When Galey Alix was approached via Instagram to redesign a family’s Coral Ridge home, she went all in – much like she does with every project. The local home design and renovation sensation is driven by the look of surprise (and sometimes happy tears) of her clients.
“Everything is a surprise. Sometimes I don’t tell them what rooms I’m doing, what colors or what style or anything,” says Galey, whose home design business isn’t even her main job. (By day, she’s a vice president and regional director at Goldman Sachs Asset Management.)
So how does she capture the family’s style without giving away any hints? “I try to read and understand them,” she says. “I’ll ask them what they don’t like about their home. I even look at the nail polish color the wife has chosen for her nails because I want to understand who they are as people and what color palettes they like.”
The family in Coral Ridge wanted a fairly specific transformation.
“They gave me a white, new construction box and wanted me to make it cozy like a modern farmhouse,” she says. “It’s not your traditional farmhouse; there’s a modern take on it.”
She brought in lots of wood and plants to get that rustic but contemporary style starting with an important common area – the dining room. “One of my favorites is the dining room because I loved how sexy and moody it was paired with the perfect pops of farmhouse,” she says.
She complemented the furniture pieces with a statement piece – framed dry green foliage.
“I knew that I had a lot of photos coming into this project and a lot of big empty walls so I needed to come up with a feature wall that was going to be big, artsy and take up a lot of space to tie in with the modern farmhouse theme,” she says.
Then there was making the home theater room feel cozy. How do you do that to a dark room that doesn’t allow any light to come in? The answer is texture. “Textured wallpaper incorporating velvet poufs from Arhaus. I just wanted to also highlight how tall the ceiling was, which is a really nice feature so I placed shelves that lined really high up and I did a wall of gallery frames to help it feel more homey,” she says.
“I think it’s really important to put energy into the place you call home, whether it’s temporary or your forever home. The world is really crazy especially now and it’s super hectic and you’re battling all of the elements every time you leave your house. You don’t want to come home and be battling any more elements because your place doesn’t feel like home if it’s too chaotic or too empty.”
When trying to create that feeling of coziness, Galey has one go-to design concept.
“Texture, texture, texture,” she says. For example, your living room. You can mix different textures beginning with the coffee table contrasting with the flooring and side table. Even mixing textures with the pillows on the couch and throw blanket on the corner makes a huge difference.
She always makes it a priority to make each home feel comforting and peaceful. “My dream for everyone is when they come home at night they can walk into their house,” she says, “and have that sigh of relief that you’re in a safe place that you love and you can feel comforted by.”