At her interior design firm, Leigh Ann Harris helps people find a balance between timeless and trendy at home.
Leigh Ann Harris wasted no time in deciding what she wanted to be when she grew up. As a first-grader, she watched her best friend’s family’s interior designer bring different furniture and décor into their home. With every new piece, Leigh Ann’s interest in interior design increased. She pictured herself in the position of the designer – the person whose job it was to create beautiful living spaces for this family, one carefully chosen piece at a time.
“I just thought it looked like so much fun,” she says. She was poised to find out first-hand how enjoyable it was once she became an adult. The Birmingham native earned her bachelor’s degree in interior design from Auburn University. She went on to work as a senior designer for Urban Grace Interiors in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. In 2014, she launched Burrow Interior Design, a firm offering residential and commercial design services.
She and her husband, Brent, eventually relocated to Birmingham. The move marked a new chapter for the couple and Leigh Ann’s business. Hoover—specifically, Bluff Park—was on her radar as she considered where to base her design firm.
“I love the community among neighbors that Bluff Park fosters, which is why upon moving back to Birmingham, my husband and I knew we wanted to live here,” she says. “I opened my interior design studio in Bluff Park in 2016, and after a year of being in the space, I decided I wasn’t utilizing it to its fullest potential.”
She wanted to meld her interior design services with a retail experience for people, meeting multiple needs in one space. “I knew that if I did, I’d have their support, and hopefully their patronage.”
On the retail side of Burrow, Leigh Ann hopes the shop continues to be somewhere residents know they can find trinkets, clothing and other special gifts or treats for themselves. On the interiors side, her vision is to continue to provide the same valuable services to her clients nationwide, helping them feel more at home in their spaces through space planning, furniture selection and procurement.
Although she’s based in Bluff Park, Leigh Ann has completed projects as far away as Oregon.
“I would say my proudest moments are when I can help my clients realize the full potential of their homes,” she says. “I love working on beach houses, and have completed several. Second homes are always fun projects, as the clients usually like to have a little more fun with design.”
In recent months, Leigh Ann has seen people gravitate toward light and airy design selections, which makes sense given the impact people’s surroundings can have on their mood. “Design affects mood, so having that light and airy home can be a definite mood booster,” she says. “But I always stress to my clients that I want the bones of their design to be timeless, with a few trendier pieces in the mix that can be easily swapped out. And, if there’s something you like, we’ll make it work.”
Leigh Ann stresses the importance of the design of someone’s home having a positive effect. Much of her job is listening to a person’s preferences and figuring out ways to fulfill them in a space. “My main approach with clients is to first discuss how they want their space to work for them — how can we modify it so it becomes functional for their lifestyle and family,” she says. “After we determine that, the rest of the design is a piece of cake.”