Like any journalist, I appreciate a good gotcha question. You know the kind. The TV reporter walks up to the dodgy muffler repair shop or the politician who was caught on a Caribbean island with somebody of a non-spousal nature, and he hits them with the verbal left hook. Bonus points if the person being questioned tries to shield themselves from the camera.
In an interview for this issue, I really thought I had Galey Alix with one of these questions. Now let me just say, Galey is awesome. Her home design and décor business has earned her more than 1.6 million followers on Instagram, where she shows homes being transformed and then videos the reveal of the homeowners seeing their remade spaces. Even if you’ve seen something like it before, it’s the kind of moment that offers real emotional impact. Homes are personal; we all understand the feelings happening in these videos.
But anyway, back to me and my genius line of questioning. At one point, Galey told me one of her few ironclad design rules – she never uses the colors red, yellow or orange.
How interesting, I thought. Because earlier, we’d spoken about her time as a student-athlete at the University of Florida. In college she ran track and was a proud Gator. The school colors, of course, are blue and the dreaded orange.
I practically went into the question like a TV lawyer cross-examining the witness who did it. SURELY, I said, it cannot be true that you have NO ORANGE in your home – you, a former FLORIDA GATOR …
Galey listened patiently, and then told me politely how of course she has Gators stuff; it is clothing that is folded and placed in a drawer, which is the appropriate way to celebrate one’s alma mater when one is an adult. (Cut to Erik stammering in agreement and mentally counting up how much stuff from my alma mater there is on my walls. In my defense, my college’s colors are black and gold, which I think is the sort of thing Galey might almost let me get away with.)
Seriously, talking to Galey, her assistant and one of her clients for this feature story was such a pleasure. We talked about home design and décor, but it’s about more than that. It’s about the feeling of home. About why this stuff matters. The story of how she got into this work, which we get into in the feature, is really something. Long story short, Galey has learned the hard way how important home spaces are.
As this issue was being put together, I was in the process of buying a new home. A new home that, if all goes well, I will have moved into and started decorating by the time you read this. I’ll definitely take a few tips from my talk with Galey while I’m getting things the way I like them.