Alex Hechart, who grew up in Anniston, recently started a home design service with her mother, Donna Woodfin. Based in Birmingham, “Home with Hechart” offers design services as well as a shopping website for home goods.
The mother-daughter duo offer design services by the hour (for design ideas, party prep or holiday decorating), by the room or by the project.
The online shop, HomeWithHechart.com, features pillows, rugs, mirrors, fireplace screens, ottomans, dressers, lamps, linens, glassware, tableware, gifts and more.
The Star posed 10 questions to the design duo:
Why did y’all decide to start a design business?
Alex: We decided to start Home with Hechart because we’ve always loved decorating and playing around with interior design together. Growing up, we were always redoing our house or sprucing up a room. We would go to furniture stores, and we were always so excited about every project. We knew that we could have fun and bring value to people who want to improve their space.
When you’re working together on a design project, who does what?
Alex: On a design project, I do most of the technical work like digital layout and design. Then, we work together on selecting pieces, colors, finishes and accessories for the room or home.
Donna: Alex will often give me several options and then let me choose which items I like best for a space. We collaborate closely on every project.
How would you describe your approach to design?
Alex: I would say that we approach design with an emphasis on traditional feel with modern touches. I’m drawn to more color, Mom is drawn to neutrals. Together, we can design spaces that feel complete and look beautiful.
Your latest project was designing Donna’s new house. What was that like?
Alex: My mom’s house was completely empty, and it was a newly built house, which gave us lots of freedom to update the space with everything you can think of — furniture, lighting, area rugs, paint, art, etc. We got to totally personalize the home to her taste. It was a top to bottom redecoration, and we loved it!
What trends do you see this fall in terms of colors and textures?
Alex: While we tend to be more classic and traditional, we love the colors coming back into design trends, and the great velvets and richer textured fabrics that we’re seeing for fall. The best part about fall trends is that you can experiment with natural textures and colors in your current space, like adding pumpkins and mums to your favorite front porch planters or benches.
Are we moving away from the “modern farmhouse” look?
Alex: We see the industry moving away from the modern farmhouse style, but we can still incorporate the best parts of that design trend into new styles and spaces. For example, if a client loves the rustic farmhouse table, we can give tips on how to make it look more modern and cohesive in their current space. We always want to include elements that our clients love into any project — no matter the trend.
What are some of your favorite objects available on your website?
Alex: Some of my favorite things are our lighting options. We have awesome lamps and hanging lights, and it is a great way to update your room quickly and with big impact.
Donna: I love our glassware, because investing in new glasses or plates can make your kitchen look and feel more refreshed. It’s also so fun to have them when entertaining friends and family.
If people want to give their home a quick update for fall, what would you recommend they do?
Alex: Something that would quickly elevate a front porch would be some beautiful planters with mums. They could pair it with a timeless boxwood wreath (we’re about to get some for the website) that can be seasonal with colorful ribbon or even other greenery.
Also, we always recommend that our clients clean out closets and spaces to keep their home from feeling cluttered. A clean and fresh room is always a great place to start before a redesign.
Alex, what’s your favorite thing in your house?
My favorite things are my antique Persian rugs. They were a bit of a splurge, but I love the way they tie together my home. We encourage clients to invest in items they love and build a room around them. I also always keep the chamomile lavender LAFCO candle (available on Home with Hechart) burning in our house, and now it just smells like home.
Donna, what’s your favorite thing in your house?
I have always treasured the oil paintings of my daughters. They have moved beautifully into my new space, and I love how they easily work with any room style. When we were decorating my new home, we loved finding a space for them with more modern pieces that we have on our website, like my dining room lamps.