How To Decorate Like Studio McGee

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How to decorate like Studio McGee

There are a lot of amazing design studios out there at the moment, but one of my absolute favorites is Studio McGee.

Created by Shea and Syd McGee in 2014, Studio McGee is all about cozy home living, lots of texture and an ever-evolving sense of style.

In this article, we’ll be looking at how to decorate your home in the Studio McGee style and some of the best places to get Studio McGee-esque pieces from (including a link to all my favorite dupes!).

studio mcgee mudroom with blue cabinets and traditional light fixtures

All images featured in this post belong to Studio McGee

Have you seen Dream Home Makeover on Netflix? The show is all about Studio McGee helping families renovate their homes. If you haven’t already, find the popcorn, get the weighted blanket out and stick it on.

Trust me on this one, you’ll love it! Personally, what I loved most about the series was watching Shea’s process and understanding her design approach.


Watch my video instead!!

What is the Studio McGee Style?

If I had to describe the Studio McGee style in three words, it would be: ‘Mixing things up’.

With this particular style, there is a lot of mixing of modern and traditional elements to create a living space full of character and warmth.

Coziness? Check✅ Personality? Check✅ Ambience? Check✅

One of the things I love about the Studio McGee style is its adaptability. Whether you opt for a couple of curated pieces or go into a full-on decorating frenzy, it’s all about what’s right for your home.

As Shea McGee says, ‘your space only needs to be both beautiful and functional to you.’ 

Let’s take a look at my top tips for decorating like Studio McGee!

Now that you know a little more about Studio McGee, I’m sure you’re ready and raring to get decorating!

The fantastic thing about the Studio McGee style is that you can apply it to every room of your home. From the bedroom to the bathroom, it’s one of the most versatile styles around.

Here are some of the ways to get some of that Studio McGee essence running through your home decor. 

Incorporate lots of natural materials

Decorating in the Studio McGee style is all about using natural materials. You won’t find a plastic table here!

This style is all about seagrass baskets, jute rugs and wooden benches – creating a light and airy space that can feel both traditional and contemporary at the same time.

If you’re working on a bathroom or kitchen space, a marble countertop can look absolutely fantastic!

The Studio McGee style is constantly evolving, and I’ve seen some new materials pop up in recent projects, like velvet sofas and chairs. Choose the fabric you like the most, and run with it through your home!

Texture is your friend

Texture is a huge part of the Studio McGee design style, and is a wonderful way of adding warmth and dimension to any room, from the porch to the bedroom.

There are a lot of ways you can incorporate texture into your home decor. For example:

  • Add a rug to a wooden floor
  • Put pillows and throws on a sofa or chair
  • Install curtains or fabric blinds
  • Add vases of flowers and greenery
  • Use accessories like baskets and bowls

If you’re a bit nervous, start with small things and work your way up to larger pieces over time. This also makes it easier to change your decor around if you get bored.

Use light and neutral colours

The Studio McGee style favours light colours, with browns, blues, greys, greens and browns being particularly popular. These colours make your room look larger and open up your space.

That’s not to say dark colours are entirely off-limits. A pop of black or dark green can be great to make a statement and add a little contrast. However, try and keep things natural and earthy.

Wondering what paint colour is the right one to use? Studio McGee has a great article listing all the different colors they use on projects – with Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams being the favorite brands.

One final top tip – don’t be afraid to add some white to your paint colours to brighten them up!

Splurge on a statement lighting piece

Studio McGee has said on several occasions that if you’re going to blow the budget on a particular piece, opt for a stunning light.

A light can be one of the first things we draw our eye to when entering a room. Not only this, but a high-quality piece of lighting can go a long way towards making a room feel larger and warmer.

Both modern and traditional lighting works well with the Studio McGee style, from a lantern to a more contemporary oversized lamp. Alternatively, a beautiful floor lamp next to a plush armchair can make for a comfy reading nook in the bedroom or playroom.

Wood is good

As I mentioned earlier, natural materials look great in a Studio McGee decorating project. Wood is a lovely way to add warmth to any room of your home.

Mixing wood tones is popular in the Studio McGee style, and is all about finding the balance between the different shades and tones. There’s a handy guide to mixing wood on the Studio McGee website.

Feeling ambitious and have a spare weekend for projects? Installing shiplap or board and batten walls look amazing! 

Add some gorgeous artwork

Artwork can be a cost-effective and easy way to bring Studio McGee to your home. Not to mention the fact that artwork is scientifically proven to help boost your mood… what’s not to love?!

Both classic and contemporary art fit the bill when delivering that Studio McGee essence. Keep the colors simple and use frames in natural materials like blonde wood, for maximum effect.

Studio McGee recommends hanging pictures together for the best effect, so they don’t look disconnected. I have noticed that she doesn’t typically hang busy gallery walls If you love gallery walls, the Studio McGee style is perfect for you!

