Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My interview with Genevieve

One of the best things about a brand new year is a whole line-up of brand new seasons of our favourite design shows to devour. Tonight is an especially special night on HGTV as it features two favourite designing doyennes - Genevieve Gorder who launches a brand new season of Dear Genevieve, and our own Canadian design darling Sarah Richardson whose brand new series Sarah 101 premieres tonight. I was lucky enough to be able to speak to both of these ladies and am excited to share a little of our conversations here.

Heading into her 4th season of  Dear Genevieve, Genevieve Gorder has always begun each episode the same way - with her pouring through the multiple emails she receives from distressed homeowners in desperate need of design help. Rather than simply writing an email, Genevieve surprises them in person. I believe it's just this special, personalized touch and her own approachability and sense of enthusiasm that have helped her hone in on her client's own specific needs and have kept us watching through the years.

S: You always have such a great sense of fun and enthusiasm - it's infectious! I often find so many people are intimidated by the task of decorating and don't know where to begin. What are some of your tips to make [decorating] more fun and less scary?

G: Alot of people definitely struggle with intense fear of doing the wrong thing, but it's not an exact science. It really is much more emotional. During the preparatory phase, people need to ask themselves "Who are you?", "How do you want to feel in this space?" "How are you going to move in the space" - ultimately, it's these things that will determine how much you enjoy it. So many designers design 'at' people, to me it's really about caring about people.

S: Other than your name on the post box and of course, the people in it - what aspects of your own house, really make it feel like home to you?

G: It's all the little things - treasures I brought home from Spain as a teenager, a rug I bought during a trip to Morocco. All those small pieces that tell a part of my own personal story. I love being able to surround myself with them and share these stories with my daughter.

S: I know travelling is one of your main passions, as a traveller myself I know it can often be a challenge to incorporate all the treasures you've found on your travels without your home becoming too curio-ish or kitschy. What are some tips on displaying your treasures at home?

G: Quantity! Make sure to edit and display only the best pieces or the ones you love the most. Group things together to form a more coherent collection and make sure to watch your spacing, Placing things closely together rather than spread out across the space. It's like sculpting, it's a process and it should take time, but in the end - it's so worthwhile.

S:  What's your next big trip?
G: Rajasthan! Every year I try to visit somewhere I've never been before and this year I'm headed to India. In my job I'm constantly inundated by projects and it can be hard to stay inspired. Travel has a unique way of refreshing the palette by introducing new colours, new textures or making you think of things in a different way.

The new season of Dear Genevieve premiers tonight at 8:30 on HGTV - set your timers!

 {All photos: HGTV}


Dancing Branflake said...

This is such a cool interview! I cannot believe you got to meet them. So fun!

melifaif said...

Great interview. Love her! Love you!!! Just fantastic...

christine {bijouandboheme} said...

Fabulous interview and I echo the other commenters sentiments- love you both and can't wait to the new season tonight!

fric and frac said...

Wow - I love those casement windows and that pair of red chairs! Always love hearing what inspires others!
Fric and Frac

escapade said...

Definitely was fun! + thank you! - she was completely delightful!

Suite Henry said...

Great work love!

Melissa Brall said...

Fantastic interview Sharalee! So cool that you met these lovely ladies that inspire us with their fabulous design ideas, just like you do with your blog! :)

escapade said...

Thanks Mel! You are just the best-est!


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