Thoughtform CEO Jessica Neilas Gives Us An Inside Look At Her New Austin Studio

Thoughtform CEO Jessica Neilas Gives Us An Inside Look At Her New Austin Studio


People Home & Real Estate HBTX Home HBTX Profiles HBTX Spotlight

Thoughtform CEO Jessica Neilas Gives Us An Inside Look At Her New Austin Studio

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People Home & Real Estate HBTX Home HBTX Profiles HBTX Spotlight

Thoughtform CEO Jessica Neilas Gives Us An Inside Look At Her New Austin Studio

Thoughtform CEO Jessica Neilas Gives Us An Inside Look At Her New Austin Studio

People Home & Real Estate HBTX Home HBTX Profiles HBTX Spotlight

Thoughtform CEO Jessica Neilas Gives Us An Inside Look At Her New Austin Studio

Published By:   •   February 23, 2024

Thoughtform CEO Jessica Neilas Gives Us An Inside Look At Her New Austin Studio

Published By:

February 23, 2024

People Home & Real Estate HBTX Home HBTX Profiles HBTX Spotlight


With a recently debuted studio in Austin, the women-led interior design firm Thoughtform sets a new standard for luxury hybrid living in the Lone Star State. CEO Jessica Neilas chats with us about the southern expansion and shares how her team is reshaping the real estate World.

Thoughtform CEO Jessica Neilas PHOTO BY JULES LEE

Thoughtform CEO Jessica Neilas

For those who might not be familiar with the company, can you talk to us about the inspiration behind Thoughtform?

Thoughtform is really the distilled essence of all the ideals we consider to create the best possible built environments. We believe the best projects are created with the following 3 Thoughtform pillars:

  1. We design from the inside out. Shockingly, North Americans spend about 90% of their time indoors, so our designed interior spaces need to function and feel awesome. We start working with our clients to find out what they need their interiors to do for them and build a home around those parameters. Project exteriors can always be executed with beautiful materials and features, but if the interior isn’t working well, the project is not a long-term success for the client.

  2. We design and adapt for hybrid living/working. In the wake of a pandemic, interior environments went under some scrutiny as their functionality requirements multiplied out of necessity. Homes now need to be offices, daycares and fitness facilities, and humans realized they needed better solutions and flexibility. We offer all the latest and greatest ideas in functional and flexible layouts while making sure the aesthetics are all highly sought after to an international standard.

  3. We design with forensic detail and full coordination. Not many designers will sit down and hash out the HVAC duct runs in coordination with plumbing drops, window heights and ventilation grille locations to confirm their concealed and motorized double window covering treatments will fit! We do all this before we start actually choosing pretty tiles and chandeliers for you, but this is exactly why our projects turn out so well… we design the construction process and co-ordinate all our consultants’ designs in advance, saving our clients and contractors time, strife, money and headaches down the line.


A urban residence with a bold narrative in Rosedale. PHOTO BY JULES LEE
An urban residence with a bold narrative in Rosedale.

Thoughtform is a completely women-owned and operated company. Tell us what this means to the studio, and can you buzz what you and your team do best?

I think it’s a pretty great dynamic working with all women. We have hired women with diverse professional backgrounds, experiences, and styles to create a very dynamic team. I know we have all come to love one another, and it truly does feel like an incredibly supportive design family.

I also recognize that each woman on our team has a full life, and I really wanted thoughtform to accommodate and support each woman in the different phases of their life. I work with every designer to create a ‘design life’ that works best for them: work-from-home days, our child and dog-friendly studio environment, lunch and learns, part-time work for working mothers and time off, etc. I want our designers to include interior design throughout all these evolving stages of one’s life, and I think that flexibility makes for happier women and families.


The all-women Thoughtform team PHOTO BY: RYAN EMBERLEY
The all-women Thoughtform team

How is Thoughtform different from other interior design companies?

In general, we are just more thoughtful overall. We do a deep dive into the R&D process when we onboard a new client and guide them through our proven design process, which helps them uncover who they are and what they need their built interior to do for them. We learn an extensive amount about their personalities, proclivities and lifestyle that will help us define what a successful aesthetic will be for them. It’s one thing to like an image on Instagram, but is that design direction right for a client’s current project? We help define and align what a project needs to be first before we work to build our interior vision for all the finishes and fixtures.

The studio has recently made its grand debut in Austin. How do you hope to connect with the Texas community?

We’ve been designing in Austin for a couple of years now, and having made our studio location a permanent one here; I believe the thing that has really made that easy is the people. They are the perfect combination of kind and motivated—it’s really been an endearing experience getting to know such kind-hearted humans and also working with entrepreneurs and clients who want to build extraordinary spaces and excitingly beautiful homes.


“Thoughtform fulfills a full interior design scope starting with the drywall inwards,” says Neilas. “Anything you can see when you walk through a fully finished interior environment is something we have specified, designed and fully coordinated. That process greatly impacts the level of tailoring and quality of life on the interiors we can offer our clients.” PHOTO BY: JULES LEE
“Thoughtform fulfills a full interior design scope starting with the drywall inwards,” says Neilas. “Anything you can see when you walk through a fully finished interior environment is something we have specified, designed and fully coordinated. That process greatly impacts the level of tailoring and quality of life on the interiors we can offer our clients.”

You offer an array of services from interior design and construction management to wellness design and more. What can clients expect when booking a service?

Yes, it’s funny how things evolve when you always strive to improve them. In an unorthodox way, our design firm has taken a great focus on the more hardcore construction elements and techniques we saw as we walked through thousands of unfinished projects at all stages of construction, over the last 20 years. We realized all the ways to build better and aligned ourselves with highly respected teams of consultants with a similar approach to make the design-build process simplified through proper upfront detailing and coordination and a seamless experience for the client.

We also asked ourselves, “How can interior design work for us from a health and wellness perspective?” We wanted to bring value to our clients that’s not just superficial but long term and beneficial on biological and psychological levels. We offer designs that maximize positive human experience and interactions by implementing biophilic design principles, considering environmental psychology, integrating superior purification of air and water, proper acoustic attenuation, as well as lighting systems and color theory to control energy and motivation levels in dedicated spaces.

Basically, we are grounded in good design and o er the gamut of services required to fulfill a client’s vision from inception to final execution. It’s a plug-and-play, a la carte menu, really!

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