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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!

Brizo Blogger 19 Reunion and St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital

Posted by Denise McGaha
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My recent trip to Memphis for the Brizo Blogger 19 Reunionwas so much fun for me.  I had the opportunity to reunite with so many of my Blogger 19 Alumni and meet many new design blogger friends. 



Here are a few photos of my time there.  I had to leave before the final dinner because I was leaving for my family vacation before dawn the next morning so I missed that last event, but I hear it was so great.  True Memphis southern hospitality at its best.

Julia Edelmann, Lisa Mende and I (photo by Courtney Price)


Traci Zeller and I (photo by Kelly Kole)

Day 1 revolved around the tour of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Brizo is one of their national sponsors and provides plumbing products for all of their Dream Home Giveaways.  Chances to win a Dream Home are sold and hopeful homeowners wait for their chance to win a beautiful new home with the latest in building technology and beautiful plumbing fixtures too!


My tour of St. Jude was so eye-opening and the happiness there, despite the challenges, is everywhere. Every single family who is admitted to St. Jude pays nothing.  Not one single dollar.  All of their living expenses, as well as medical expenses are covered by the generous donations of St. Jude supporters.  The average donation is around $35, so every dollar makes a difference. 



We had the opportunity to play with the children that day and each of us took posts to spend time drawing, managing a photo booth, giving away books to read and more.  We were able to meet the parents as well and it is so obvious how much cancer affects an entire family, siblings included. 

One of their care and living facilities, The Target House, is sponsored by Target with rooms donated and designed by celebrities like Amy Grant, Brad Paisley, Tiger Woods and Shaun White.







St. Jude is a research hospital and many of the cancer treatment protocols there are not available anywhere else.  Their doctors are forward thinking and focus on patient care first and foremost.  The doctors deliver treatment and protocol information directly to the child while Mom and/or Dad are in the room so that children feel they are a part of their journey and not left out.  I love this!!!





More than anything, St. Jude was the dream of Danny Thomas.  The fact that the dream and vision of one idividual has touched so many lives from so many countries is awe inspiring.  I was inspired to do more, to dream bigger and to believe.  Because so many of the children at St. Jude do the same everyday under much more difficult circumstances than I could ever image.



I hope you enjoyed my recap of my trip to Memphis.  We also toured the Brizo factory (no pics there…top secret) and saw just how important their quality is to the Brizo team.  I was so impressed by the engineering and team leaders there.  What an amazing company and one I am proud to support by specifying their line every chance I get.  Check them out for your next remodel or construction project and know that Brizo gives back in a big way to those in need.


*My trip to Memphis was an all-expenses paid trip, sponsored by Brizo.  The opinions expressed are mine.

Vacation and my Summer Reading List

Posted by Denise McGaha
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I am slowly easing back in to work this week after being gone first to both the Brizo Blogger 19 Reunion in Memphis and then for a week of family vacation in St. John, USVI. I will be back tomorrow with all the juicy details of both trips.  But I wanted to share my favorite reads of the summer so far…..

During these recent trips and a few others in June, I have had time for reading for pleasure and business (a rarity I assure you).  Here are the titles I have under my belt already and a few more I have left before summer pool time ends for me in August.






I am pretty proud of my list.  I often get distracted and don’t have time to complete a book but these have all kept me entertained and focused.  Both “Clean Gut” and “4-Hour Workweek”have created major change in my life already.  I would love to hear what you have read this summer and if you have any recommendations before my reading binge ends.

Come back tomorrow for my recap of my trip to Memphis for the Brizo Blogger 19 Reunion and touring St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital.

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