Decorating vs. Designing

Something I often hear from people who are seeking our design services is, "I love that your work doesn't look decorated."  I know it sounds funny to say I take those comments as complimentary, considering I am technically a Certified Interior Decorator.  But the truth is, many people perceive decorating as providing a very perfectly-matched look, almost unapproachable in its lofty beauty. 

I think when people are turned off by the notion of "decorating," it's that a space falls flat to them - that the sourcing and placement of items are pleasing, but that maybe it's lacking a bit of soul.  It feels too "one size fits all."  For me personally, this happens when everything in a room is new, from a showroom, or otherwise "perfect." 

Our aesthetic is one of curated character.  We relish in selecting items that are imperfect, unique, diamonds found among the rough, that instantly add gravitas to a space that might have required a lot of new items.

We also approach our projects with the notion of "what is this space telling us?"  What does it want to say?  How does it want to function?   Our client's living and dining room were flipped when she purchased her condo, but when we spoke with her about how she intended to use the open floor plan, it immediately made more sense to move the living area to where the dining had been.  We designed the space to fit both the client's needs as well as her desires for a unique space.

 
Dining room by Alison Giese Interiors
 

Upon final install, every detail was considered, items with meaning and patina mixed cohesively with the new.  Yes, it was decorated, but more importantly, it was designed.