Shea McGee Has Loved This Faucet Style Since Her Very First Reno

Now it’s a staple in her Kohler collection.
Lydia Geisel Avatar
woman leaning on bathroom vanity
Courtesy of Kohler

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When Shea McGee was asked by Kohler to collaborate on an exclusive collection of faucets, showerheads, vanities, and accessories, she went straight to the brand’s archives. Kohler’s industrial designer, Margaret Mazz, sent the Studio McGee cofounder images from black-and-white catalogs ranging from 1914 to 1931. The goal wasn’t to replicate any specific period, Mazz points out, but rather to strike that perfect balance between old and new with this fresh assortment. “When I’m shopping, things are either really contemporary and clean or very floral and traditional,” says McGee, “and I wanted to find a sweet spot with details like coining, engraving, and ribbing on glass.” The full collection will be available online starting October 2 and in stores September 29. In the meantime, we got the designer’s take on the basics of picking out kitchen and bathroom fixtures:  

Where I start in the bathroom: 

My process is to keep all the plumbing fixtures matching. So if it’s your bathroom faucet and your showerhead, we’re not going to mix those—we do the same collection and the same finish. Then you have the opportunity to play when it comes to the finish of your lighting or cabinet hardware (those are the places that I mix it up). 

shower system
brass faucet

The longtime kitchen love I’m bringing back: 

I just love a bridge faucet. I’ve been using them forever. In fact, my very first home that helped start Studio McGee had a Kohler bridge faucet. I don’t think they’re going anywhere. They give a presence to the sink area, and ours have a side spray, so you don’t lose any practicality. 

What I really think about matte black finishes:

Matte black goes with a lot, but I think it depends on what you’re putting around that finish. If everything else feels trendy or all black and white, you’re going to wear it out. But if you’re adding softness with oak tones to warm things up, it won’t date.

black tub filler
pot filler

Why I still love this semi-controversial kitchen accessory: 

Pot fillers serve two purposes: One is functional, one is aesthetic. Often, you end up with this gap of space between the top of the range and the hood, and a pot filler gives you this beautiful, architectural interest. Then you can use it. I’ll do a big pot of potatoes, and I like to be able to keep the pot on my stove. I know people think that they won’t use a pot filler, but I haven’t had that experience.

My rule for hanging pendant lamps over islands:

The best range is anywhere from 34 to 42 inches over your tabletop, depending on ceiling height. Thirty-six inches is a very easy number to remember, so start there: Hold it up, step back, and then you can see if it needs to be adjusted. 

Lydia Geisel Avatar

Lydia Geisel

Home Editor

Lydia Geisel has been on the editorial team at Domino since 2017. Today, she writes and edits home and renovation stories, including house tours, before and afters, and DIYs, and leads our design news coverage. She lives in New York City.