Before model-turned-architect-turned-design-star John Gidding of HGTV's popular show, Curb Appeal, stops by the Philly Home Show (Feb. 19-21), he shares his must-try home design trends, where he gets inspirations from, and how you can make your home stand out from the crowd.
John Gidding is more than just a pretty face. The former model made the transition into an architect and design guru, and is now the host for popular HGTV shows, Curb Appeal and Curb Appeal: The Block, where he transforms contestants' homes from lackluster and unoriginal to breathtakingly unique.
Home decor enthusiasts and avid fans will be glad to know that this design star, who has also made the foray into furniture design in collaboration with JanusArch, will be in the City of Brotherly Love on Feb. 19-20 for an exclusive presentation at Philly Home Show. Here, he'll share more tricks and easy updates that can completely transform the looks of your homes—and testify to how much influence a first impression has—from the outside.
Before the event, we caught up with Gidding to chat about the latest trends, where he likes to uncover one-of-a-kind design pieces, and more.
Where do you begin when designing a major project? JOHN GIDDING: For things like colors and styles, I need to look no further than the street itself to get inspired. The fronts of homes have so much to do with the neighborhood, the community, and the fabric of that area in general. Typically a bigger project in my private practice takes about a year or two to complete. But on television, we usually do our projects in about six weeks.
What current design trends are you into right now? JG: For interiors, I’m seeing lots of geometric prints in muted colors. I don’t think people are going very bright this year. There was a [time when] people were turning away from doing lines or geometry on their walls, but I think that this year, paint details are coming back.
What are the biggest “curb appeal” factors to make a home give a good first-impression? JG: You need to have a great front door, whether it’s a nice bright color or just a beautifully made door. You need to have great house numbers—not those stickers—but proper house numbers that reflect a bit of your personality, as well as the character of the home. Nothing can be broken in the front yard: if you have a snaggletooth picket or a broken fountain or anything that implies there are further maintenance issues with the rest of the house, it needs to be fixed immediately.
What is an easy tip for beginners to update their homes themselves? JG: Paint projects are easy to take on yourself, and typically only involve a couple hundred dollars and some elbow grease. Obviously, don't paint the whole front of the house, but it’s easy to paint a door detail, a window detail, shutters.
You do a lot of traveling—what cities have your favorite architecture? JG: I love Amsterdam because Dutch architects are so progressive and innovative. Their new buildings are a great mixture of taking an old city and an old urban plan and putting in very new construction methods. And of course their old classical Dutch city architecture is so beautiful as well.
Where do you like to shop for unique home furnishings? JG: For special finds, the best thing to do is to travel—push yourself out of your comfort zone and see what there is out there. I’m going to India in March for a work trip, and I’m very excited about that—I'll [probably] bring back some nice fabrics.