Going with Genevieve

Gorder poses with some of her designs from the new Capel collection at High Point Market.

Gorder poses with some of her designs from the new Capel collection at High Point Market.

By Andrea Lillo

Fun, bold and bright describe Capel’s newest collection with Genevieve Gorder, as well as the designer herself, who was at High Point Market last month to launch her first collection with the rug company.

 “Rugs wake a room up,” Gorder said, and her first group with Capel—four flatwoven wool designs—are the ideal starting point for the designer. “Flatweaves are super functional and super graphic … the layering possibilities are endless,” Gorder told HFN.

The natural fit between the designer and the family-owned company was solidified from the start. What was supposed to be just brunch—Gorder met with Capel’s Cameron Capel, vice president, national accounts, and Tami Watras, vice president-product and creative director—turned into three hours of finishing each other sentences, the women said. Gorder would talk about what she wanted to do, and it’s exactly where Capel wanted to go, said Watras. “She hit the nail on the head.”

The initial grouping consists of four styles — Uzbek (an ikat), Wild Chev (a chevron), Puhalo Stripe and Arabesque (a geometric). “They have an urban sophisticated aesthetic, but they’re not just for city living,” Gorder said. “And they show my style.” Made of wool in India, a 5-by-8 will retail around $558.

Her travels are a huge influence on her designs, Gorder said. For example, she loves the curves and colors of the Middle East. The region’s hues, including gold, turquoise and orange, “complement the neutral world perfectly,” Gorder said. In addition, Gorder’s heritage is Croatian, and several of her grandmother’s tablecloths were also an inspiration, including one with a big seam down the middle. “It was a bit askew,” Gorder said. “I love it … I celebrate imperfections.”

Being on television, where she’s known for such shows as Trading Spaces, Town Haul, and now Dear Genevieve, also helps hone her style. “I can’t make the same thing twice or people call me on it,” Gorder said. “But that’s good for me, it makes me prolific.” She made sure to include chevrons and stripes in the new collection as they can really add something to a room. “They make everything wider, and more grand,” she said.

Each of the styles comes in four colors, such as emerald, pale gray, saffron, faded azul and yellow. “We live in a beige land; I want to complement that,” Gorder said. “Colors are what pull people in.”

The collection is part of Capel’s ‘New Style Point of View,’ its new design strategy shift, said Watras. While the traditional look is important for its customers, the company “kicked it up a notch this past year with transitional and modern rugs incorporating fresher colors and patterns,” Watras said. The company started on this direction a year ago with designer Kevin O’Brien.

With Gorder’s collection, flatweaves are only the start, as the designer and the company are talking about what’s next, which will probably include braided and hand-tufted rugs.

Other product categories from Gorder will be seen next year, as she expects to launch bedding, textiles and accessories. “There are many things to come,” she said.