Denise Mcgaha - Designed with a deadline

Archive for January, 2014


Posted by Denise McGaha
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I am delighted to be on the upcoming Dallas Market Center Sneak Peek Host Committee.  I am joined by my friends in the design blogging community and if you are a design blogger or social media infulencer in Dallas (or will be in Dallas) for Market on Friday, January 17, please join us!  This is the perfect behind-the-scenes opportunity to see what’s HOT and the manufacturers who are bringing the best to the market.

There are only 20 SPOTS!!!  And they will fill up fast, so REGISTER NOW and I am also able to offer you a special $10 discount off the $50 registration fee :  Use the code HOST 2014 at registration when you sign up.

Make sure you register through the link above and attend what will be sure to be a fun and fabulous day with all of my design blogging friends!

P.S.  here are the blogs of my friends on the Host committee.  Make sure you pop over and follow in case they aren’t on your radar yet! Elle Cole:: Notebook/Kelley Copeland::The Hidden List/Hilary Walker::Our Style Stories/Leslie Wood::Hadley Court/Shay Geyer::IBB Design


Posted by Denise McGaha
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This past year has been a whirlwind literally.  About 6 months into the year, I probably couldn’t even tell you what my goals were I was moving at such a fast pace.


So when I checked back in on them for this Year in Review post, I was pleasantly surprised that most of my goals were achieved or at least I put a dent in them!  Some will make their way back to the list for 2014 because they just need a second chance!   So hang on… we go:

ORGANIZE MY HOME AGAIN:  Ok, this one was a big YES for the year.  Every closet cleaned out and organized, a garage sale of kids toys that generated enough cash for a new iMac, and even an organized garage. Then September came….and I fell off the wagon.  When I cleaned out my old offices for our recent office move, a lot of things came back home since our new office is much smaller and the piles have grown again.  So, this one will be on the list again for 2014.  I am hoping to keep it all organized better (and for longer) in the coming year.


my closet inspiration from my Pinterest Board – Closet Envy

VACATION:  We had lots of vacation time in 2013 and I loved every minute of it.  I was able to use mileage from all of my work travel to treat the family with trips to Seaside, Florida and St. John, USVI.  We also traveled as a family to Arkansas for a weekend trip of fishing on the Little Red.  Mr. M and I traveled to the wine country in the Spring with good friends and hope to repeat the same trip again this year.












WORKOUT:  This one went really well until September.  I was doing amazing in keeping up with walking and yoga and weight lifting.  I felt amazing and had tons of energy, then September arrived and I fell off the wagon.  I am very interested to see what made my focus change so I can apply that knowledge to this year. I am trying to get back on the horse literally (more on that in my next post) and hope I can move past the frustration I feel with not making the time to exercise.  This one needs to be top of the list in 2014 because I want to feel great and have more energy this year.

SELF CARE:  This was a total flop.  I had maybe two massages last year and pedicures weren’t high on the list either.  I think the secret to making my self-care a priority would be setting actual appointments instead of trying to fit it in after everything else is done.

TRAVEL:  Well I definitely scored a 100% on this one.  While I didn’t share it as often on the blog as I could have, I booked trips to Arkansas (7 times for business and pleasure), Florida, St. John, New York (3 times for work and pleasure), High Point, NC (twice for furniture market), California (Design Bloggers Conference and Spring Break), Las Vegas (HD Show) and Memphis (Brizo Blogger 19 Reunion).


Julia Edelmann, Me, Lisa Mende at Blogger 19 Reunion in Memphis


FOCUSED TIME WITH MY CHILDREN:  Not great at this one at all.  I started off strong with lunch dates and movie dates and finished weak.  I spent a lot of time on the road last year and my family was shortchanged as a result.  This year my travel schedule will be much less and again, I think calendaring these dates will help me stay accountable.

BUSINESS PLANNING:  Wow, as I go over my calendar, it seems like September was the month I fell into the ditch.  We did great on business planning until September and then our regular monthly meetings fell to the side.  Calendar appointments didn’t help because even when they were on the calendar, they were changed or missed.  I can’t skip my business planning meetings this year and want to keep them top of mind ALL year long.  Time for an accountability partner to keep me on track here.

CLIENT FOCUS:  I loved spending time with our clients this year having lunch or dinner together, and resolve to keep these dates with my clients going forward.  We are part of their lives and knowing them on a deeper level only makes my ability to design for them that much stronger.


There were several big accomplishments this year that I want to share.  We all work so hard at DMI to make sure our clients receive the best in interior design and we often deliver it on a tight deadline.  When our work is recognized along the way, it is the greatest compliment.  Here are a few of our favorite moments from 2013:

Design Guide Cover – Spring 2013

When our work was recognized with a cover shot this year, we were over the moon.  What an exciting moment when we saw it for the first time!


Joss and  Main Curators Sale

It was an honor to be asked to curate an online sale for Joss and Main.  Featuring our Rustic Modern style from our showhouse, this sale was a wonderful success and such a great opportunity to partner with an online powerhouse like Joss and Main.  They also published a great interview with me in their online magazine The Plume.


DHome Life in Color Contest

We were so excited to be recognized as a winner in the Life in Color Contest.  Our colorful bedroom design was a hit and when Pantone announced its’ Color of the Year for 2014 as Radiant Orchid, the violet-colored screens we used in our bedroom design got another look for their bold, yet timely color.



ArtReach Wreath Designer

We love so many of the charities in Dallas and when I was asked to design a wreath for the ArtReach Dallas annual fundraiser, I loved participating with our natural wreath.


Speaker at Southern Living Showhouse – Austin

I was honored to speak on Designing with a Deadline at the Southern Living Showhouse designed by my dear friend, Heather Harkovich.  Heather and I spent the weekend in Austin together and being part of the beautiful home she designed was one of the highlights of my year.



NARI Dallas – Contractors Choice Award – Interior Design

Interior Designers and Contractors work hand in hand on a daily basis on their construction projects.  To be selected by these contractors from the National Association of Remodelers was a top honor for sure.  I look forward to many more projects together with NARI Remodelers in 2014.


In addition to these great honors, we were also hired to design interiors for two entire home projects, an outdoor living space for a busy family, a high-rise apartment in Dallas and one in New York, and 5 Designed-in-a-Day projects.  We designed the corporate headquarters for an international company, as well as a well-known showroom in the Design District.  It was also exciting toward the end of the year to be asked to provide construction design selections for three new homes being built by a new builder in the University Park area of Dallas.

And last but not least, was our move to Uptown Dallas and The Maple Terrace.  Moving our entire business operations closer to the Dallas Design District was a huge move for us and we are still settling in to our new space.  My goal this year is to complete a few interior details so we can photograph our new offices and share them with you!



My year was a busy one, but most importantly it was a blessed one.  One filled with many friends both old and new, and I met many new people this year that I look forward to knowing even better in 2014.


Traci Zeller


Ronda Carman



Scot Meacham Wood



Tobi Fairley, Brooke Wallace


Ashley Astleford


Shannon Koszyk

My family continues to put up with my crazy schedule, my passion for my career and they even love me when there isn’t enough room on the dining table to eat because I have work spread everywhere.  They are my rock and foundation and the reason I do what I do!!  Thanks to all of you my readers, and I can’t wait share with you my goals for 2014 and what will prove to be a very COLORFUL year!

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