Adding Layers in the McGee Home Refresh

Shea's steps for creating a more traditional, dressed up look in her family's living room.

14 February –

Adding Layers in the McGee Home Refresh
01 Playful Office Space

While Shea loved her previous space, as her style evolved and trends came and went, she envisioned a more traditional and dressed-up space for her family to lounge. She wanted the design to feel elevated yet livable.

As a designer of both homes and products, Shea uses her home as a canvas to experiment with different designs using new colors, textiles, and furniture. It is also an opportunity for her to test out and live with the pieces she is designing for McGee & Co. As her style has evolved, Shea has been more drawn to a more traditional and dressier look. This living room refresh reflects the evolution.

For the living room, Shea wanted it to feel moodier, layered, and more full. The first thing she purchased for the living room was a vintage rug from McGee & Co. The color palette consisted of soft green, gold, and a hint of brown, and served as the jumping-off point for the rest of the room’s design. Watch the webisode below to see Shea walk you through the living room and get more information about the design details in the space.

“Give yourself permission to live in a space and have it change and evolve with you.”

Shea McGee


Architectural Interest
Adding dimension to a flat wall.

Shea started with the ceilings in the living room with a goal to make the space feel cozier. In the previous design, the ceiling had wood and steel trusses giving the space a more industrial look. To warm up the room she added tongue and groove between the trusses, boxed out and covered the steel beams, then painted the entire ceiling Natural Cream by Benjamin Moore. These additions provided a softer look and made the ceiling feel closer so the room didn’t feel as vast and empty. Shea also switched out the rustic chandelier for the Philomena Chandelier from McGee & Co. The curves of the chandelier tied into the curved furniture and architectural swoops.

One of the major pain points in the main living space was that there was not much separation between the living room and the staircase, and it felt very flat. To create division, Shea added a two-story curved opening between the staircase and living room.

The last detail Shea added to the living room was plastering the brick behind the fireplace from floor to ceiling. It was a subtle change, but provided a lot of texture and movement to the space.


Opulent Upholstery
Embracing luxurious textiles for a finished look.

Shea kept the layout of her living room furniture relatively the same because it works for the space and they enjoy having a sofa that faces the television. Shea styled the Byron Chairs in Chai Velvet with the Orla Side Table to allow a passageway to the rest of the living area.

The Scaletta Bench from McGee & Co. is a McGee family favorite for beauty and function, Margot enjoys jumping off of it. Shea chose to switch out the previous woven bench for an upholstered slip skirt bench for a more traditional look. Styling the pieces around the bench, Shea followed the height of the staircase starting with the floor lamp down to the accent stool.


Statement Pieces
Adding bold impact.

Shea was inspired by the cushions that already came with the Wilhelmina Slipcover Sofa. This sparked the idea to style two matching lumbar pillows in a bold pattern. The rich color of the pillows ties into the rug and other materials in the space to create a unifying punch which Shea describes as the hero textile.

Flanking the sofa, Shea chose a gold statement lamp that brings unexpected modernity to the traditional space. To balance the look she added a Burl Wood Side Table on the opposite end.

Behind the main sofa, Shea styled the Noralee Console, which has a really interesting fluting detail, that adds texture to the room. The McGee kids frequently pull up a counter stool to have a snack on the console table with a view of the television.


A Place to Display
A layered look for all the treasures.

When Shea was designing the living room she recognized all of the upholstery she had added to the layout, and knew she wanted to go with a wooden antique coffee table to balance the soft linen and velvet. It also provided another surface to showcase beautiful decor.

The ottomans and leather chair were the answers to Shea’s goal of adding more to the living room. The leather chair was stolen from Syd’s office and the tone ties in with the coffee table perfectly. The ottomans are mixed material with a curved frame that complements the curves in the rest of the area.

For the built-in cabinets on the sides of the fireplace, Shea suggests shopping from your own home. To style the cabinets she took everything out and started from scratch by making new groupings, rearranging, and adding pieces she already had.


Pattern Play
Setting the tone with different prints.

Textiles set the tone of a room and have the ability to change the feeling in a space. Shea said when designing her home choosing pillows was more stressful than changing the exterior because she knew exactly what she wanted on the exterior. Inside, Shea wanted a mix of old and new pillows that had a variety of patterns ranging from floral to gingham. Although there are multiple patterns within the space the colors feel unified. Shea was thrilled to have the Hildegard Sofa as a backdrop for the textiles, because of all the details. The sofa has a streamlined take on a traditional shape with comfortable, padded roll arms and brass caster legs.


Sentimental Treasures
Layering little pieces for a personal touch.

On a recent trip to Mallorca, Spain, Shea walked into a local ceramic shop where a woman was making vases, and she knew she had to have one to put in the corner of her living room. The Marlow Pedestal was the perfect pair for the ceramic vase providing the right amount of contrast. The artwork behind the pedestal, Cotswald Morning by McKenzie Dove, is another sentimental piece Shea had in her collection.

Date Posted
14 February