New England Home 5 Under 40: Roisin Giese
August 23, 2022
Text by Paula M. Bodah
Have you bought your tickets for New England Home’s “5 Under 40” celebration on September 14? We’re counting down the days and are excited for you to get to know our 2017 honorees.
Roisin Giese is an unabashed lover of old houses. The Cohasset, Massachusetts, home she shares with her husband and two young sons is a colonial-style house built in 1926. “I wanted old. I wanted soul and character,” she says.
Most of her clients feel the same way; Giese’s firm, Twelve Chairs Interiors, specializes in working with homeowners on their older homes. “It’s what we love doing, and it’s become our niche,” she says. “In New England, there are so many beautiful old homes and so many young families moving into them.”
Giese and business partner Miggy Mason named their firm Twelve Chairs in honor of their classmates in Cornell University’s interior design program. “There were only twelve of us, and we were all women,” she says. “We were a close-knit group.”
The duo opened the Twelve Chairs Shop and Studio in 2010, quickly winning accolades, including making the What’s Hot list in Elle Decor in 2011. The key to their success? “We really understand our clients, how they live, how they want to live, and their family’s stories,” Giese says. “Our spaces are layered, incorporating custom, unique pieces and clients’ existing pieces that they love.”
Drawing on the work of local artisans also helps give Twelve Chairs homes their unique character. “Our approach to sustainability is to use things that will last and be passed on,” Giese says. “We call them the vintage of the future.”
In 2020, Twelve Chairs closed the shop to focus on interior design, with Giese working from her Cohasset office and Mason heading up a second office in the Philadelphia area.
For Giese, the appeal of working with old houses is simple: “Preserving the character but making them work for modern-day families—when you nail that synergy it’s really special.”