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Courtesy of MasterClass

Almost all the comments on Studio McGee’s Instagram posts end with a question mark. Where is the stone from? Can you tell me the wall paint color? What are the dimensions on your pool house? Cofounder and chief creative officer Shea McGee has all of your answers, and if you want to learn what they are (and more), now you can through Sessions by MasterClass. The interior designer and host of Netflix’s Dream Home Makeover is the latest pro to join the platform. Starting today, you can tune in as she shows members how they can create a space to fit their personal style and budget. “I wanted to give people the nudge they need to take on a project that really can have a dramatic impact on their lives, without making some of the costly or timely mistakes that beginners in any arena tend to make,” says the designer. The session is broken up into eight parts, and the monthly subscription starts at $15. 

Unlike other design courses on MasterClass, McGee starts with a blank living room and builds it up from there by compiling fabric schemes, creating a mood board, picking out lighting, and more. Along the way, she shares many of her dos (like do mark your furniture placement with blue tape on the floor before you actually move anything in). Her don’ts? McGee revealed to us that there are two mistakes she often sees when people are laying out a living room: “One is buying furniture that doesn’t fit in the space, and the other is not considering the flow of the room and how it leads into the rest of the home,” she shares. Let’s break those down a little more…

Mistake No. 1: Wrong Furniture Size

Logic will tell you that a small room requires petite furniture, but in reality, substantial pieces that fill a space look and feel better. “Too-small furniture can leave a living room feeling cold and bare, and adversely, too-large furniture can make it feel closed in and unwelcoming,” says McGee. In the past, the designer has advised to buy that larger sofa and coffee table, and then if you are running tight on room, sub in a slim floor lamp for a traditional side table. 

Mistake No. 2: No Flow

If you’re constantly shuffling and scooting around your couch or side chairs, then your living room isn’t set up for success. “How the space functions is just as important as how it looks and feels, and often fixing the function will organically fix the look,” says McGee. A round coffee table offers more walking space in the middle of the room, plus peppering in benches and stools provides extra seating that’s also easy to navigate around.