Design Star Judge Genevieve Gorder's Holiday Decor Tips

The holidays are a time to gather, reminisce on old memories, and make room for new ones. But the fun begins after the shopping, cooking, and decorating — all of which can get stressful.

When unsure how to decorate your space, it's nice to turn to the experts, and Genvieve Gorder knows a thing or two about interior decorating. Gorder has been helping people fix their homes on the small screen for over two decades, with shows like "Trading Spaces," "Dear Genevieve," and "Design Star." When she's not offering suggestions on TV, she's helping clients — from hotels to restaurants to homeowners — bring their dream interiors to life. She's even helped prepare the White House for the holidays on multiple occasions, hosting HGTV's White House Christmas. Since she's an expert in all things home, we gathered some of Gorder's tips to offer inspiration and relieve some of the holiday-decorating stress.

Add gold accents

The holidays have their fair share of low points, with the sun setting earlier and the getting nights colder, but the bright lights and sweet treats make those moments a little bit better. Gorder recommends incorporating color and sparkles through gold accents to add elegance and comfort to your space. Gold décor can be used in many ways, whether it's ornaments for the Christmas tree, figurines, or sparkly gold ribbons. In addition, she suggests making a gallery wall with mirrors to expand light in a dark room that will also highlight your gold accents (via Scotties).

Pair gold with other colors to elevate the look of your room. Home interior blogger Karen from Sanctuary Home Decor mixed gold and blue embellishments to create an icy-cold theme. She adorned the Christmas tree with gold and blue ornaments and vintage décor with a frosted garland making the space cozy and bright. From there, you can stretch the shimmer to other rooms, like the kitchen, by displaying gold-painted pinecones, lavish wine glasses, or gold plates.

DIY décor

Buying new decorations for every holiday can be expensive, but using what you have at home to DIY décor can save money, and you'll be able to spend even more time with your family when you work on the projects together. Plus, homemade decorations are always more personable.

That's why Genevieve Gorder chose DIY ornaments when she helped decorate the White House — and it perfectly followed their "gifts from the heart" theme. According to, Gorder and Biden made various decorations at Pennsylvania Ave that are easy to replicate in your own home. These projects include making paper doves or snowflakes, adorning the Christmas tree with holiday cards, and, one of our favorites, making edible decorations.  

Making gingerbread houses is a Christmas tradition that leaves plenty of room for creativity and fun. And displaying hand-written letters or even family holiday cards can be a great way to personalize a Christmas tree or add a decorative touch to a mantle. All in all, you don't have to spend a lot to fill your space with holiday cheer — as proven by Gorder and the First Lady.

Hang garlands and wreaths

Sometimes knick-knacks can take up too much space or feel like clutter, so an alternative to snowglobes, gnomes, and ceramic trinkets are garlands and wreaths. And they're not just for the outdoors; you can hang them in your kitchen and living room for a touch of greenery. Gorder tells her Instagram followers she loves hanging wreaths on the windows and cabinets, while garlands are perfect for placing under the cabinets or on the island. You can keep the DIY theme going by making your own Christmas wreath or opt to buy some from your local retailer.

Decorating the kitchen with wreaths and garlands can be challenging if you don't want to make holes in your walls or you want to hang them on your windows. According to blogger Balsam Hill, a few ways to set them up include adhesive hooks, fishing lines, twine or ribbon, craft wire, and over-the-door wreath hangers. Using ribbon, you can tie your garland and wreath and suspend them anywhere, adding an extra burst of color and charm to your home for the holidays.