Denise Mcgaha - Designed with a deadline

Archive for February, 2013

Thursday Thoughts: Crossing The Ocean

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I am working diligently creating so much great information product for “Designing with a Deadline”.  I sometimes feel like I am all alone, floating on the ocean.  This quote spoke to me on so many levels.  I may have lost sight of the shore, but I know I will see it again when I complete the great task of finishing my eBook.

Hugs to all of you out on the ocean with me….


Designed in a Day

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Today was an awesome day.  Even though it was raining and cold, I completed a “Designed in a Day” project with a new client and had so much fun!!  I thought it would be great to share with you the details of how “Designed in a Day” works for our clients and why it was such a great fit for my clients’ project.

“Designed in a Day” starts with a questionnaire that will provides me with insight into your design vision and a starting point for your project.

I arrive at your residence at 10am. The first hour or so is spent on-site walking through your two focus rooms and discussing your dreams and challenges for the space. Then we have a great lunch to discuss my suggestions and recommendations for your project. The last two hours are spent shopping at retail stores and/or online. Within 2 days of your meeting, a checklist will arrive recapping your design decisions and providing you with a prescription for success with your project.  

In preparation for your day, I recommend creating a folder filled with ideas and images that showcase your design vision. Pinterest ( and Houzz ( are great resources and you can invite me to view your folder. Pull ideas from magazines and books, have an idea of colors you would like to implement, and create a list of items you would like to have me focus on during our time together.

I ask that you provide me with this list, the completed questionnaire, and photographs of the two rooms you will be focusing on a week before our meeting. This provides me with time to get a feel for your design vision and arrive at your meeting prepared with ideas for your project.

I love the instant gratification of “Designed in a Day”!  My client today had moved from California to Texas and purchased many of her base pieces in her family room and outdoor living from Restoration Hardware.  She loved her purchases but needed help finishing up the look of her spaces.  She wanted design direction on accessories, accent furniture and color.

We selected a console table, side tables and art from sources online, and after lunch, we went shopping at Calico Home for drapery and pillows.  The new Nate Berkus collection at Calico Home provided great fabrics that my client loved. 

After designing the fabric combinations for my client, I left her in the capable hands of the design consultants at the store.  My client was so happy with our time together and felt like she finally had pulled her family room and outdoor living areas together.  At 2pm, our day together ended and she still had time to be home for the school bus when it arrived.

As you can see, “Designed in a Day” is a great way to have four hours with ME, direction on your design choices and a prescription for success.  I schedule one to two of these days each month at$1500 a day, in addition to my full service projects and would love to hear from you if this is something you are interested in scheduling. It is a great way also to see if we are a fit for one another if you are interested in moving to a full service option with my design firm and the fee is credited to your full service package if we move forward on your project. I also do out-of-state consultations and recently completed a “Designed in a Day” project in New York.  I would love to hear from you!


P.S. – a Big thank you to my friend Lisa Mende who featured Heather Harkovich, Me and the Southern Living Showcase Home on her blog.  I am so excited about my trip to Austin this weekend to speak there.  Lisa posted beautiful pictures of the home on her blog and is also a great friend of ours.


Southern Living Showcase Home in Austin Here I Come

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This morning I am putting finishing touches on my presentation this Saturday at the Southern Living Showcase Home in Austin

My dear friend Heather Harkovich of Heather Scott Home did the design and furnished this beautiful home built by Silverton Custom Homes and Henley Homes and we will both be speaking Saturday, starting at 11AM.

I will be presenting “Designing Your Project on a Showhome Deadline” and there will be light bites after Heather’s presentation too.  There are SOOOO many reasons you need to have a plan for your interiors, your design project and your life.  Life is short.  Children grow up and any time taken away from them and friends, and instead spent on remodels or construction that drag on and on is just WASTE. 


I will be sharing why it’s so important to have a plan.  I mean, can you imagine designing and constructing your home so it could be open to the public on a certain date like Heather did??

Every project you take on should have a deadline.  A beginning and an end. You will have a stunning result and I will be sharing all of my expert tips on delivering a beautiful home like the one you can tour this LAST weekend of the Southern Living Showcase Home.  Don’t forget that ticket sales will go to benefit charity.

Will I see you there?

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