Denise Mcgaha - Designed with a deadline

50 Shades of Brass with Currey & Co.

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After attending “What’s New What’s Next” at the New York Design Center recently, I came back with hope that, yes, COLOR IS BACK!  I love what I am seeing everywhere from rugs, to fabrics, to upholstery and even lighting.  Color is back.

In this great video segment by Editor At Large, Cecil Adams and I talk about how all of this color needs warmer metal tones to support it.



So there in lies the story behind this post, “50 Shades of Brass”.  Take a look HERE.


After all, there are too many shades of our favorite colors to count.::5o Shades of Red, 50 Shades of Orange and even 50 Shades of Gray.  (I couldn’t resist).  Brass and Gold shades are no different.  With everything from bright, shiny, bold brass, to elegant gold leaf, to warm, burnished brass – there is something for everyone and every space.

I believe that not only is brass back, honestly it never left.  For Currey & Co. brass has always been a staple.  I remember a few years ago when I wanted to use a brass fixture, no one seemed to have one.  Everything was silver or chrome or black and I was able to find what I wanted with Currey. Here are a few of my favorites and a few sneak peeks of new introductions for High Point Market as well::


Fifty Shades of Brass


1:: Belvoir Arm Chair/2::Darjeeling Table Lamp/3::Shadow Table Lamp/4::Zambia Rug/5::Chandler Wall Sconce/6::Pennsbury Wall Sconce/7::Bellario Lantern

Don’t you just love how all of this brass goodness just jumps off the page?  Make sure you don’t miss any of these great pieces during High Point and I will be in the showroom too, so please drop by and say HELLO!  I would love to see you.


Dwell With Dignity Thrift Studio Fall 2014

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I am SO, SO excited to be part of this year’s Dwell with Dignity, Thrift Studio Event.  I have been a supporter of Dwell With Dignity since their inception.  As a matter of fact, they are celebrating their 5th Anniversary this year.


Five marvelous years of supporting women and children who have escaped homelessness.  Many have a past where they once lived in cars or on the streets.  Just a job loss away from losing everything they had, their ultimate goal is for something to call their own and security in their future.  These families have worked through other programs in Dallas to get on their feet.  After job training and proving that they are ready for an apartment, or even a home, Dwell steps in.  The volunteers at Dwell with Dignity design and furnish beautiful homes with all donated items.  From furnishings and art, to photography, bedding, chandeliers, towels…..EVERYTHING.  The volunteers do an AMAZING job.

I was so honored to be asked to design a vignette for this Fall’s event, which starts THIS THURSDAY.  We have worked to select almost all of our items from the Dwell with Dignity warehouse of donated items.  There are so many showrooms, designers and retailers who give to Dwell with Dignity and make this event possible.  We partnered with ID Collection on the space and when Joe Demourelle of ID Collection pulled these gorgeous Bergamo fuschia drapery panels out of a back room, we were off and running.



And I am joined by many other talented designers, including Gonzalo Bueno and Mauricio Lobeiera of Ten + 3, Dan Nelson, Eleven 11 , Cathernine Dolan and Assoc., Joseph Minton, Peter Sandel and Paul Deusing,  Click HERE for all the details on each designer and their partners too.

In addition to donations we used from the warehouse, I had other supporters who donated too.  A huge THANK YOU to the following supporters who donated items or their services for our vignette::

  • Kelly O’Neal
  • SRT Designs – Workroom Labor and Pillows
  • Currey & Co. – Lighting and Rugs
  • R. Jones – Upholstery
  • Fashion Glass and Mirror – Mirrors and Glass
  • Artifex – Framing and Art
  • Truett – Floor Coverings – Rugs
  • Precision Delivery Services


Its also no big secret that PINK is the color of cancer awareness in the month of October.  Cancer awareness is a cause that is also near and dear to my heart.  So now that you have had a Sneak Peek of my space, come purchase it all at greatly reduced prices on Thursday night.  The Thrift Studio event starts this week but don’t hesitate if it’s all sold.  Drop by for the next month and see what else has been brought into the vignette spaces.  They will be stocked and re-stocked every day, so shop often.  And there are some great deals for designers for their client projects too.



Thanks to Dwell with Dignity for allowing me to be a part of such a great event.  Please buy your tickets HERE if you haven’t yet and join me!!  And don’t miss a chance to meet Tobi Fairley, Honorary Chair of this Thrift Studio Event.






