by Christy Heitger-Ewing | photos by Adam Gibson Architectural Photography, Nathan Elman, Abbie Gowin, & The Addison Group


Jenni Egger, founder and owner of Jenni Egger Designs, earned the nickname “Wonder Woman,” over her 15 years as a home designer, and with the obstacles she overcame, it’s easy to see why.

In 2017, Egger tested positive for the BRCA2 gene mutation. As the daughter of a breast cancer survivor, Egger knew this gene mutation put her at higher risk for developing cancer herself. In one 15-month period, she had a total hysterectomy, a double mastectomy, and breast reconstruction.

But Egger was already no stranger to facing challenges. She became known for tackling complicated projects with creativity and tenacity as she worked primarily on remodeling jobs in the Meridian Kessler Neighborhood. For the solo designer, the setbacks caused by three planned surgeries, and another unexpected disc herniation in her neck, led to her decision to scale her business to a full service interior design firm.

“It’s interesting how many creatives/designers/artists birth something from a setback,” says Egger. “Life happens and it feels negative at the time”, but it ends up being a positive instrument that pushes them to do great things.”

In 2018, Egger stacked her team with specialized designers and business management positions to help her bring a top-notch design experience to her clients. The firm grew quickly and now has a large team of ten employees and over a dozen contractors.

“I wanted to give our clients the best service possible and I couldn’t do that as a solo designer.

After my physical setbacks in 2017 and 2018, it was clear that scaling the business was the only way to achieve the goals I had set for the Jenni Egger Designs brand,” says Egger.

Jenni Egger Designs (JED), a premier Indianapolis interior design firm specializing in transforming residential properties, has a tagline – “Creating something greater than beauty.” This means that while their luxury services are beautiful, the team goes the extra mile to get to know their clients and understand their lifestyle.

“We find out what they love and what they want to surround themselves with. Every client has certain features that they want to bring out in the function of their home and their décor,” says Egger. “We specialize in pulling together those elements through art, fabrics, furniture, and room arrangement.”

The goal is to make the client feel comfortable in their surroundings.

The firm designs work for all different styles, from modern to traditional, using textural neutrals as well as prints, patterns, and bright colors. Egger’s personal design style is colorful and dynamic as seen in the home offices and showroom of Jenni Egger Designs at 23 East 39th Street in Meridian Kessler. “

I learned back in 2012 while designing and decorating my personal home that I have to be true to myself when creating my own environment. I have always loved color and bold patterns. The gray trend was taking hold during this period and I embraced it in a few spaces but it never felt like home,” says Egger. “I learned the important lesson that authenticity is the most important element of design.”

Egger asks her clients to reflect on items they love in their home. By learning about what sensibilities they have and what they hold dear, JED gets a real sense of the homeowners’ goals and dreams for their spaces. The process at JED invites the homeowner to touch and experience many materials and finishes and to breathe new life into well loved items.

In the age of Instagram and Pinterest, often clients come in armed with a ton of inspiration from pages they follow and the latest trends. While that’s great, Egger makes sure that these ideas don’t contradict one another, compromising the balance of a room. She says, “An interior feels comfortable to the people spending time in a space when elements compliment one another. There is also nothing wrong with a bit of contrasting tension thrown into a design. A designer can help add interest, balance, scale, dimension and function to a room or a whole house.”

JED has noticed that sometimes a client who is exceptionally hyped about a certain look or selection may only feel that way because it’s the first time they’ve seen it. It is a designer’s job to get to the root of why the client is drawn to a particular element. The firm does this by providing an Inspiration Phase that explores various concepts for the design before moving forward.

“What you love, love, love today you may hate, hate, hate tomorrow,” says Egger. Because of this, intensely emotion triggering elements or items are often used in less important articles like a chair or accessories vs. larger and more permanent fixtures.

Another JED philosophy is that the design should contain a certain amount of reservation. Egger often explains to her clients that by making every element in a design important then nothing is important.

“What marks our design aesthetic is there’s always going to be a focal point,” she says. “After more time is spent in the space and your eye dances around, you’ll notice all types of special elements that aren’t right in your face but add to the style or elegance of a room or the comfort of the surroundings.”

JED’s work, which has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and Indianapolis Monthly, serves the Indianapolis and surrounding areas with work completed nationwide.

Egger’s mind for service has led her to volunteering her time and talent for various home tours. Two of her personal homes have been featured in the Meridian Kessler Home Tour and her current home and many clients’ homes have participated in the Midtown Holiday Home Tour with styling and decorating by JED.

Currently, the 63rd Decorators’ Show House and Gardens features JED in a tucked away ladies lounge and powder bath. The Show House benefits the services and programs of Eskenazi Health.

JED has participated in the springtime event three of the past four years. The kitchen design and remodel in 2021 was the firm’s debut to the long running tradition. Egger’s love for kitchen design was what caused her to get into interior design in the first place, so it was appropriate that the firm was introduced to patrons of the Show House through an incredible kitchen transformation.

In 2022, an ethereal design was showcased in the Showhouse entryway of a Tudor home.

“One reason I love the show house is that we can complete the project just as we designed it. There are no mid-project changes or issues with crowdsourcing, second guessing, or throwing a wrench into the design with the latest trend. The platform is a wonderful way to test our design process and share it with large crowds of friends and fans.”

Tickets for this year’s Show House can be purchased at showhouseindy.org and runs April 27th-May 12th. If you would like help designing a space in which you’d love to live, contact Jenni Egger Designs at jennieggerdesigns.com.