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In July 2020, Shea McGee realized the home she and her husband, Syd, had just spent a year building didn’t feel quite right. So she took to her blog to share a few of the details that bothered her most: The hidden doors in the barrel archway were tricky to open, the vaulted ceiling in the living room felt too vast, and—despite the home’s impressive 7,500-square-foot size—there wasn’t enough closet space. But as most of us would, the designer decided to live with the choices she made. That is, at least for three years.

The McGees spent the better part of 2023 remodeling their relatively brand-new house and recently revealed all the tweaks they made in a video on their YouTube channel. Read on to discover their biggest regrets and how they ultimately fixed them. 

The Regret: No natural light in the pantry. 

The Fix: Leaning into the darkness by painting the cabinetry a very saturated army green. The swatch they landed on? Inspiration by Portola Paints

The Regret: A tucked-away porch that flattened the look of the house. 

The Fix: Creating dimension with a larger copper roof, double columns, and custom bifold shutters along the upper windows.  

The Regret: A painted brick fireplace that reads as too farmhouse-y. 

The Fix: Plaster! “I would plaster my whole house if I could,” Shea admits in the video. 

The Regret: A full open-concept dining room.

The Fix: Framing the space with interior side-light windows and swathing the walls in a botanical Pierre Frey wallpaper. “I always love simplicity, but for me this remodel is about the addition of character to our home,” says Shea. 

The Regret: A flat wall that spans the stairwell and living room. 

The Fix: Incorporating what Syd likes to call a “swoopy addition,” or two nonstructural columns with decorative corbels, to help create a sense of separation between the two areas.

The Regret: Steel and wood trusses that were “just a little too rugged.” 

The Fix: Covering up the metal accents with wood, painting the whole thing a warm gray hue, and adding tongue-and-groove paneling in between the beamwork.