For Burke-based interior designer Alison Giese, each day starts with a little self-care. Whether it’s a virtual workout or a skin care regimen, the morning is her time to be alone, refresh and prepare for the day ahead.
Then, once the clock hits 7:30 a.m., her three daughters start to rise and it’s time to work, with schooling for them and designing for Giese. Luckily, as the owner of her very own design company Alison Giese Interiors, her workspace—hidden behind antique-looking double doors—is conducive to creativity, full of calming, neutral palettes and old and new pieces that each have their own personal meaning.
“The cowhide rug is one I bought in Brazil when we lived there, the drafting stool belonged to my husband’s grandfather, and—one of my favorite things—the faux turtle carapace is from Restoration Hardware,” says Giese, who these days typically retreats to the office around midday for Zoom meetings, design work and check-ins with her team.
As a backdrop to her space, an Anthropologie wallpaper featuring a natural landscape sets the scene, adding a layer and interest that immediately draws your eye in, according to Giese.
In addition to her office, the dining room table has become a work zone for all members of the family during the week, described by Giese as a “conference table, teaching space, Zoom room.” Then, come the weekend, it’s transformed once again to a gathering place for meals and conversation, giving everyone a mental break and sense of normalcy.
And, when Giese finds herself needing a change of scenery throughout the week, her former-dining-room-turned-sunroom is the go-to spot, whether it’s for a cup of coffee in the afternoon or light reading before bed.
“We converted our former dining room to this sunroom by adding the large window, and enlarging the french door,” explains Giese. “We didn’t realize what a gamechanger that window would be in creating an atmosphere that makes you want to be in the glow of that space!”
According to Giese, you don’t have to be an interior designer to perfect your own work-from-home space. Rather, it’s all about adding elements that make you feel your very best on any given day.
“Give yourself grace in knowing WFH is not a permanent thing,” says Giese. “Create a space that includes things that are not only essential for your workflow, but also a boost for your mental flow. A candle or diffuser, if you respond to scent, music that helps you focus, lighting that is adequate, but comfortable. It’s about creating a micro atmosphere for doing the best you can, under the circumstances.”
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