Meet HGTV’s Newest Star, Galey Alix of ‘Home in a Heartbeat’

HGTV has a new show and design superstar in the making: Galey Alixhost of “Home in a Heartbeat With Galey Alix.”

The schtick? Alix is ​​a Wall Street executive who, due to her day job, completes her renovations in one weekend. She also allows her clients to decide the budget they want to spend.

Given this weekend warrior is calling all the shots with the design without the homeowners’ input, that leaves a lot of room for error. Does she deliver?

In the series premiere, “Dallas Palace,” Alix travels to Boca Raton, FL, to help a married couple Rachel and Jason McCarthy update their living room and main bedroom. These parents of two are using their L-shaped front room as a play area, but they’d like to make this awkwardly designed space more stylish and functional. Alix has $40,000 and only three days to pull it off.

“To complete all of this in 72 hours is basically impossible, but I love a challenge,” Alix says of the project. “And it’s all worth it because, in my heart, I know this is going to change their lives for the better.”

Here’s what she does, with plenty of lessons that might open your eyes to all you could do to your own abode in one weekend, too.

A faux fireplace is almost as good as the real thing

empty wall
Before: Galey Alix wanted to give this plain room a feature statement.


Alix wants to give her clients a fireplace in their new living room. But she admits there’s just one problem: “It’s Florida, so a wood-burning fireplace doesn’t really make sense.”

So the designer made a fireplace out of foam and covered it with Venetian plaster to make it look like a cement feature. It’s a creative solution that elevates the room in a cost-effective way.

“This fireplace is giving you a room that you can have family memories in forever,” Alix tells her clients on reveal day. “And it also just makes it super cozy.”

After: This fake fireplace is made out of foam.


Add beams to show off ceiling height

living room
Before: This living room was large and tall.


Alix notices that the front room has a high ceiling and wants to highlight this feature with wood beams.

“These beams are going to instantly elevate this ceiling and make the whole room feel really high-end,” says Alix.

Still, she doesn’t want these new beams to look too new, so she ages them in a unique way.

“When I’m trying to make wood look aged, instead of staining it, I like to get it dirty, roll it around in dirt, wack it with things, and I get it looking really old really quickly,” Alix says. “It makes it look more authentic, and it costs zero dollars.”

After: These beams bring the eye up.


When Alix finally showed her clients their finished home, they were impressed with this living room.

Previously, this area felt like “a big, empty space,” Alix explained. But with the beams, “you really get a sense of how tall the ceiling is and how big this room really is.”

Section off big rooms for better use of space

awkward room
Before: This living room extension was awkward.


While Alix creates a proper living and dining room in the front room, she doesn’t know what to do with the attached space she calls “no man’s land” just around the corner.

This area sits between the kitchen and the bedroom. So while it’s technically part of the living room, it feels strange to entertain right outside the main suite.

“It’s the most difficult space I’ve ever tried to design,” Alix says.

glass cabinets
After: These glass cabinets separate the two spaces and create a second room.


She decides to add glass cabinets to either side of the opening, which Alix says will help “differentiate that room from the rest but also not close it off.” However, she realized that glass would be both valuable and potentially dangerous for this family’s two active children.

So Alix swaps glass heats with acrylic. Once the cabinets are in, she is thrilled with the room’s new private feel as well as the materials used.

“The acrylic glass we went with for these cabinets is perfect. It’s lightweight, safer for the kids, and it looks amazing,” she says.

Bigger doorways make a bigger impression

bedroom door
Before: This bedroom door was a traditional size.


With the cabinets up, “no man’s land” becomes an elegant breezeway that separates the main bedroom from the rest of the house. To finish this transition space, Alix opens up the bedroom entryway and adds a large barn door.

“A quick way to make this space feel elevated is just to open up the entry way and add bigger custom doors,” Alix says. “Anytime you have oversized anything, it immediately feels more expensive.”

barn door
After: This barn door creates a grand entrance.


Sure enough, the finished bedroom door makes the entry look grander. And with a matching door leading to the kitchen mirroring it on the other side of the room, this space feels well-designed and symmetrical.

Molding provides a cheap but elegant update

Before: This bedroom needed a refresh.


While Rachel and Jason ask Alix to renovate their living room, they have no idea that she also plans to fix up their bedroom as well. The HGTV star surprises this couple with an updated design, including new furniture and crown molding.

“The ceiling is really low here, so by doing all these vertical lines, it’s going to make the ceiling appear to be taller,” Alix says.

In the end, the molding makes this room seem bigger and more elegant.

After: Molding elevates this main bedroom.