Denise Mcgaha - Designed with a deadline

Archive for November, 2010

Kelly Frances Dunn

Posted by Denise McGaha
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Time, Talent, Treasure

So, while I’m having the pleasure of spending time with dear friend of
mine {Denise} who flew in from Tulsa to spend the week with me, another
hometown friend of mine {also name Denise!} is helping me out with the
dead air time and filling it with her talented thoughts!
M DesignsDenise McGaha


I must admit that my latest obsession is benches.  In the past,
when I was concepting a room, my inspiration often came in the form of a
color, fabric, or great vintage rug.  Now I can only look for a place
to put a bench, garden stool or ottoman.

David Cafiero

Celerie Kemble

I love the feel that these pieces bring to the room.  Easy to move, TONS of option for color, a place to put all those books I am reading.  I am OBSESSED!

Bunny Williams

Palmer Weiss
Velvet, chintz, zebra hide, pumpkin mohair…I can’t decide.

I love these great new benches from Suzanne Kasler.  They are
inlaid with shagreen at Hickory Chair, and here have a great leather

I love a small bench or stool next to the tub.  As much as I try
to be alone for a relaxing bubble bath, there is always a visitor.  The
children…a cat…the thirsty dog…you know what I mean!  They need a
place to perch and a small bench is the perfect place for a candle or
drink while you relax.
Denise McGaha

M Designs
Can’t you see how great these versatile seating options can be at
changing the look of your living room, bedroom, and even your bath!

Thanks so much Kelly for the opportunity to guest post on your blog.
It’s an honor to be your friend and thanks so much for the chance to
meet all of your great followers.

Images courtesy of M Designs, Lonny Magazine and Suzanne Kasler

Dallas Denise and I go back almost a decade already.  Denise (and her
husband Scott) are probably THE most naturally stylish people I have
ever met.  They are both wildly talented, creative and have an eye for
detail and beauty.  Denise is a residential and commercial interior
designer in Dallas.  She is the mastermind behind M Designs and it has been amazing to watch her business grow.  I am proud of her, and there is nothing more beautiful than a true friend.

Miss you D!

Design Guide Fall 2010

Posted by Denise McGaha
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DG welcomes guest blogger Denise McGaha, President of M Designs, who’s gabbing about all things fa-la-la-fabulous for the holidays!

The Holidays for my family begin early. With travel
and entertaining throughout the South, we are a busy bunch. I like to
begin planning in late October since we have guests and start traveling
to visit family in early December. Below are my top ten tips to help you
create a beautiful home for the holidays and make a warm and welcoming
space for everyone who visits.

1. ALWAYS bring in fresh. If you have an allergy to cedar, then use
magnolia leaves and amaryllis, but always use fresh items in your decor.
I love narcissus, amaryllis, fresh flowers for the table and powder
baths. The “wow” factor is amazing. Every time I smell the scents of the
season, it instantly brings back memories.


2. Candles……but not scented. Low votives are
wonderful on the tables, and I love long tapers for more formal
occasions. I bought beautiful hand-dipped apple green tapers when we
were last in Paris and every time I use them, I remember our romantic
trip that Spring.

3. Make it your own. On the tree, dining table, and tablescapes, inject
your personality. Whether using your favorite whimsical napkins and
napkin rings, your grandmothers silver tea service, or calligraphy on
the place cards, make sure it reflects your personality. You will make
your guests comfortable and it creates great conversation when a little
fun is injected in your decorating.

4. Don’t forget the kids!! Make their table for dining fun with butcher
paper and crayons, small gifts that can be opened AFTER eating, Mac and
cheese buffet- style and games to play until the adults are done. They
will love coming to your house for the holidays and make sure it’s
anything but boring for them! You could even have iTunes gift cards to
download a list of games and music you preview and leave for them to
choose from…you won’t hear from them until dessert is served!

5. Make guests comfortable. Find out what their favorite drinks and
snacks are and have them ready. Give them a place for coats and bags
when they arrive and greet them warmly when they arrive. Don’t get so
wrapped up in entertaining that you forget who you are entertaining
for!! And always have gifts for guests when they leave. I prefer a
natural gift..a bag of nuts with a nutcracker or a plant or seedling.

6. Create a theme each year that is incorporated into your wrapping,
table settings and overall decoration. Whether it’s a ribbon color used
for packages and napkins, or a particular style of font on your place
card and gift tags, it will help create a cohesive look.

7. Change pillows and throws on furniture for the
season. I have great cashmere pillows being made for the sofa this
season. These cozy down-filled pillows will coordinate with my red felt
pillows I already own. I can just imagine snuggling up next to the fire

8. Whenever possible, use fresh fruit and berries for decoration. Try
to stay away from kitschy seasonal decor. This will keep your look
sophisticated and timeless.

9. Create holiday memories and record them in a holiday journal. I have
leather-bound Christmas albums with photos from our friends and family
cards each year. I love going through these albums and seeing how
everyone has grown and changed over the years.


10. Adorn mirrors and doors inside with wreaths and
ribbon. I also love to hang wreaths from drapery rods in our front
windows. This allows me to use the color theme from our ribbon on the
inside of our home as well as the outside.

Robert Allen – Design Dialog

Posted by Denise McGaha
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Shades of Grey

Denise McGaha, founder of M Designs in Dallas, Texas, is our guest blogger this week. After a first career as a buyer for Neiman Marcus, Denise decided to pursue her true love, interior design. In less than a decade, she has built her business into one of Dallas’s top design firms serving both commercial and high-end residential clients. Denise’s design team includes registered architects and accredited designers. Her blog is one we enjoy reading (see so our thanks to Denise for this post today.

I am often asked what the new color trends are, and when I mention grey, clients sometimes cringe. Grey has been given a bad rap….prison walls, Seattle rainy weather, depression. But why? Furniture designers, paint manufacturers and textile designers have found ways to incorporate this great neutral tone into almost every aspect of design over the past few years.

Just like black in the eighties, grey has become the new basic. While at High Point Furniture Market in October, many of the manufacturers showed shades of grey. We saw everything from grey pickled finishes on wood, grey walls, to stone colored paint finishes and more.

Restoration Hardware has bought heavily into this scheme with the introduction of their Swedish inspired furniture, taking it mainstream.

Take the opportunity to use grey in your next project or room design and accent it as some of with bursts of color, and you will see sophisticated, elegant and vibrant rooms…….a far cry from prison walls.

M Designs- Denise McGaha

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