Shea McGee Biography: Exclusive Video, News, Photos
Shea McGee is an American interior designer, reality television star and author. She is best known for her Netflix show Dream Home Makeover, which features herself and her husband Syd McGee. She and her husband run the interior design company Studio McGee, which they started in 2014. The couple co-wrote the autobiography Make Life Beautiful, which was published in 2015.
SHEA MCGEE BIOGRAPHY: AGE, EDUCATION, PERSONAL LIFE
Shea McGee was born on July 5, 1985 (Shea McGee age: 35). She and her husband, Syd McGee, have been married since 2008. The couple have two children and are currently expecting a third.
McGee received a B.A. in Communications and Public Relations from Brigham Young University in 2007. She later took night classes in interior design at Saddleback College.
SHEA MCGEE BIOGRAPHY: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW ON HER DESIGN ROOTS
In January of 2021, McGee spoke with uInterview exclusively about her design background and how she got into that career.
McGee graduated from Brigham Young University in 2007, where she studied Communications with a concentration in public relations. A year later, she and her husband got married and moved into their first apartment.
McGee first began working in interior design in that period of time. “I wasn’t in love with my job, and I was channeling all of my extra energy into experimenting on our first apartment,” she explained. “[Syd] could see that this was my passion, this was the interest, but I felt so guilty that I had just graduated in something completely different, and now thinking about changing careers completely I was a little nervous.”
McGee began to pursue that passion by taking night classes at the community college. When the couple bought their first home, that became her “first real project.” She began documenting the home renovation on Instagram, and from there her career began to take off.
“I started getting small projects that built into larger ones,” McGee said. “Eventually I begged Syd to come over and join me in the business because I was trying to juggle the design and the business, and it wasn’t my strong suit to do both, and so he came in and cleaned up my files and the business in general and took it from there so I could focus on the creative.”
SHEA MCGEE BIOGRAPHY: ‘DREAM HOME MAKEOVER,’ COVID-19
2020 marked an especially monumental milestone in the McGees’ professional life. Netflix signed the couple to star in the reality television show Dream Home Makeover, which follows the couple as they design and remodel families’ homes.
In an exclusive interview with uInterview, McGee discussed the experience of designing houses on the show as well as the impact of COVID-19 on filming.
McGee explained that choosing which clients to work with is a very important first step in the process. “It is a long-term relationship with a client,” she said. “Houses are not done overnight, so it’s not just a quick transaction. You’re getting into their lives and their personalities and their quirks and things that they like and dislike, so we have to be a personality fit and a style fit.”
When asked about the clients’ involvement in the renovation project, McGee explained that the final result can often be a surprise.
“With the really, really big homes, we start from scratch – those, they’re involved in the selections process – but then when we’re actually bringing the house together, they’re out, they don’t get to see it,” she said. “So, they’ve seen the design boards, but that’s it.”
With the smaller projects McGee takes on, where just one or two rooms are re-designed, the clients “don’t get to see anything,” which, according to her, is “pretty fun, and nerve-wracking, because it’s a big surprise.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit during the filming of the second season, the show was forced to briefly shut down production. McGee even described that in some points of the season “we were doing some of the filming ourselves, so that was a funny experience.”
McGee also discussed some of the things her family did to make the most of the strange time.
“Everyone has to adapt, and I think that Syd and I just tried to, being so home-focused like he mentioned, we tried to find hobbies and activities at home that brought us some happiness, whether that was cooking or gardening or just organizing.”
McGee concluded the interview by providing some simple tips for people looking to improve their own homes.
For those working on a limited budget, McGee explained that “you can take principles that are in really high-end homes, and usually those principles can be applied at any budget. You just have to taper down.” By finding a less expensive version of an object or facet in a home you like, it’s possible to make an ideal home while remaining on a budget.
Her second tip was to “clean out everything.” McGee explained that the first thing she does in every project is to “clean it out so you can see, okay, it feels so much better in here already just empty, and then we’re going to put back in a few things to make it look good.” She calls this the “clean slate approach,” which “gives you some fresh eyes and makes a big difference.”
Check out the full interview below.
SHEA MCGEE BIOGRAPHY: CURRENT PROJECTS
In March of 2021, Netflix confirmed Dream Home Makeover for a third season.
Studio McGee recently designed a line of furniture and decor for Target, called Threshold.