As a designer and host for HGTV, Genevieve Gorder is known for her down-to-earth and creative, yet accessible, style. We chatted with the lovely designer and got the scoop on the types of holiday decorations she uses in her own home.
Designer Genevieve Gorder describes her holiday decorating style as being “derivative of nature.”
“I never try and ‘theme’ anything,” she explains. “I kind of find one thing and move off of that, but it’s always nature. It’s different every year, but it’s always forest themed.”
She likes to decorate with “things you would naturally find in a forest where the tree came from.”
“I must’ve lived a past as some kind of wood nymph,” she laughs. A few accents she likes to use are birds, trees, nuts, eggs, feathers, berries, little critters and topiaries.
“That to me feels like Christmas in my home.”
Using the unexpected
When decking your halls for the holidays, Gorder doesn’t feel restricted to using just traditional Christmas decorations.
“I tend to buy things that aren’t ornaments,” Gorder shares.
“You only really need a lot of wire and anything can become an ornament.” She says you can use wire to secure anything from a leaf to a piece of jewelry to use as decor on a tree.
She likes to add a little bling to reflect from inside the tree. “Keep it pretty monochromatic and then go really wild with the natural elements.”
Must-have decorating tools
“You can never have enough ribbon,” she says. “No tinsel. Just ribbon.”
She uses a lot of sculptural ribbon with wire in it. From draping the ribbon across tree branches to creating a sculptural tree topper, Gorder sees ribbon as an essential decorating tool.
“You need those tools to get as creative as you possibly can,” Gorder explains. “Wire, ribbon and lights. And the world is yours.”
Gorder likes to incorporate accents with a nostalgic twist. Seashells from a trip to a beach, old photographs and old fishing lures from her grandpa’s tackle box have all made it on her tree.
“I kind of go all over the place, but it feels very sentimental to me, and there’s a lot of conversational pieces that people recognize from childhood in there.”
Incorporating family memories is an important part of Gorder’s holiday decor. She says, “I always bring out photographs from when my brothers and I were younger and even when my grandpa was a kid” to “show love through visuals.”
“There needs to be a story that you’re telling, and for me it’s always family, but family through nature.”
Favorite holiday tradition
“Christmas Eve is a big party night for my family,” Gorder says. “We open gifts, there’s a lot of cocktails, there’s a lot of dancing and a midnight mass to cap it off, and then we all go home to fall into bed.”
“Cooking is my favorite holiday tradition,” Gorder shares. This year she’ll teach her 5-year-old daughter how to make a favorite family recipe.
“I’m half Norwegian, and we make a cookie called krumkake.” She says they’re only made at Christmas and it’s “basically a lot of butter with a little bit of sugar.” The Norwegian cookie is placed on a special waffle-like iron to bake.
Gorder says the iron will typically be engraved with your family crest or name, which leaves an imprint in the waffle cookie. The treasured irons are traditionally passed down through the men in the family. Her brother has her family iron, but Gorder likes making the waffle cookies so much she bought her own. She describes the cone-shaped treats as “super thin, super buttery and really crispy. And they are divine.”
Hmm, is your mouth watering too?