Afternoon, friends!  We’ve been busy around here.  Etch has been dabbling in a bit of Event Design over the last few months.  Considering one of the core principles of our design business is being a hands-on collaborative creative studio, we love the opportunity to provide thoughtful aesthetics and styling for events.  It’s a fulfilling medium for us, and I couldn’t wait to share a few pictures from a recent High Tea we designed for a client in Northern Virginia.




Event design is much like transforming the spacial experiences in resident and commercial locations, but its development is for a temporary experience, customizing the way people relate to a space for a one-time or short-term event.




The flow of the pathways around the tables, the scale and proportion of the flower arrangements and pennants, and catering the impact of the chosen decor and styling with the location and function of the attractions are just a few of the considerations that can turn a mediocre party into an amazing event.




This High Tea boasted a beautifully styled Sweet Bar, featuring cupcakes from Cupcake Heaven in Haymarket, Virginia, Macarons, and personalized tea-themed sugar cookies.  We created custom banners, tea labels, favor tags, and cupcake liners with Green Cherry Factory, and I did the hand-lettering work myself.  With my background in Fine Art, Etch always looks for any opportunity to provide custom, one-of-a-kind artistic creations, and it’s those special little touches that fuel our passion for this stuff!




We layered colors, patterns, and textures much like we do in our Interior Design work, and had an absolute blast incorporating all the vintage inspired pretty details!




We enjoyed designing and styling this event for the lovely bride-to-be, and had a fabulous time collaborating with her mother and sister to create an event that reflected the bride’s classic and refined style.  If you have any projects, art openings, auctions, or corporate functions you think would be a perfect fit for Etch, definitely give us a call, we’d love to help you create an unforgettable special event!

Enjoy your weekend!


“That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Shakespeare’s famous line so poetically articulated that names are meaningless; a thing is what it is, regardless of what it is called. A beautiful and romantic notion, but in truth, a simple name can make a difference in what services a company is allowed to provide. In the world of interior environments, a common misconception is the improper use of the terms Interior Designer versus Interior Decorator. Although the two professions stem from the same beginning and often overlap in function, they are not exactly the same.


Interior Design is a blend of art and a technical understanding of people’s behavior to create environments that are functional, beautiful and enhance the health, life safety and welfare of the public. The profession is holistic – considering lighting, acoustics, building materials, indoor air quality, structural systems, plumbing systems, electrical requirements, building codes, accessibility, culture, art, history, furniture, details and wall partition layout to translate the story of the inhabitants into a built representation.


Interior Decorating is the art of furnishing and ornamenting spaces with beautiful and fashionable things. A decorator is not responsible for the layout or construction of the space, but focuses solely on color, textiles, textures, furniture and accessories in an environment that reflect the style and personality of the users. A Decorator may also select lighting, though most often the fixture is chosen based on its aesthetic quality and not necessarily by what lumens, color, lamp type or architectural detailing is required for the use of the space.


In most states, the term “Interior Designer” is protected by state laws that restrict the use of the title or even the practice of the profession to licensed and certified individuals. Oftentimes the protected title is a nuanced form, such as in Virginia, only licensed professionals can call themselves “Certified Interior Designers”, but the title Interior Designer may still be used freely. In order to become certified, an individual must receive a 4-year Bachelors degree in Interior Design from a CIDA-accredited University, work 3,520 hours under a qualified employer and pass the NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification) examination. Continuing Education Units are also required yearly or bi-yearly to maintain the license or certification.


Although Kate and I can perform what are considered more traditionally decorative functions in certain phases of our projects, as a Certified Interior Designer, Etch is also able to provide a wider level of service. My qualifications allow us to draw full construction drawings for interior build-outs, considering all building codes and accessibility guidelines; coordinate with Engineers on plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems; communicate with General Contractors and sub-contractors during the entire building process; work directly with artisans, craftsmen, fabricators and upholsterers for custom cabinetry, furniture and architectural details; specify lighting, materials, furniture and equipment that are appropriate for the function of a space and safety of the users, and calculate rentable square footage versus usable square footage for tenant leasing. In the District of Columbia, we can also stamp, sign and permit interior construction drawings.


As a collaborative creative studio, we find appreciation and beauty in many levels of a project. We love opportunities to create poetically poignant moments within spaces: a simple textured throw blanket paired with a comfortable chair, a reimagining of a workspace to enhance productivity, or articulating the acoustic needs of a user with the appropriate wall, floor and ceiling finishes and partition detailing. We treat all phases of a project with a great deal of thought, creativity and appreciation, endeavoring to create spaces that are beautiful, smart and inspiring.



As a mother and small business owner, I find that the flexible nature of a home office works well for me, and while Etch is a young company, the financial benefits are obvious. I have experience working from both a studio outside of the home and a studio at home, but I prefer the latter. It’s not for everyone. Over the years I’ve learned that the key to success in productivity with this kind of structure is to hold myself to a very strict schedule and have a well-defined and inspiring work space.  With that said, in order to better manage and balance my work and family schedules, I am currently redesigning my lower-level studio space to include a functional home office with built-ins for additional storage of art and design needs.



Soul Shine Studio Via




But let me be honest here.  When we moved into our current modest-sized townhouse, I threw the hodge-podge of beat-up furniture from my Graduate School studio into the half-finished basement, and things have been the same since. As I said before, I need an inspiring, beautiful, and functional space to work in… and that, my friends, does not describe the current situation.  There is little natural light, dropped ceilings, and a lot of clutter.  Because of this, at any given point in the day, I may use the dining table to finish a presentation or hold a conference call in the kitchen, and my work tends to follow me around the house.


I want a studio space that is pretty but effortless, while boasting multi-functionality, major organizational elements, and plenty of hidden storage to keep little curious baby fingers away.  There are myriad inspiring spaces out there, and Kari and I are over on Houzz building an ideabook called A Studio Space full of amazing multi-purpose rooms that are bursting of creativity.  Check them out in the Houzz slideshow below.



With the rise in capability for telecommuting and the surge of creative entrepreneurs, multi-purpose creative home office spaces are becoming increasingly common, and vendors are designing a plethora of product lines with this kind of space in mind. It’s very exciting and I’ll be sure to keep you posted as I turn my basement into my very own dreamy creative space!


Enjoy your weekend, friends!



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