Denise Mcgaha - Designed with a deadline

Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category


Posted by Denise McGaha
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I was recently asked to design a wreath for a wonderful charity here in Dallas called Artreach.  I had several immediate ideas, but time and material limitations set in so I decided to turn to nature for inspiration.

I have to start by telling you I am not normally a DIY-crafty girl, although I love to design floral arrangements and holiday greenery.  I just never have enough time to implement my ideas, because of other deadlines.  But if I can achieve this in the short amount of time I did – about an hour – you can too!

1.  I found a neighbor with a sweet gum tree, which drops these pods several times a year.  They had a huge tree, so we collected a large paper bag about 3/4 full to complete the wreath.


2.  We used a foam wreath form as our base and warmed up the glue gun!


3.  Start gluing the pods in a circular pattern around the wreath, moving slowly so that each pod sets before you glue the next.


4.  When you are done, the natural colors of the wreath could be left just like this.  This would be a beautiful Fall wreath before Christmas.


5.  Last, I chose to paint my wreath a beautiful pewter color and attached a simple ribbon to hang it.


This wreath is super simple and it could be saved and re-used for years to come.  I love a natural look for the holidays, so this would fit in perfectly in my home and many of those we install for our clients.  If you need to complete your holiday design “on a deadline”, this is the perfect wreath to greet your guests at the door.


More about Artreach and the support it gives our community in Dallas:

“Artreach-Dallas, Inc. is the only organization in Dallas whose sole purpose is arts outreach to hundreds of social/educational organizations. Their mission is to ensure access to the arts and cultural events for economically disadvantaged children and adults, the disabled and elderly.  With Artreach, the arts are open to everyone.”

Art is healing and when my daughter (who loved helping me with this project) learned why we were sharing our creative wreath, she was so happy to have been a part of this!

Haute Holidays

Posted by Denise McGaha
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It’s here and the pendulum has swung. From Halloween where it was 80 degrees to Christmas prep time and much cooler temps. I am struggling with the ultimate decision for our home this year….fresh or faux? We have had a fresh tree for over 8 years, but I am balancing client installations, work travel and other holiday events and my December is booked. Totally booked. So that means that our tree may need to go up before Thanksgiving this year and a fresh tree just won’t make it that long. Or, we decorate the tree a mere 3 days before Christmas. Decisions, decisions.

As part of my preparation for the holidays, I am also, for the first time in three years, designing holiday interiors for several clients. (I do have two spots still available if you are interested, contact us here). While this has been a special offering we have never advertised, I am in the spirit to open it up to my readers and offer this service to you as well.

If you have NEVER had your home done for the holidays, there is nothing sweeter. You go to the spa or holiday shopping while we descend upon your home or business to create a winter wonderland. From fresh greens for the mantel and the front entry, a fully decorated tree (or two), to helping you design your place settings for all of those holiday dinners, we handle it all. Our Holiday Design Services are the best example we have of Designing with a Deadline!

But hurry, these spots will disappear and we will close our calendar for holiday installations on November 15. Please let us know if we can assist you. We also have a client who prefers to decorate her own tree, but only after we have installed everything else, and laid out the ornaments and applied ribbons for her….shhhhh. Her husband thinks she is a super hero and her secret is safe with us!!!

All photos in this post of Holiday designs created and installed by Denise McGaha Interiors. Photography by Danny Piassick.

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