Yep, I'm real short, and Genevieve Gorder is real tall.
There are three things HGTV host Genevieve Gorder must do when she comes home to Minneapolis: See her grandparents, eat foie gras tortelini at Bar La Grassa, and comb through architectural salvage at Architectural Antiques.
Gorder's travel essential? Randall, her makeup artist.
"I wish I knew what to do with the cool things I find at Architectural Antiques," I told Gorder when we met up last weekend before her appearance at the HGTV Holiday House at Mall of America. She asked my sign, and guessed Virgo before I could answer. At least now I know the root of my decorating paralysis.
In town the past two weekends, Gorder spent time with family, served as grand marshall of Holidazzle with her 4-year-old daughter at her side (you know you've arrived when . . . ), and found time to shop the North Loop—she loved The Foundry Home Goods and Arrow.
She plans to spend the holidays in New York, where she is currently remodeling her pad with the help of boyfriend (yep, she's talking about that now!): fellow HGTV star Anthony Carrino, one of the Kitchen Cousins, and co-host of a new show, Cousins on Call. You'll get to see the two of them duke it out over kitchen design (she like antiques; he's modern) all next season on Dear Genevieve. (Current season airs now, Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. CST). "I wanted to show the whole process—it's not glamorous."
Her greatest challenge, however, may be giving her daughter the pink bedroom of her dreams, without letting it get too . . . pink. The two are currently negotiating shades of pink and accent colors.
Other reasons to love Gorder? She moves seamlessly from talking about setting up Christmas decorations at the White House to reminiscing about her days waitressing at Figlio. She also tells it like it is when it comes to that number one question: getting your ugly room chosen for an HGTV makeover. Things to know: 1. Most shows don't travel far, so find one that films near you (lucky for Minnesota, several HGTV/DIY shows film here). 2. It ain't free, but it can be a great deal. "If the network paid for everything, they'd be broke. You need to have a budget," Gorder says. "But if you give me $20,000, I'll give you $80,000 worth of design work and labor."