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a chat with…HGTV’s genevieve gorder

December 28

Genevieve Gorder

Before Christmas I had the exciting opportunity to chat with Genevieve Gorder, of HGTV Canada’s ‘Dear Genevieve’. Given the latest season of her show starts on January 4th (airing on Tuesdays at 8:30pm ET, 9:30pm PT), I thought the timing was perfect to ask her about emerging trends in interior design for 2011, and those she hopes would just go away, along with discovering her own new year’s design resolution.

What do you see as a new trend in design for 2011?

Genevieve feels a lot of impact will come from colour, both bold and soft. Much inspiration for colours and textures in interiors will derive from Uzbek ikats and suzanis, resulting in a folky, earthy colour palette. Turquoise, golds and deep purples, corals and aquas will be prominent in the bold end of the spectrum.

On the soft side of colour, more ethereal shades will emerge – oysters, blushes, and smokes will balance the boldness of the strong, folk influence. The softer colours will be found on walls as a neutral backdrop to bold punches in accessories.

Genevieve is also pleased to see the re-emergence of brass, which got such a bad rap in the ‘80s. But brass today is a departure from the high polished version decades ago and plays a warmer, more subtle role in matte and antique finishes.

What is a design trend you’d like to see disappear?

Genevieve has seen enough of the blue and brown combination of colours in interiors, which is now tiresome, like any trend that trickles down to the mass and discount markets.

She does not feel, however, that beige is dead but that it needs to be conquered. It is a fallback that, on its own, makes no one happy. ‘Beige needs friends like any colour.’ Much like her new, hands-down favourite, yet underrated neutral – oyster. ‘Oyster is beige’s sexy friend.’

And as she ushers in the revival of soft brasses, she is happy to bid farewell to nickel – again, an overused element in interiors over the past decade.

What is a new year’s design resolution that you have for yourself?

Genevieve holds herself to the same resolution each year and that is to travel to a new locale to find design inspiration. She recognizes it is important to humble oneself in order to grow. She admits that she does not know everything and nor does she want to know everything, for life would become quite boring. She never wants to call herself an expert because an expert by virtue knows everything already and is no longer learning.

Every year she travels somewhere for a reason; somewhere she can be humbled by her senses – somewhere that the sounds, the smells, the colours are new experiences. This year she is going to Rajasthan in hopes to feed her ongoing need to dive deep into colour, where it comes from, and why we do it the way we do it here and how we can do it differently.

Last year she travelled to Croatia to connect with her ancestral roots. Her perspective (which I share from my own travels to Slovakia) is that experiencing the land of one’s heritage helps to explain why you gravitate to certain things you can never explain, your mannerisms, the patterns in your face, and helps to connect the dots of your life. The palette of colours and textures she used in her interiors this past year was definitely inspired from this trip. She also brings her team with her on these travels to further their breath of knowledge and inspiration, making it far easier to connect on and create beautiful interiors once back home.

This quick chat with Genevieve was more inspirational than I thought possible in such a short period. She is a gracious person whose passion for interior design and lifelong learning is evident in all she does. And on a personal note, and with a shared trait of height (Genevieve is 5’10”, I am 5’9” tall), I asked one final question, the answer to which was equally as inspirational…

From one tall woman to another, what tips do you have for those of us living in a tall world?

Genevieve’s advice in two words – own it. ‘Wear your height with pride as it’s the most beautiful thing in the room.’


  1. HGTV Canada
  2. Home & Garden
  3. Apartment Therapy
  4. HGTV – Genevieve Gorder interior
  5. Unknown source & designer
  6. Unknown source & designer
6 Comments leave one →
  1. December 30 12:46 am

    Yey – so fun. She is so cool!
    You tall girls and your fabulous style!

    • December 30 9:37 am

      Ah, shucks, go on…I can sometimes feel out of place up here, but her comment helps me to appreciate my height more. 🙂

  2. January 2 10:18 pm

    Susan, how exciting that you had a chance to meet and speak with Genevieve. I think she has a really great sense of style and I like her approach to design. Looking forward to the new season!!

    • January 4 12:49 pm

      It was wonderful to chat with her…I too look forward to the launch of her new season tonight on HGTV Canada.


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