Genevieve Gorder of Trading Spaces and Christian Dunbar are a match made in interior design heaven — but it took what felt like a lifetime to find each other.
Gorder made her mark on Trading Spaces, which originally aired in October 2000, as the spirited, cheery design expert. The show paved the way for many home decor series that were yet to come —but Gorder and pals set the bar high. After the series came to an end in 2008, Gorder continued to be a go-to expert for TV and landed high-profile gigs like Dear Genevieve, Design Star, HGTV’s White House Christmas, and Genevieve’s Renovation.
And in 2018, Gorder’s life got the ultimate reboot.
Trading Spaces made a triumphant return in April, fully equipped with the same crew and a whole lot of nostalgia. Gorder also now powers through life with fiancé and designer Christian Dunbar.
Dunbar recalls seeing Gorder for the first time in person at a diner in New York City back in 2008. “There she was, ol’ Trading Spaces gal that I had seen and thought was pretty cute. She had a newborn and a family — so our interaction was absolutely zero.”
After the divorce from her former husband, with whom she has a daughter, Bebelle, she began dating. Friends jumped at the opportunity to set her up — however, most of the matches were not her cup of tea. Eventually, Gorder was introduced to Dunbar through a mutual friend.
However, the two designers were living in different states, so they took to texting all the time and getting to know each other over the phone. Eventually, Gorder flew from New York to Savannah, Ga., where Dunbar was living at the time, for dinner — a visit that extended into the weekend.
“I had all my friends following me on a GPS tracker just in case he was going to kill me,” Gorder jokes.
After that first meeting, the two traveled back and forth every two weeks to see each other, keeping Gorder’s daughter in mind and planning strategically.
“In my life, I knew I could not do better than this,” Dunbar gushes. “On so many levels. On personal attraction, the chemistry, we get each other’s jokes. But then there’s this whole professional thing —we’re both designers.”
Six months into their relationship, Dunbar sealed the deal. “We were both dating [around] and very sporty about it, but we had both come to a point in our lives where we knew. I would not settle with anybody until I absolutely meet that one,” Gorder says. “This huge love came in and interrupted both of us. It’s the only situation that would make a great life, make way for something more.”
The couple got engaged while on a trip to Provence, France. “We’re suckers for landscape,” Gorder says.
Catch Gorder on Trading Spaces on TLC, Season 10, which airs in 2019.
Want more love? Watch all episodes of It’s Love here.
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