Here's Why Galey Alix Uses Hearts on Social Media and in Her Designs
'The hearts are a reminder to the home that what I'm leaving behind was created with love, but they're also a reminder to myself of what these families have done for my own heart's recovery.'
Viral content creator Galey Alix is an outspoken advocate for spreading happiness. In fact, the Wall Street executive shared so much love across social media with her home designs, she landed her own HGTV show, Home in a Heartbeat With Galey Alix, where she refreshes one of her Instagram followers’ homes in the timespan of just a few days.
If you're a longtime follower of Galey, you've probably noticed she's obsessed with hearts. She incorporates them into her designs, usually by stenciling them onto clients’ walls with inspiring notes before painting over them, like a secret message from her to the home. In photos, you'll often see her making a heart shape with her hands. We're calling it her signature pose — and it turns out it has everything to do with her struggle with mental illness.
“Ever since I started my mental health recovery, I felt like I kept seeing hearts everywhere. For example, after I finished my extensive therapy treatment, it was January and a tree in front of my house started dropping leaves for the first time (thousands of them) and they were all in a perfect little heart shape,” says Galey. “It felt like some sort of message at the time, but I didn't quite understand what the message was.”
The design guru — who tells HGTV she's "terrified of looking straight at the camera" in photos (hence classic baseball cap and "heart post") — says around the time she felt healthy enough to jump back into social media post-recovery, she saw strangers had messaged her about helping them with their homes.
“I was alone, I was recovering from battling myself, my fiancé had just left me before our wedding, and I didn't know how I'd ever feel okay again,” says Galey. “So ... I started to say yes to these requests — even though I had no design experience and still worked in finance full-time. By saying yes to them, I was saying yes to my heart.”
She started renovating people’s homes over a weekend and doing surprise reveals. The joy from her clients' reactions became addictive.
“The hearts are a reminder to the home that what I'm leaving behind was created with love, but they're also a reminder to myself of what these families have done for my own heart's recovery.”
“Today, three years later, I find a way to leave some sort of heart in every project. I've drawn hearts on walls behind oven hoods before installing them, I've painted hearts on large blank walls before hanging wallpaper, I'll draw a heart with my finger in the thinset before placing tile on top of it,” says Galey. “The hearts are a reminder to the home that what I'm leaving behind was created with love, but they're also a reminder to myself of what these homes and families have done for my own heart's recovery.”