Dear Genevieve: Help for Your Art Studio

genevieve gorder
HGTV designer Genevieve Gorder poses for Cloth Paper Scissors Studios.

cate pratoIf the Nielsen TV ratings people ever put a microchip in my family's remote, they would immediately get a bead on our personalities.

My husband's favorite channels are all related to history, science, or sci-fi. My younger teen seeks out so-called reality shows about emergencies, disasters, and animals. And my thumb hovers over the buttons that deliver home design and remodeling programming. (The other child reads. What can I say?)

Because of my obsession with home décor shows, I am very familiar with designer Genevieve Gorder. I've watched her from the time she was a barefoot speed-designer on TLC's "Trading Spaces" to her more sophisticated (but no less fun-loving) turns as a judge on "Design Star" and now on "Dear Genevieve," both on HGTV.

So I am thrilled to announce that Genevieve, and her studio, will be featured in the Fall 2011 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors Studios. And, she's our cover girl!

Studios Editor Linda Blinn did a Q&A with GG, and graciously agreed to let me share a few snippets with you about Genevieve's studio space advice.

LB: Describe your studio space and how it evolved.

GG: My studio is a very transient space: at times it's used every day, other times it rests for weeks. It depends on what I'm shooting or designing or where I am in the world. It is anything but typical as there is nothing 'nine-to-five' about my life.

The design of it is very simple like I believe a kitchen should be. Great tasks, full of color, are taking place in this space so the surroundings should be frame-like. I have an entire wall covered in Homasote from head to toe, and painted with 12 coats of black chalkboard paint. This is where I tack up ideas and record moments I don't want to forget. It is basically a tangible form of my creative thoughts in a 1' x 12' space.

In the corner hangs a silk Kilim rug I bought in Istanbul that makes me happy every time I glance up from my desk.

LB: What would you prioritize when developing a space plan for a studio?

GG: Function. Aesthetic. Always use the vertical.

LB: Some designers start the process with a rug or the floor treatment. When you re-design space such as a studio, what dictates your starting point and what are some types of flooring that you would recommend? 

GG: Each space I design is looked at as a whole, an individual sculpture. I do not have a formula that I use to approach each space; it is more emotional to me. What does this space need to be? How does it breathe? How does light fall throughout the day? How many people are going to be playing here? What does this space need to say? The technical aspects of design are always present and playing equally in spaces but that is not the eye I use first; that steps in a little later. For creative people, I always prefer wood floors because tonally they are warm and functionally they are easy to clean. They are stylish and timeless.

Genevieve goes on to reveal some of her best sources for storage and furniture pieces and offers more insight into her love of old world, European architecture.

Plus, the issue includes part one of fabric designer Anna Maria Horner's studio makeover, the amazing final reveal of Sue Bleiweiss's new studio, Patty Young's screamingly colorful store-front studio, tips on how to get organized once and for all, and a whole lot more.

I can't wait to see the entire issue.  Fortunately, I'm guaranteed a copy. Some recent print editions of Studios have sold out. To be sure you get yours, you should pre-order the Fall 2011 issue now.

P.S. Which high-profile designer would you like to have design your studio? Tell me in the comments section below.

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