Meet Our Advertisers: Mary Jane Grigsby of Adesso Interior Design


By Victoria Rose


Designing for the Moment

Mary Jane Grigsby of Adesso Interior Design

Mary Jane Grigsby of Adesso Interior Desig



Overhearing a conversation is the way Mary Jane Grigsby became aware of what she really wanted to do with the rest of her life.  She initially pursued a medical career, starting out and earning a degree in pre-med. However, deciding against medical school led her to work in a research laboratory and to the self-awareness that she still wanted and needed to help people. As she was considering different career options, she overheard a couple of people talking about Interior Design. This was her “light bulb” moment and after earning a Master’s degree in Interior Design, she has never looked back.

Working in the medical research field may seem different than designing interior spaces, yet that experience has benefited Mary Jane in the way she approaches her business. Relying on research for environmentally safe products, understanding of emotional effects of colors, problem solving to create unique and functional spaces, etc. is a perfect blend of science and art. The name of her business, Adesso Interior Design, is Italian for “in the present moment”. With creativity and research Mary Jane has successfully pursued her passion of designing spaces for clients so they may comfortably live or work with the best possible products that are perfect for the moment yet will also take them well into the future.

To determine what a client wants for their home Mary Jane begins with an important question, “What will you use this space for?” Today, homes have many different functions including relaxation, home schooling, entertaining, gaming, convalescing, outdoor living and home offices as well as sleeping, cooking and eating. A room can be beautiful, but if it does not also function well, then it will be difficult to live or work in. Another variable is the client: everyone is different!  Even if five clients had the same exact home, for instance, the interior design would be different for each homeowner. Culture, experiences, history and lifestyle shape a person’s values and influences the designs that bring them comfort. Mary Jane doesn’t ask ‘What do you like”, instead learning one’s wants, needs and preferences through conversations about lifestyle, personal needs, budgets, and dreams.

One of the misconceptions about Interior Design is the impression that it is simply decorating a space. The ability to truly design a space involves so much more. An understanding of space allocation and utilization, how certain products are made and of what materials, fabric fiber content and weave, function, maintenance issues, etc. allow Mary Jane’s clients to get the most value for their money.  Timeless design partnered with quality products that are comfortable, pleasing, and easy to care for: wow, what a great combination!

Mary Jane has achieved the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) Certification. The process is a rigorous two day, comprehensive exam which determines expertise relating to ADA, safety codes and requirements, and designs which protect the public’s health, safety and welfare. ( She is also a Fellow of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional. These credentials show a dedication to her profession and passion to offer the best to her clients.

Everyone wants value for their money. Mary Jane’s love for lifelong learning helps her remain current regarding sustainable products, options that enhance the function of a home and the latest advances in the home furnishings industry.  She has developed relationships with businesses so that customization doesn’t need to be expensive. Mary Jane’s creativity and problem solving skills result in unique design solutions, many winning awards and adorning magazine covers. A simple, inexpensive example:  a client wanted a light, spring look for a quest bedroom, so inexpensive trellis material was applied to the ceiling and the entire ceiling + trellis painted white.  The effect was subtle and dynamic at the same, helping to achieve the concept.  While most designers seem to forget about the ceiling, Mary Jane understands the importance of all 6 surfaces of a space.

When talking about colors, well, it’s not a simple black /white issue. Often, people are afraid of color, not knowing what to choose and where best to use it.  Mary Jane is familiar with not just the selection of paints, but the effects that colors have on our emotions. For example, for ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) children, research has shown that bright colors are calming rather than the cool colors that are restful to most of us.

Mary Jane loves learning and teaching. She has often talked with students about her profession. One student challenged her when Mary Jane said she has a diverse client list and asked her “Have you ever designed a trailer”. Her answer was yes.  She strongly believes that the many benefits of good design are for everyone, with no exceptions.

For over thirty years, Mary Jane has been nurtured by a desire to play a large role in a person’s quality of life. By listening to people, what they say and what they don’t say, she has designed homes, offices, restaurants, bars, hotels, and retail stores with the goal of helping her clients have interior environments that speak to who they are.

Mary Jane has been designing in the mountains of Western North Carolina for 5 years.  She is in a different phase of her career, for this is the first time she is not serving on a board, or has a volunteer position with a professional Interior Design organization. She is enjoying the strong sense of community here and loves that people care about each other, care about the earth, and are open to new ideas and experiences. She feels more grounded here – the mountains speak to her soul.

You can contact Mary Jane Grigsby at 828-696-0530 (office) or  For more information, go to her company’s website at



Victoria Rose facilitates Wild Words writing workshops, is a Match Support Coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters and loves to hike and dance. You can reach her at



The fabulously fun and informative Lunch & Learn event with Saralyn Collins, sponsored by WNC Woman, takes place this month on July 17th.
Event begins at 11:30 with networking, then lunch, introductions, workshop and discussion. LOCATION: Four Points Sheraton Hotel (exit 240 and Merrimon) 22 Woodfin St (easy parking and access).
To learn more and register: Click here for details!

Hope to see you there!

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