Real estate and home design occupy adjacent realms, but crossover feels rare—or at least hidden from view. Particularly in high-end design, those who straddle the two fields seem to pull it off behind the curtain. “It feels like this secret road map or something,” says Raleigh, North Carolina–based designer Heather Garrett. “It was so hard for me to figure out [how] designers are doing this whole amalgam of things, how they got there and how they’re actually doing [it].”
Courtesy of Heather Garrett Design
Garrett’s interest in real estate was piqued in 2016, when she received a call from an agent asking if a former client could use her professional project photography for their listing, showcasing the home’s extensive remodel in an editorial light. Shortly thereafter, two more clients contacted her for the same reason, and every house sold within a few weeks—one within a day—of hitting the market.
The secret, in this case, is not so secret: Garrett’s designs increased the value of each home, and the furnishings in her project photos negated the need for a stager. When she realized how much the total package was worth from remodel to resale, the wheels started turning. “I [was] somehow missing out on the benefit of all of this work,” she tells Business of Home. “If I could adopt [real