Interior Design Excellence Award Recipient Caroline Gidiere

Meet Our 2023 Design 360° Award Recipient

“Never look back, except for an occasional glance. Look ahead and plan for the future.”–Dorothy Draper, American Interior Decorator (1889-1969)

While well-known American Interior Designer Dorothy Draper encouraged us to never look back, we couldn’t help but wrap up March, which is recognized as Women’s History Month, without reflecting back on the many women throughout history who have helped build our industry from the ground up.

From Elsie De Wolfe, known as America’s first interior designer, and Sister Parish, who decorated part of the White House during the Kennedy administration, to Syrie Maugham, who made all-white interiors popular in stark contrast to the heavy, Victorian interiors of her time, and Norma Merrick Sklarek, the first African American woman to become a licensed architect in California and New York.  And  according to architectural editor Dreck Spurlock Wilson,  Beverly Lorraine Greene was "believed to have been the first African-American female licensed as an architect in the United States." She was registered as an architect in Illinois in 1942.
We want to thank each of them for helping lead the way for women in our industry today.

One such woman who stands out amongst past and present icons is interior designer and tastemaker Caroline Gidiere.

Caroline is the Owner and Principal Designer of Caroline Gidiere Design in Birmingham, Alabama, AND this year’s Design 360° Award recipient.

Without hesitation, our team at the Designer Society of America (DSA) continues to be incredibly impressed by talented interior designers. That’s why we get so excited when it comes time to announce the annual DSA Design 360° Award recipient.

Our team sorts through designers’ styles and business models to discover an outstanding recipient. We notice that what sets award recipients apart is a 360-degree business model, including sound design practices, inspiring design style, and a daringness to follow their passion.

As a residential interior designer, Caroline is passionate about creating beautiful spaces where clients can enjoy life’s most intimate moments. And she has taken that passion and created what the Designer Society of America team considers a 360° business model to be successful. We were so impressed with her work, spirit, and business model that we thought it was a wonderful opportunity to recognize her for her incredible work with this award.

Join us in celebrating this wonderful recognition for Caroline and her team. In the article below, we invite you to learn more about her journey from a tenured attorney to an interior designer and tastemaker.

From attorney to interior designer and tastemaker

Caroline Gidiere 

DSA 360° Award recipient for 2023
By Lindsay Field Penticuff

For Caroline Gidiere, the spark that led her from leaving a tenured career in law to becoming an interior designer actually started by watching a close friend who had lost her job with a large design company decide to go out on her own.

“She was going to ADAC and starting to get clients,” says Caroline, Owner of Caroline Gidiere Designer in Birmingham, Alabama. “I was able to see someone do that from the beginning.”

At about that same time, Caroline had just built her house, and friends and colleagues began asking her for help with choosing design aspects like paint colors or how to decorate for an entry hall in their homes.

“I have some good friends who I helped design the living room, dining room and entry hall, and I was just doing it for free and helping because I loved it,” adds Caroline.

She found herself spending more and more time doing something she really loved. But at the same time, this new passion was coupled with a very intense and difficult season at work. Her husband was traveling quite a bit for work, and she was trying legal cases all over the Southeast.

“It was just a horrible pressure cooker,” Caroline recalls. “But in the background, I had this passion.”

That’s when her husband pulled a fast one on her and applied for and got all of her business licenses completed for her. He placed the paperwork in a green folder and put it in a box under the Christmas tree that year.