Genevieve Trousdale’s Southern Charm

How provenance, etiquette and personalized style play into her detailed designs.

Louisiana-born designer, Genevieve Trousdale boasts a stunning repertoire of world class projects from American ski chalets and a Parisian flat to a luxurious Middle Eastern palace and a remodel right here at home in Los Angeles.

Steeped in Southern tradition and influenced by sophisticated French style, Genevieve's finely-honed design sense was forged by two generations of discerning familial role models with exquisite taste and working alongside two AD100 industry icons — Michael Berman and Timothy Corrigan. 

With her own firm, Circa Genevieve, she continues to bring elevated style and one-of-a-kind finishes to everything she does. 

How would you describe your style? 

GT: Being Southern has shaped my style. The elegance and etiquette you find there graces their way into my spaces. However, I consider myself a chameleon in that I have the innate ability to switch between many different styles to achieve my client’s wishes.  But when left to my own devices, I gravitate to a sense of refinement edited with objects which speak of provenance, not just “I bought this online to fill the space”.  I just really love spaces that have personality and a story. One of the things I question my clients about is what is their heritage, what is their faith, and then I work to pull that into the design. 

Searching for just the right pieces can be daunting. What do you look for when shopping for your own home?

GT: When I’m shopping for my space, I look for calming yet warm colors.  Green and blue are colors that symbolize safety, growth, harmony and loyalty.  For me, it needs to be a haven at the end of the often chaotic day. Vintage lamps from Ebay, steamer trunks from the flea market, luxuriously fun photographs by Slim Aarons, and my ever-growing collection of crystal decanters from all of my travels…

Which travel destination has inspired you the most?

GT: The French Riviera. I loved the ocean alongside all of the radiant architecture. It is more laid back than Paris and visually easier to take in.  A place that you can unplug and still gather so much inspiration and history. I brought back a spool of thin, black leather trim embossed with a gold leaf Greek key pattern the last time I was there. I’m not sure what project I will use it for but am holding onto it until the perfect design strikes.

What is the last thing you purchased?

GT: A pair of small wooden columns, about 4’ high, at Round Top in Texas, a vintage and antique flea market and a bucket list destination of mine. I bought them with my client without an idea of what to use them for, but I told her to trust me.  We ended up designing a TV cabinet/bookcase incorporating them. It was my first time to Round Top, If you haven’t been to Round Top and you are building or furnishing a home, I urge you to go.

We are not familiar with round top. Can you tell us more about it?

GT: Round Top is a flea market, limited to vintage and antiques, that takes place three times a year (April, October and now February) in a small town between Houston & Austin. It’s actually their 50th anniversary this year and it attracts an international crowd of buyers and dealers, some which only show there. There are miles of expansive barns and huge tents full of furniture, architectural elements, rugs, accessories and artwork. The attendees are normally clad in boots and backpacks- it is quintessentially Texas. 

Tell us about a favorite kitchen or bathroom that you’ve recently designed. 

GT: I transformed a kitchen in a Hollywood Hills cliffside residence from being a bland builder's design to a one-of-a-kind furniture grade cabinetry display. It literally mirrors the home’s surrounding terrain. I sketched the design for the cabinetry to mimic their panoramic California mountain view. I employed frosted glass for the upper portion to represent sky, clear glass on lower portion to represent mountains, and a meandering wood mullion to define the mountain line. An artist was commissioned to paint an olive tree, which was incorporated into their landscape, as the backsplash. Lastly, a quartz countertop that resembles wood grounded the space.


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