Hattie Lindsley and Clint Grounds are roommates in an eclectic East Austin home. Their door is always open for friends to gather which speaks to how comfortable and welcoming they've made their space. Hattie is a painter and the house is full of her beautiful, gestural works while Clint designs and imports sustainable teak furniture found throughout their home. We spoke about their creative endeavors and what makes their home so important to them.
So tell me about your house
Hattie: We actually heard that house used to be military barracks and its really, really old. And all of our neighbors on this side of the street all are related and they used to own this house too and then they sold it.
Clint: and that’s why the ceilings are so high, because it used to be military barracks and they put in the walls. So it used to be completely open so it shifts a lot now.
Hattie: Yeah! So at different times of the year my door will close or it won’t close. Right now it doesn’t stay closed. And it’s great lighting, it’s great.
Well I guess that pretty convenient that you have such high ceilings, Hattie, because you like to work on big canvases. Tell me about your work Hattie and Magenta (MAH-henta) Disco.
Hattie: Well, it’s very gestural and I like to live with them for a long time to make sure they have enough energy in them so that I can always look at them and always find energy. And I know they’re done when my eye can just keep moving through the paintings and it doesn’t get stuck somewhere.
So do you rotate your pieces into your bedroom and the living room?
Hattie: Yeah, just wherever I’ll be the most is where I like to have them. Right now they’re all in my bedroom because my bedroom is really bright. And our kitchen needs a skylight. That’s the only downfall of our house, the kitchen’s dark.
So Magenta Disco used to refer to the color palette you use in your paintings but you’ve recently switched it up a little bit, what inspired that shift?
Hattie: I have! So, I started using more color to make the magenta look brighter, more vibrant. And then I also recently got really inspired by really heavily peppered barbecue. It's so black that it sparkles. There’s this rib, this $20 rib that you can get at Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor and it’s so beautiful. There’s a painting of it actually inside that I gave to Clint that we haven’t hung up yet, but that’s a painting of that rib. Oh! and also what really started it was I started looking at my friend Annie Hick’s great uncle's art (Bill McLean) and we went through all of his art one day in San Antonio and it was just... it seemed that he just really put a lot of energy into his works in one sitting, which I like because that’s kind of how I paint too and then it was done. And it was kind of the same gesture, gesture, gesture kind of like he’s stabbing the canvas over and over again with so much energy and then he’s done. And so that kind of validated that that was an option. Because that’s kind of how I like to paint I only paint for like 30 minutes at a time and I will really be dancing and playing my favorite song on repeat, really loud for like 15 minutes and then I’m kind of done with the song and I stop. So I would do that and balance that activity and energy with a more serene magenta background, like a really light magenta that glows and not making it look like tacky black and pink is the goal right now. So I incorporate sienna because it’s natural and it gives depth to both the black and pink, or blue or brown. And also keeping it low key at the same time which is hard.
You’re a painter but I think of you as an artist in a lot of other ways because of your fashion and styling background and your construction work…so what’s the next thing you’re excited to try?
Hattie: I really want to get into travel journalism because I want an outlet for photography and I really like writing and I don’t do it very much. So that’s what I’m trying to do. This magazine/digital world in general; just more story telling.
So Clint, let’s back up because you are one of the newer roommates to this Zaragosa Farm house. Where did you move from and why did you decide to move back to Austin?
Clint: I just moved back from Bali where I working for a bag and shoe company between Bali and Singapore, and I was running 4 boutiques (3 in Bali and 1 in Singapore) and I started getting into furniture design over there. I started to design furniture and produce it and I decided I wanted to come back and try selling it in Austin. So I came back and I’ve been trying to recreate myself as more of a branding specialist, while also doing this work with the furniture. I want to be able to do everything from beginning to end. If someone wants to do production with clothing I want to be able to produce it for them, brand it for them, do any e-commerce or any of the store design. I just want a really well rounded vision of how to make a brand happen.
Yeah I definitely think of you as that person.
Clint: Good! (laughs) Mission accomplished.
Like Hattie, a lot of your work, your furniture is scattered throughout your home. Is that because you like to live with your work as well or is that more a part of the whole brand experience of visualizing the work within a space?
Clint: Well I think the important part about lifestyle branding (which is exactly what I’m trying to do with every brand that I make) is that you live with it all the time and you figure out how to incorporate into whatever lifestyle it is. So it’s important to have it around you and to be surrounded by it and you know how to use it in different spaces too. So here (at our house) and then at Wildflower Organics downtown (who I’ve sold to) is a completely different aesthetic than I try to go for. I think it’s important to be able to fit it in a lot of different spaces and I just really like living with it.
I would too, it’s beautiful! So with these beautiful teak pieces of furniture, they’re very evocative of the place they were designed and fabricated. What other places inspire you where you’d like to produce work?
Clint: I would like to do some high-end fair trade like ABC Home with a bit of a different twist. So I’d like to go back to Morocco and buy from there. I have some wholesale rug dealers there and I’d like to bring back the rugs and sell them here (in Austin).
and I would like to put them in client’s homes.
Clint: Totally! That and then, I really like Scandinavian furniture design, it’s expensive so that might be later down the road but I’d really like to get into that more. Like that chair that’s in our living room that just fits your posture.
It is very Scandinavian.
Hattie: that’s from Wimberley, Texas!
Really? Well it almost has that Hans Wagner vibe, like a wishbone chair. You’ll have to take me there Hattie!
So, guys, what’s your favorite part about your home.
Hattie: I actually like the fluidity of the house and I live with very flexible roommates that really contribute a lot to the space. So, Meghan will bring home like 20 plants one day and we have to re-pot them and figure out where they’re going to go. And Clint keeps pulling out all of balinese housewares and we have to figure out where those are going to go and then Meghan makes sauerkraut with her friends so there’s always hot pink cabbage living all over the house. And so it really works with my process and helps me keep developing.
so you live with hoarders but they hoard beautiful things so it’s ok.
Hattie: Yeah and I’m a hoarder too but I kind of stopped hoarding five years ago I think because I had too much stuff.
And what would be your next big project at the house?
Hattie: Well we’re pretty much in gardening mode because it’s basically summer and all my cacti are about to bloom and I’m so excited!
What about you Clint? What’s your project for spring time?
Clint: Well I just planted a bunch of indigo and we’re trying to do some indigo dying. It’s hopefully growing. Ultimately I’d like to produce indigo pieces I’ve designed but right now I’m trying to get the process down and see how it goes.