A chat with Nicole Giesler
Thinking back, my interest in design started with my mom when I was little. It wasn’t her career, but it’s something she enjoyed doing with me. We were always creating things with our hands, and I would help her with projects around the house.
I think the first time I designed something was probably in elementary school. We had to make a little living room in a shoe box or something [laughs]. I had to build all these little paper pieces of furniture and move them around—and I realized that even though you’re just moving Legos around, you can suddenly make a fireplace or a sofa. That’s probably the first time I remember designing.
I wasn’t sure I wanted to be an interior designer until I started taking classes in high school, learning more about the actual profession and what it looked like. But even when I got to college, I feel like I still had no idea what I was getting into. No idea at all. I remember the first day we walked in, our professors looked all of us in the face and said, “If you’re here to be a decorator, you can go ahead and leave now.” [laughs]. We all stuck around.
I always gravitated towards studio classes because it was a three-hour block—you knew you were going to be there for a while, and that’s when you really got one-on-one time with the professors. I loved picking their brains, and I was always in awe of the way they would take a floor plan that I created and move a wall, even just a foot or two, and then add the two things that made my design really work. I loved the collaboration.
In our industry, we talk a lot about work-life balance and how we want that to feel. Most of your time is spent at work, and we understand that. When we’re designing spaces, we try to create environments that feel comfortable and cozy—somewhere that, even though you’re not within the walls of your house, recreates that same sense of home.
It never hurts if there are a couple plants around you. I grew up on a farm, so I’m used to being outside, which is probably a little bit of why I’m a crazy plant lady. I think the natural world is something that we’re all drawn to, especially at OFS. It’s something we weave through everything we do here.
The last ten percent is probably what sets OFS apart. Our approach to the last ten percent is different than others’, and I think those special touches we add to our interior design are what make it feel like OFS. Whether it’s including a family photo on the desk or creating a custom tree ring print to hang next to it, it’s those small touches that really weave our story through everything.