. Do have any pets?

A. No, I’m allergic to everything. But a cat would be so happy here.

Q. As a celebrity designer, what’s the No. 1 question you get?

A. There are about four. Why aren’t you barefoot? I became known as the barefoot designer on “Trading Spaces.” Where did you get that? How did you get your job? That’s not a straight-line answer. How do you find inspiration? To sum it up, pushing myself to travel around the world. I need to keep seeing new things to be inspired. I work to give my daughter a great life and an education, and to see the world. Travel is adult education.

Q. How do you like to entertain?

A. It’s an extension of design. I make it really casual. I push a 14-person table up to my couch. I like lots of dancing, lots of music. Overplanning is criminal when it comes to hosting. You just relax and become part of the party. Otherwise why do it?

Q. Are there any design no-nos in your book?

A. A million of them. I’d say look beyond beige. People just beige it up and they wonder why they’re so bored. You can repaint for $20. Also, people seem to be paralyzed by the thought that you have to be perfect and they do nothing. Just play with it.

To reach Stacy Downs, House + Home editor and writer, call 816-234-4780 or send email to sdowns@kcstar.com. Follow her at Twitter.com/stacykc.

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