Ep. 184: designer Alison Giese


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Our guest today is San Antonio-based interior designer, Alison Giese, who recently relocated from Northern Virginia. Her work has been featured in Rue Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, Southern Home, and more. Alison’s signature style is to give the homes she designs character and soul, while still keeping it minimal and elegant. Be sure to follow her on Instagram and check out her Monday Mood Boards every week! We love them and so will you.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Trials & Triumphs! Taryn welcomed baby Miles! Ordering blinds, the Cat Lawyer, carpeting the basement, and finding a perfect workspace in the home.
  • Alison’s career began in sales before she pivoted to design.
  • How her time in Brazil influenced Alison’s style.
  • Redefining what neutral colors are and Alison’s selection process.
  • Cabinetry and hardware trends and preferences.
  • How Alison uses “restraint” and minimalism in her design.
  • Breathing life into a space with greenery.
  • How many towels to display in bathrooms.
  • When and where to use small lamps.

Decorating Dilemma

Hi Beth,

We agree that most of the upholstery does feel a little big for this space. For a sofa, I think you could try a sectional with a chaise at the end. You would have to measure the room and map it out first either with a scale drawing or using painter’s tape on the floor. Caroline personally loves the Hartwell sofa for this space, especially in front of a window because it has a pretty low back. It’s also really comfortable without being too deep. And it comes in leather, too! If you do go with a leather sofa, you could try an upholstered ottoman to soften it up. Whatever you go with, just make sure you pay attention to the height and the length of the arms; try to keep it more compact so it doesn’t look as bulky. Depending on if you want the big lounging sofa or not, you could also add additional seating—maybe even some vintage chairs since they have a smaller footprint.

I love the large chair in the corner; it kind of looks like a reading nook with the lamp next to it. Potentially the other chair in the other corner does feel oversized so that could be an opportunity for a smaller chair or even a little café table. So many people are having to carve out even the tiniest spaces for homeschool or home office, so if you don’t have that this could be that place.

We love your built-ins. You could easily make those a fun color and utilize some of that storage for kid stuff. The carpet is great too!

For the TV stand, your current media stand looks a little too deep so you could give yourself more walkway space if you got a stand that is smaller. Like we mentioned in another episode, an IR repeater is a clever way to help you tuck away your electronics.

Lastly, we think you could add some more lamps or even hire an electrician and put some sconces in.

Thank you for sending in your question, Beth! Good luck and send us some photos!

Mentioned in This Episode:

Alison Giese Interiors

Alison Giese Interiors on Instagram

261 episodes