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Genevieve Gorder

Genevieve Gorder

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IN THE ROOMS she decks out for house porn shows such as "Trading Spaces" and "Dear Genevieve" (Sat., 8:30 p.m., HGTV), designer Genevieve Gorder revels in saturated colors and Zen-inspired furniture.

In her new gig as an "HGTV Design Star" judge, she'll be weighing in on the efforts of fledgling decorators as Season 4 premieres Sunday (10 p.m., HGTV).» EXPRESS: Would you want to be a contestant on the show?» GORDER: No way! Being critiqued in front of millions of people is tough.

Even if you've gone to design school, it's hard to understand doing it on TV.

There's a new set of rules.

» EXPRESS: So, something that'd look great at my house won't fly on screen?» GORDER: Yes.

You have to be careful designing for TV.

You have to have a great balance of color and scale.» EXPRESS: What does being on a show like this teach designers?» GORDER: A lot of it is learning the art of compromise.

Being on "Design Star" helps them realize that interior design is both about creating something beautiful and appeasing clients.» EXPRESS: What's the next big decor trend?» GORDER: Moorish and Islamic patterns.

And colors are becoming more saturated — lots of pinks and purples.

» EXPRESS: Is there any look that's overstayed its welcome?» GORDER: I see that blue and brown combo over and over again.

People are afraid of doing something new.

» EXPRESS: Why won't people won't take chances when they decorate?» GORDER: I don't know.

You can repaint or take something back.

You need to make your space personal, something that reflects who you are, not just what you see on Page 35 in the Pottery Barn catalog.» EXPRESS: Besides painting walls, what's another way to make a big impact for very little money?» GORDER: One of my tricks is powder coating.

It's paint that's baked on with heat.

It's usually used for patio furniture, but it'll also work on interior pieces, say, a bed frame or armoire.

It's really affordable and gives you a perfect finish.

» EXPRESS: What's your own place like?» GORDER: I live in the top two floors of a brownstone in Chelsea.

We gutted the whole thing, then restored it with an old fireplace and doorknobs salvaged from New York public schools.

It's little pauses like that in a home that give it soul.

» EXPRESS: Do you throw cool parties there?» GORDER: I try to think of all five senses when I entertain.

I'll figure out a play list, maybe some samba, and have beautiful flowers.

And lighting is crucial.

It needs to be dim, amber candlelight.

That's what makes people look most beautiful.» EXPRESS: You're known for decorating barefoot.

Doesn't that lead to injuries?» GORDER: That was in my "Trading Spaces" days.

I did it because I didn't want to ruin my shoes every week.

But I don't do that anymore.

That's good, because I like shoes — Louboutins, Havaianas.

They're beautiful accessories, like a throw or a sculpture.Photo courtesy HGTV
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