Genevieve Gorder at Home

HGTV Magazine dropped by the New York City brownstone where this design pro—and multitasking mom—makes her household run smoothly.
By: Betsy Goldberg

Photo By: Deborah Jaffe

Photo By: Deborah Jaffe

Photo By: Deborah Jaffe

Photo By: Deborah Jaffe

Photo By: Deborah Jaffe

Photo By: Deborah Jaffe

Photo By: Deborah Jaffe

Photo By: Deborah Jaffe

Photo By: Deborah Jaffe

Photo By: Deborah Jaffe

Photo By: Deborah Jaffe

Photo By: Deborah Jaffe

Photo By: Deborah Jaffe

Photo By: Deborah Jaffe

Her Off-Duty Life

"I used to spend 25 days a month on the road, but when [my daughter] Bebelle was born four years ago, I made a rule that I’d rarely travel for work. That means cooking dinner together, playing dress up, and tweeting in my pajamas. I like my domestic side!"

No Coffee Table

"The room is so narrow; it would take up too much space. I like the open area for Bebelle to play. When I have people over, I move little cocktail tables and ottomans around and set out trays of food. I don’t worry about spills. The rug is cotton and washable."

From: HGTV Magazine and Genevieve Gorder

Staircase Overhaul

"When I bought this place, it had a really outdated ’80s-style spiral staircase. I tore it out and put in these graphic floating stairs that I just love. Even though Bebelle has mastered going up and down, I’m adding a glass side panel along the railing. And on’t ignore the space under the stairs. It has great storage potential. I have a large apothecary cabinet with 81 drawers under mine."

From: HGTV Magazine and Genevieve Gorder

Apothecary Cabinet

Genevieve got this hold-everything piece, originally from a bait and tackle shop, at a salvage store. Each drawer is labeled with its contents: maps, acorns, spray adhesive, etc. The one labeled “life” holds keys, sunglasses, a hairbrush—whatever she needs on her way out the door each day.

Rotating Art Gallery on the Mantel

"It’s just a place for favorite things, and I change it out every season. For spring I might do quail eggs. I blow out the centers and put them in a $2 thrift store silver goblet."

From: HGTV Magazine and Genevieve Gorder

Small Space, Big Items

"Oversize pieces give the illusion a room is larger. That’s why I chose a giant mirror to put above the mantel; it draws your eye up to the ceiling. It’s a little imperfect—it’s actually scratched and broken in places—but to me that makes it more beautiful."

From: HGTV Magazine and Genevieve Gorder

A White Sofa

"I picked this couch because the slipcovers are a nice thick white twill fabric that’s durable and can withstand a lot of cleaning. I just throw them in the wash once a week, then slip them back on (we’re spillers). Everyone’s scared of a white couch when they have kids, but there’s this great invention called bleach!"

From: HGTV Magazine and Genevieve Gorder

Secret Ingredient: Backsplash

"My tiles are handmade, so they’re not exactly alike, which makes the backsplash dramatic. I insisted on black grout to show off the uneven edges. The contractors were like, ‘No, you don’t want to do that!’ They thought it would look dirty. But when it was done, they loved it as much as I did."

Family-Style Kitchen

"Bebelle and I cook at least one meal together every day. She stands on a little counter-height stool to help me prep. Because there’s no window directly in the kitchen, I layered the space with white on white and reflective materials such as glass and stainless steel."

Handcrafted Crock

The pot, from a small town in Minnesota called Red Wing, was a gift from Genevieve’s best friend. "My grandmother and I both collect Red Wing pottery. I keep my vitamins in here so I’ll remember to take them."

From: HGTV Magazine and Genevieve Gorder

Bookcase

"You really have to spend time working on bookshelves or they become like the kitchen junk drawer, piled with the stuff you don’t have room for. There’s no single secret to getting the look right; just start playing. Lay some books down in stacks, and stand some up. Put them all on the left, then all on the right."

From: HGTV Magazine and Genevieve Gorder

Bathroom Sconce

Bebelle keeps her nail polish on the shelf inside this wall-mounted light fixture. "It gives off a sweet glow, especially at night. It looks really soft and comforting."

From: HGTV Magazine and Genevieve Gorder

Shoe Rack

A cubby system built into the bedroom closet houses heels, flats, sneakers, and a little bottle of eucalyptus oil. Genevieve puts a few drops of oil in the humidifier when she’s sick.

From: HGTV Magazine and Genevieve Gorder

Bebelle’s Armoire Drawer

Figurines, princess dolls, and their clothes go in the middle; accessories and animals are on the left; and fairies and big dolls are on the right. The two ’60s-era armoires in Bebelle’s room were ugly wood with pockmarks, but you’d never know it once Genevieve had them painted white.

From: HGTV Magazine and Genevieve Gorder

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