Genevieve Gorder hit the real estate jackpot. After a decade in her New York City apartment, The HGTV host, who had outgrown the space, found out the unit next door came on the market.
“It’s the New York dream,” exclaims Gorder, who bought the neighboring apartment and spent 18 months combining the two spaces to create the perfect home for her and daughter, Bebelle .
“The chapters of your life keep evolving and our home so rarely catches up to where we are,” explains the interior designer. “It had been almost eight years since I renovated so it was time on many levels. I had had a child since I had renovated, I had a marriage, I had a divorce, I’ve had different jobs. I just wasn’t the same woman that I was from when I first renovated.”
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For those of us that don’t have a blank slate, but still want to freshen things up for 2015, Gorder offers the tips below.
Attack your shelves
“This is the perfect time to do a big purge,” stresses Gorder. “We tend to collect and the collections become weighty and they become almost an energy suck to a lot of spaces, from your bookshelves to your closet.” Her suggestion: Attack your bookshelves. “This is where you house, basically, what I think is the trophy case of your life,” says the expert. Once you’ve passed on some of those old books — Lonely Planet guides, we’re looking at you — start reconfiguring your collection.“Bring in new photography. Work with vertical and horizontal lines, so stack books on their ends and on their backs,” says Gorder. Use them as surfaces to add objects like a little vase or a picture frame. “You then create these little waves of pause and crazy within your bookshelf which keeps them interesting and keeps you moving across them,” she says.
Liven up the walls
While paint is obviously the most affordable and boldest change you can make, Gorder says in 2015, it’s really about diving into different palettes. “Black and navy are going to be huge,” says the designer, who painted her new living room black. “It’s so dramatic. I love how everything pops off of black.” Want to have more fun with your walls? Gorder recommends Tempaper for renters. “It’s a temporary wallpaper. You can cover your foyer in an hour and all of a sudden you have a completely different space,” she says. “It’s a really fun way to make your house feel like you’re not renting and bring in some distinct pattern, especially in those transitional spaces like hallways, stairways and bathrooms.”
Create a smart home
“A huge part of my job is helping people step into the idea of a smart home, which is, shockingly enough, one of the most affordable ways to update your place,” says Gorder. “It starts with bringing all your security onto your tablets or onto your phone. You have everything at fingers reach. All your lighting can be in one switch on your phone, as well.” But before you get plugged-in, Gorder stresses taking the time to understand the new gadgets and reading the manuals. “I find we often hate doing that, so we have all these incredible features and not really know how to connect them or have them talk to each other,” she says. “Once you invest that initial couple of hours your house starts working for you and that’s a beautiful thing when you can turn off your security alarm from another state. Or I can set my thermostat on my phone so the house is really warm when I get home.”
“Throws are the underrated power player of any room,” says Gorder. “They bring in color and texture and pattern. Her advice: it’s all about layering these textiles. “Hang it off your couch, on your chair, on your bed — I’ll have three of them on my bed. I’ll roll them up and put them in big vessels by the fireplace,” says the expert. “They take up small amounts of space but add huge impact.”