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Jessica Nelson & Stephanie Lindsey of Etch Design Group: 5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy

An Interview With Candice Georgiadis

As part of my series on the “5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jessica Nelson & Stephanie Lindsey of Etch Design Group.

Etch Design Group is a luxury interior design firm in Austin, Texas specializing in residential and boutique commercial design. Etch is dedicated to crafting custom interior designs that are tailored to each individual client and their desired aesthetic. No two projects are alike, and they take pride in knowing that their personalized designs encompass the function, form and feel of each individual homeowner’s personal tastes and preference. Etch Design Group works closely with homeowners, builders, and architects in Texas and throughout the U.S.

JESSICA NELSON, PRINCIPAL DESIGNER BIO: Jessica has always had a passion for design and loves bringing a client’s vision to life! She received her Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from Texas State University, and has been transforming unique spaces ever since. Jessica has been recognized for her outstanding creativity and design aesthetic. Her background in technology makes her uniquely qualified in computer renderings and visualization tools, which help assist clients in “painting the picture” on what to expect in their finished space. Jessica is known for her love of fabrics and furnishings, and her unique ability to add the perfect finishing touch to every project. Her designs reflect her diverse experience studying architectural history and art in Florence, Italy. She has gained valuable knowledge and appreciation for European design, and loves expressing this through her work.

STEPHANIE LINDSEY, PRINCIPAL DESIGNER BIO: Stephanie has an instinctive talent and keen eye for design, along with a strong technical background in computer drafting. She graduated from the Interior Designers Institute in Newport Beach, CA with her Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design. Stephanie has worked with contractors, designers and architects throughout the country, developing a unique and versatile portfolio of projects. Her exquisite attention to detail, paired with an innate ability to project manage, provides her clients with the highest level of satisfaction. Always passionate about education, Stephanie loves learning new skills and most recently learned how to weld.

Thank you so much for joining us in this series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Co principal designer Jessica Nelson: I moved from my hometown of Norman, OK to Austin, TX and I saw my sister-in-law building a 3D model online. At that moment I had such a strong feeling that maybe I missed my calling. OR…that if I didn’t enroll at Texas State and start studying Interior Design I would absolutely miss my calling. So I gave up a great job…and then I enrolled at Texas State.

Co principal designer Stephanie Lindsey: My design career started at home with a mom who could pretty much do everything — from upholstering a sofa to making our drapes to space planning. I honestly remember days when I’d get home from school and find all of our living room furniture rearranged — and loving it! She made everything feel new and exciting. It impacted me so much — not only did I eventually grow up and become a designer, but also, seeing her do anything I assumed I could too.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Stephanie accidentally bumped a set of architectural plans during a client meeting at a coffee shop and the plans went flying and landed at another table. Funny enough, the man sitting at that table was a builder so it turned into a networking opportunity!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

We have a lot of full-house remodels that are really exciting. One gives a nod to Spanish Hacienda style, and the clients have honed in on every tiny detail with us. We love when clients get as excited as we do and care about the intricacies. We have another remodel for a client out-of-state, and this is the second home we’ve designed for them. It’s always rewarding when we have clients come back for a second, third, or fourth project. We have a couple of new builds that are for a wonderful family; we started designing a young couple’s new home, and then their parents hired us to design their house next door. That’s a fun dynamic! That’s just to name a few. We love helping clients bring their vision to life!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

People come first.

We have experienced loss and tragedy, which continually realigns our focus on people. We have said it countless times and I imagine we will continue to repeat it with each person we meet: “we are not here to gain something from others, we are here to provide something for others.” We believe that people are more important than any beautiful space they reside in.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

There are many people who have helped us along the way. Our team comes to mind first and foremost. In 2019, Jessica’s husband was in a plane crash, and thankfully he is still with us today but suffered many life-threatening injuries. Our team stepped up and helped us manage Etch while Jessica was out taking care of her husband. We will forever be grateful for our team!

Thank you for that. Here is the main question of our discussion. What are your “5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

These are our top 4 :)

  1. First, hone in on what sparks joy for you! It’s YOUR space! What sparks joy for you? Is it bold colors or neutral colors? Do you like lots of accessories or are you a minimalist? What style are you drawn to? Then take those realizations about yourself and find pieces and elements that fit that vision.
  2. Focus on one main focal point. Do rugs excite you? Are you an art collector? Choose what you want to be the main focal point and then use that as the base for your design. It can provide the main color palette, and it helps you continually remain grounded in your design instead of purchasing things on an individual basis without thinking of the holistic vision.
  3. Add greenery and flowers! Purchase some new indoor plants and enjoy the positive effect nature will have in your space!
  4. Complete the space. Everything is more joyful when it is complete. Add art on the walls, place the accent pillows, and find the perfect accessories for your space. Make sure it’s not just clutter; find accessories that have meaning to you or provide a secondary function.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them :-)

Steph’s answer: Ty Pennington. I totally fell in love with Trading Spaces and thought that his job looked so awesome…I just wanted to grow up and be him. I decided to follow my passion of interior design in part because of him.

Jessica’s answer: We designed a full-house remodel across the lake from Matthew McConaughey’s house, and we dream of meeting him one day. Stephanie can’t stop talking about his book.

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

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Candice Georgiadis

Candice Georgiadis is an active mother of three as well as a designer, founder, social media expert, and philanthropist.