What’s In My Bag for High Point Market

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High Point Style Spotters Fall 2014


As a seasoned High Point Market attendee, Style Spotter for High Point Market and an all around control freak I thought it would be great to share with you what I have in my bag for market.  Since you will have long days and lots of stops, it is important to be prepared.  If you missed it, my first post on How to Conquer High Point Market created lots of questions on what to bring to market on a daily basis.

1.  The Bag - Make sure your bag has comfortable shoulder straps so you can carry it with comfort.  I also recommend switching sides when toting your bag or better yet, don’t sling it over your shoulder at all.  After an entire day, your shoulders and back can be worn out from toting what you need.  I am considering a chic backpack for market.  I love that this also has a handle and can be carried like a handbag too.  Double-duty.  What do you think?






2.  Band-aids – Believe it or not, even the most comfortable shoe can wreak havoc on your feet after mapping 20,000 steps on your FitBit.  I recommend the large fabric kind like this and I keep a stash in my bag.  They blend in with my skin color, don’t rub off as your feet swell throughout the day and lets just say that blisters can ruin your week there.  Be prepared for comfort.


3.  Bold Lip Color- you won’t have time to go back to your hotel before the evening festivities begin.  Slip into a showroom bath and touchup your makeup and make sure you pack a bold lipstick for photos.  There is nothing like being washed out in the all the party pics!  Even if you feel tired, you won’t look it!


4.  iPhone – for a number or reasons, having a phone where you can text (give up making calls – the phone service in the big buildings is atrocious) to check in at the office or to send a quick pick to friends.  You also need it to upload inspiration to your social media channels so you can be the first to share with your tribe the amazing finds at High Point Market.  I of course, love this gold version so you can find it in the bottom of your bag.



5.  Camera – I suggest packing a different camera than your iPhone camera.  Whether you use your iPad for photos or a professional camera – you would be surprised at the difference you will see in your images when you use a professional camera that doesn’t weigh a ton either.


6.  Battery packs - And lots of them.  Make sure you have a fully-charged battery pack for your camera, iPhone or iPad.  I am a big fan of the Mophie charger and it keeps me from accidentally leaving my phone behind in a showroom plugged in while it charged (yes I have done this!)


7.  Healthy snacks - make sure you pack healthy snacks for the day.  You will often have a 14-hour day and full-meals are close to impossible.  It’s more like organized grazing, so having a backup in your bag is wise.  I pack almonds, energy bars, bananas, grapes and any small snack you can have while in-between showrooms and during non-meal times.  Smaller meals help keep your energy up and with all the walking you are doing, its like spending your whole day working on a treadmill.  You need to stay hydrated too, so everytime you are offered water – take it!


8.  A smaller bag - its so much easier to make a few smaller bags inside your large bag in order to find things.  I separate them out like this – one for cosmetics, one for business cards (the ones I give and the ones I receive) and one for technology (chargers, cords and the like).  I like this one from Etsy


9.  Accessories for a quick change - instead of packing a completely new outfit, just change your accessories.  A bold scarf (I love this one from Balenciaga), earrings and hair accessories to change your look are always great.  Be the envy of all your friends you saw earlier in the day wondering how you had time to go back and change.  Keep your outfit basic and make a few accessory changes for evening.


While all of the items above are great to have in your bag, I recommend packing as LIGHT as possible.  Ditch the following::

1.  Big Wallets.  Bring cash, one major CC for purchases and a digital copy of your Resale Tax Certificate.  You can email it on the spot or even text it.  Don’t bring more than a few paper copies for on-site purchases.

2.  Catalogs – if you really want or need a paper catalog, ask them to mail it.  Give them a card and write on the card what you requested.  You don’t want to carry that around.

3.  Anything with wheels – I am NOT a fan of the wheelie bag.  We aren’t shopping for groceries and unless you are giving a Powerpoint Presentation, you don’t need your laptop.  Nothing is worse than to trail through High Point looking behind you to make sure you aren’t hitting anyone with your bag.  And be honest – its hard to stand up straight when you are pulling half of your office behind you.

I would LOVE to hear what’s in your bag!  I know there are lots of great tips from all of you on what I might need to add (or takeaway) from my bag.

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