Shea McGee’s name seems to pop up in our offices at least once a week. Mainly because the spaces that she designs are truly lovely. But also because from the moment we spotted this nursery on Instagram…it was all over for us. We basically got on our hands and knees and begged Shea to sit down with us to and talk shop, inspiration and all things McGee Fabulous.
SMP: What’s the best piece of design advice you’ve ever received?
Shea: The things you love are worth the wait – true in life and in decorating. My formal dining room is still not finished based on this advice. I think it’s worth it to wait (within reason, of course) and save for major pieces that you will love for years to come.
SMP: When it comes to designing for clients, what’s the one thing you always convince them to splurge on? And where do you typically save?
Shea: I usually convince clients to splurge on designer pillow fabrics and save on rugs. Some clients scoff at first over the price of a throw pillow, but they usually come around once we compare the difference. Designer prints really stand out and elevate the entire room. I love using neutral rugs like seagrass and jute because they are design classics that are very budget-friendly. I also find great wool rugs (often on sale) at Pottery Barn, West Elm and Rugs USA.
SMP: Tell us a little bit about your own home…
Shea: My husband and I bought our first home two years ago and have poured a lot of time and love into transforming into a bright and happy retreat in our little beach town in San Clemente, CA.
It started out as a typical Orange County tract home – brown and beige everywhere. Not exactly what I had in mind for our “dream home”, but it had an awesome lot, great natural light and the perfect floor plan for our future family.
We renovated the kitchen, changed out the floors, added moulding, built-ins and paint – and then we were finally ready to add furniture. As a designer, I naturally had a few specific pieces in mind, but the rest of the process has been very organic – collecting pieces along the way.
SMP: Well, to say we’re in love with your house would be a massive understatement. What was the inspiration behind your décor?
Shea: It is important to me to live in bright, clean spaces and be surrounded by things that I love. Nearly every single decision in our home has been made based on the can’t stop thinking about it principle. I pour over magazines and Pinterest until I find a look or idea that I just can’t get out of my head – when that happens (and my husband agrees), I know it’s right for our house.
SMP: If you had to choose, what’s your favorite item in your home?
Shea: My favorite item in our home is the Paule Marrot “Feathers” artwork in the family room. It’s unabashedly pink and brings a very neutral space to life – I’m so glad I just went for it. My favorite room in our home, however, is my daughter Wren’s nursery. I had my eye on that wallpaper for years and ordered it as soon as I found out I was having a girl. It is made by Cole & Sons and available at Anthropologie.
SMP: I’m kind of obsessed with how clean and organized everything feels. Any tips for creative storage or organizing solutions? Where is all your stuff!
Shea: Baskets, baskets, baskets! They look great next to a sofa, under a console or in a closet. I keep them all over the house to store toys, blankets, and fabric samples. Whenever I find a good one at Target or HomeGoods, I snatch it up immediately. We also try really hard to give away the things we aren’t using anymore to someone who will.
SMP: One color that will stand the test of time?
Shea: White is always right. Walls, trim, furniture, or décor, white is clean and chic regardless of the style or era.