How To: Decorate like Studio McGee


Utah-Based Studio McGee founders, Shae and Syd, are known for their e-commerce brand McGee & Co and their Netflix show Dream Home Makeover. They build and design houses that feel timeless with the use of both modern and traditional elements. Like Amber Interiors, Studio McGee's style tends to lean transitional. However, in comparison, Studio McGee often uses clean modern lines which makes their spaces feel slightly more minimalistic and polished. The pieces they decorate with can be sourced secondhand and I am here to tell you what to look out for on your next thrift trip or marketplace hunt.

Creamy Tones & Warm Woods

If you have watched Dream Home Makeover, you will know that Studio Mcgee is a big fan of white and off-white. They often use white as the base colour for their spaces. However, to warm up the room they incorporate creamy ceramics and wood tones in their decor and finishes. Next time you are at the thrift store, keep an eye out for white clay pottery, creamy vases, warm wood bowls, and wood trays.

Vintage & Antiques

Studio McGee is the master of incorporating vintage pieces with modern items. Most of their spaces will include a couple of vintage items, whether it be a rug, a vintage vase, or art. I would say this is one area where Studio McGee’s style differs from Amber Interiors. While Amber Interiors will incorporate multiple vintage pieces, Studio Mcgee uses them as a feature piece with more modern elements. Vintage items and antiques are abundant at thrift stores and places like Kijiji or Marketplace. Incorporating too many of these pieces can date the space, but when you add them thoughtfully, they bring warmth and character to a room.

Modern Abstract Art

Art is something that makes a statement in a room and Studio McGee does not shy away from it. When they are not using vintage prints and painting, they are incorporating large abstract pieces. You can't always find these at the thrift store or secondhand online, but you can find old canvases and frames that are waiting to be upcycled. The great thing about Abstract Art is that it can be and look like anything.

For example, the piece of art above was one I made based on an image I liked from Pinterest.

Mixed Patterns and Textures

Left, Right

Whether it's pillows on a sofa or layered linens on a bed, Studio Mcgee, plays up the texture by using subtle patterns. Shae uses neutral and muted colours to keep everything calm and cohesive. Textiles are super common at thrift stores. If you cannot find a premade throw pillow cover, walk down the scrap fabric aisle and see if you can find patterns and textures you like. Choose a couple of fabrics or covers that have complementary tones to ensure they work well together.

Wicker Storage Baskets

Something you will see frequently throughout a Studio McGee home is the use of wicker storage baskets. If you have kiddos, this is both an extremely functional and aesthetically pleasing way to store toys and belongings. You will not struggle to find these secondhand. Look for baskets, boxes, and bowls like this one for storage.

Oversized Vases

The decor item that Studio Mcgee likes to use to make a statement is an oversized vase. Occasionally they will be filled with greenery but they often stand alone as a sculptural piece. This is one of their go-to decor items for styling an entrance or dining table. The thrift stores are filled with vases in need of upcycling. Each vase in this collection was sourced from a different secondhand shop. The tall black one has been painted as its original form was outdated. Giving items like these a fresh coat of paint will double their lifetime.

Studio McGee has made its mark in the design world in many ways. Due to their Netflix show, they are known by the masses for their large home renos and designs. Their transitional design style combines the new with the old to make a home that feels warm and homey.

Another designer that has mastered this style is Amber Interiors. You can read our blog on how to replicate their style here.