When Heather Fujikawa was growing up in Salt Lake City, she would often join her mother during work. “You’re gonna help style,” her mom, an interior designer, would tell Heather and her twin sister, Heidi Andrews. The girls would cut and arrange flowers and fluff pillows. Heather says this “apprenticeship from a young age” instilled a lifelong passion for interior design.
But at her mother’s urging, Heather, who now runs House Sprucing, a North Texas home design service, majored in communications instead of interior design at Brigham Young University. Then she married her husband, Tyson, and she founded a fashion accessories business. Heather and Tyson moved to Italy in 2011 for a few years before returning to the U.S. and settling in Texas in 2013.
“That was a hard move,” Heather says, and she wondered what she was going to do here in Texas. She knew she needed something that she was “stimulated and fascinated by.” She and Tyson had a baby in 2015 and built a house. Then, while she was pregnant with twins in 2016, Heather decided it was time to officially dive into home design.
“I was like, ‘if I don’t launch this business now, then I never will after the babies get out of my tummy,’” she says. “I’ll have all the excuses to say no.”
So, Heather hosted a home décor market at her house with items from all over the world, officially launching Heather Fujikawa Design. She’d help people plan remodels and style their space. Heather describes her style as “new traditional.” She likes a classic look mixed with modern, organic, and European elements. Everything has a “joyful living-inspired design,” her mantra. Pieces are kid-friendly and livable. They can handle wine spills. They can handle children jumping all over them.
“You can have both things,” she says. “You can have nice things and you can have a life too.”
For a time, Heather’s business “was a just a one-woman show.” But then UPtv approached her with a proposition: How would Heather; her sister Heidi, who’s also a designer; and their families like to make a family-centered home-makeover reality TV show? They had been asked to make a show before, but Heather says this one felt right.
“It was so easy to hand over our life and the keys to our home,” Heather says. Heidi’s whole family moved into Heather’s house, and together they filmed for seven weeks. Design Twins, which premiered in 2019, follows Heather and Heidi as they launched Joyful Living, an interior design company.
After the show aired, Heather got pregnant with her fourth child and planned to scale back on her design business. But then, her husband Tyson lost his job, and asked Heather if they could go all in and scale up the business instead.
“I put on my boots, and we went to work,” she says, building up their design company. It’s now called Habitat Studio. (The company name changed to House Sprucing in 2020 after they merged with a local business, already called House Sprucing, from Highland Village.)
“I’ve always wanted to be a business owner,” says Tyson. “I’ve always wanted to work with Heather.”
The business was the same as what Heather did before: helping clients design their spaces, picking furnishings and window treatments, planning remodels and new constructions. It’s been a ton of work—“late nights, early mornings, nonstop work, don’t count my hours”—especially with four small children, says Heather, but empowering.
The scale-up happened quickly, too. They grew their staff to 20, provide services in 20-plus states, and have worked on more than 200 homes. Design Twins, which fizzled in the pandemic, helped. It created demand and gave them credibility, Tyson says, and let people get to know Heather. “She’s such a joyful, happy, energetic person that people want to work with,” he says, and people could see that on the show.
The couple, who were working out of a small Frisco studio, never planned to open a storefront. But as the business grew and the pandemic nearly halted furniture supply chains, “we thought we can really get ahead of the game and provide a much more elevated design experience,” says Tyson, “if we can have more inventory on hand for our clients.”
So, in June 2021 they started looking for a showroom. They wanted something central and easy for people to get to from across D-FW. In October, they signed a lease on a 10,000-square-foot Carrollton office space, not far from the Dallas North Tollway. The building was “a drop-down-ceiling labyrinth” of cubicles, Tyson says. It took months to renovate. The store, which is called House Sprucing, finally opened late last summer.
The bright and airy space is a bit of a maze, filled with living room vignettes, carpet displays, and walls of side tables. The Fugikawas source their pieces from markets across the country and the world—in addition to their sojourn to Italy, Tyson also lived in Spain. “It’s really important for me to bring a different point of view to Dallas,” Heather says.
Since they opened, Heather says House Sprucing has been a “great place for clients to come” and check out their stock, but they’ve also gotten plenty of walk-ins. They’ll welcome anyone. “I want it to be approachable for people to walk in and feel like they can shop here.”
People can try out the furniture, run a hand over textiles, see how a chair pairs with other pieces. The store is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and the team will also host pop-ups, holiday events, and one-on-one “shop & style” sessions—private consultations with Heather—in store.
Their hope is to inspire “joyful living” for all their clientele in the store and the rest of their business. And, natch, they’ll keep scaling it up, Heather says. “The sky’s the limit.”