By Anna Kocharian

Published on October 17, 2018

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Shea and Syd McGee have long been a driving force of inspiration for us—between their blog, full-service design firm, and insane home renovations, we rarely find ourselves at a shortage of ideas that inspire. Their carefully curated aesthetic is a consistent thread amongst each and every one of their creative endeavors, all of which embody their signature approachable style. We caught up with Shea to talk all things design and the one spot she turns to when in need of a recharge.

Describe your style in three words: Airy, collected, approachable.

I’m 10 times more productive when: I’m at home and the kids are asleep. There are no distractions!

On the weekends you can find me: In the mountains, taking a weekend trip to the beach, or going for bike rides with my family. No matter where we travel, we always end up on a bike ride.

My biggest design splurge was: We’re currently designing our own home and I snagged a pair of antique pine pocket doors on eBay. I’m dreaming about using them for our pantry or laundry room doors!

The one item I can’t live without is: 
My phone! I make notes for myself constantly, maintain checklists, and it keeps me scheduled (therefore, sane).

My space is inspired by: I’m always inspired by the outdoors. I love spaces that feel airy with a lot of natural light. Going on a bike ride or taking a drive up the canyon with my family not only helps clear my head but it influences a lot of the work I do.

The best part of doing what I do is: I love to install projects with the team and see every last detail we poured our blood, sweat, and tears into come to fruition. If it’s not that, it’s getting the batch of photos back and watching the video tour with the entire company!

What’s the biggest design risk you took that paid off?
It’s no secret I love a good white room, but every time we’ve decided to go dark in a space it’s always been worth the risk! I think every home should have a dark and moody room somewhere to mix things up a bit.

Name a designer who is currently inspiring you.

I’m really inspired by several designers from the UK right now. They have restraint and fuss in all the right places. They are thoughtful in how they use light and combine new and old in a seamless and unassuming way.

What’s a throwback design trend you’re hoping will make a return?

I’m glad to see an updated version of wood paneling come back. Also, stone is timeless, but it got a bad reputation for how it’s been done in really tacky ways in the past. I hope to see more of it done right.

Describe the moment you knew you wanted to do something with design.

I was surrounded by design growing up and always felt like I had good taste but I didn’t really consider myself a creative. I graduated with a degree in Public Relations and it wasn’t until we bought and remodeled our first home that myself that it became a complete obsession! I took a couple of interior design classes and started consulting for friends and neighbors. With every project, I built a little more confidence and I’ve been hooked since.

What does winning the Blogger Award mean to you?
It’s incredibly flattering! No, we don’t do this for the accolades — but they are still extremely nice to have! Domino was the first magazine that really sparked my excitement for design all those years ago. It’s definitely a pinch-me moment that you guys even know who I am. Being part of a community that’s recognized for putting so much work into sharing and creating content is so rewarding. Thank you, thank you.

Studio McGee is the winner of the Best Interior Design blog in the Domino Design Blog Awards.