Think outside the box when it comes to the location of your artwork too. Kitchens and laundry rooms deserve to be beautiful, too! The fashionable thing to do at the moment is to prop your artwork on your countertop.

Wondering what kind of art to buy? Studio McGee seems to have a preference for using soft abstracts and vintage landscapes.

Say hello to plants

Plants are always a welcome addition to any living space. They add a pop of colour, boost our mood and improve the air. It’s a win-win!

The great news is that Studio McGee is all about plants in the home. In fact, the larger, the better. Think of a big olive tree in a large stoneware pot. If your living space is a little too small or dark for a big plant or potted tree, try a large bunch of wild branches in a statement vase instead, as pictured above.

Alternatively, if you’ve got a bit of a black thumb and would prefer to use artificial plants to decorate your home, that’s totally fine too.

Don’t be afraid to layer up

Mixing and layering materials is great for adding new textures and tactile sensations to the rooms of your home. For example, a marble chopping board on a wooden kitchen countertop, or a fabric cushion on a leather chair. 

The key is to find an element that carries through your different layers, like a unifying colour. That way, your layering looks clean and neat, and not like a rummage sale!

Layering the rugs in your room is majorly on-trend at the moment at Studio McGee. Think of a large jute rug, with a smaller vintage rug on top, or a doormat paired with a patterned mat.

If you’re not sure how to do this, there’s a great tutorial on the Studio McGee website.

Think differently when placing your furniture

One of the great points that Studio McGee raises is that putting furniture in certain places can open up your room and make it look a lot more stylish. Sometimes you need to look at your layout and think outside the box.

For example, a bench or sofa at the foot of the bed looks great if you have the space. It adds a cozy touch and gives you the practicality of additional seating too!

Similarly, a console table behind your sofa provides you with a terrific way to mix materials, add warmth to your living room, and adds an extra surface that you can decorate to personalize your space.

Combine straight edges and curves

The Studio McGee style is all about getting the balance right. You don’t want your room to look too traditional that it becomes stuffy, and you don’t want it to look too modern either.

The same applies to straight edges and curves. Too many angular edges can make your home feel overly modern, while rounded shapes can make it feel too old-fashioned.

For example, if you have a boxy sofa, complement it with a round footstool. Balance a square table with rounded chairs.

Look for vintage and handmade pieces

Vintage pieces are a cornerstone of the Studio McGee ethos. If you can get your hands on a vintage piece of furniture or artwork, it will not only look stunning, but it’ll also inject personality into your room.

It’s all about combining the modern-day with the traditional, like vintage artwork in a more contemporary frame, or a vintage throw on a modern sofa.

Don’t stress about imperfections

One of the key points that Dream Home Makeover regularly raises is how to bring character and personality into new homes. Often these types of homes are all built in the same way, meaning they don’t have the same unique elements or character that older houses have.

The great news is that Studio McGee is all about finding love in the imperfections… something that we should apply to our lives in general!

Imperfect items can add uniqueness to a home, everything from an overly rough texture to slightly wonky vases. So, don’t be afraid to use things that aren’t 100% pristine.

Where to buy Studio McGee pieces

We’ve talked about all the different pieces of furniture and home decor items that will make your home look amazing. Next question, where do you get them from?

Studio McGee has its own website where you can buy a lot of pieces curated by its designers – McGee & Co. I’ve spent so many hours looking on here, drooling over the table lamps and vintage furniture!

I’m not going to lie – McGee & Co is on the pricier side. However, if you want a stunning statement piece to center your room around, it’s an excellent place to look. Plus, they do have a sale section! And remember, you can always just window shop, and look at their styled photos for inspiration🙂

McGee & Co dupes

I’ve put on my detective hat and had a search for some of the best lookalikes you can get at a fraction of the budget! 

Check out the top McGee & Co affordable lookalikes. I always update this article when I find new items, so keep checking back and bag yourself a bargain! The comments section is super useful, as well.

Studio McGee target line: Threshold

The good news is that now, you can get an authentic McGee & Co piece alongside your soda and chips. Yes, you read that right! Studio McGee has joined forces with Target to create Threshold.

Threshold has lots of affordable pieces in the Studio McGee style. Think woven storage baskets, textured pillows and striking lighting. There are also some amazing pieces of furniture to choose from. It’s a great way to redecorate your home if you’re on a budget.

Studio McGee is all about vintage chic, so it’s always a good idea to check out your local thrift store for treasures, too. From vases and art prints to benches and tables, you can get a brilliant piece that will take pride of place in your home.

Now you can decorate in the Studio McGee style like a pro!

I hope this article has given you more of an insight into the Studio McGee style and how to bring it into your home.

What do you love most about the Studio McGee style? What are your tricks for bringing that vibe into your home? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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