Dream Home Makeover Star Shea McGee Shares Her Hosting Tips

If you’re a fan of Dream Home Makeover on Netflix, you watched as the husband-and-wife team behind Studio McGee finally moved into their very own dream home during season one of the show earlier this year. Since then, Shea and Syd McGee went on to star in a second season of the hit show and are already gearing up to film a third. And of course, like the rest of us, they’ve continued to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, putting gatherings on hold for a while.

Thankfully, they did have the chance to host family at their new place before the pandemic hit, for a tradition they call “pie night,” Shea tells AD. “It takes place the night before Thanksgiving. The idea is that everyone brings a pie and you can enjoy the dessert before you’re stuffed from Thanksgiving dinner. The whole family comes over and spends time chatting and enjoying delicious pies together!”

Shea in the Utah home she shares with Syd and their two (soon to be three!) children.

Photo: Lucy Call

With life slowly returning to some semblance of normalcy in many places thanks to the vaccine, an event such as this sounds marvelous, but many of us are realizing we may be a bit rusty when it comes to socializing and hosting get-togethers at home. As part of Airbnb’s Online Experiences, Shea recently offered up her tips and tricks. You can view the event on YouTube, and below, Shea lets AD in on a few of her rules.

Create one moment of focus.

When you walk into a space, whether it’s a living room or an inviting entryway, it should have one moment that really grabs your attention. It can be a mirror styled over a console in the entryway, or an eye-catching art piece in the living room. Once you’ve decided what your moment is, then build around it!

Layer in the seating

Poufs and ottomans are one of my favorite ways to add extra seating to a space. They’re functional, but also bring a lot of dimension—style them in front of a fireplace, under a console, or beside a sofa, they’re so versatile!

Create an inviting feel with pillows and throws.

Whenever I’m looking to add a cozy and comfortable layer to a space, I automatically go to textiles! They’re the finishing touch and really bring out the personality and character of your room. Mix and match a few different pillows on a sofa with a similar palette, but different textures to really elevate the look and feel, then finish off the vignette with a draped throw.

Trays everywhere

I love the versatility of a tray! Create a bespoke moment on a coffee table by layering function and beauty with coasters and florals, or elevate the whole hosting experience by laying out appetizers for the evening. From living rooms to bedrooms, trays give everything a place!

Design a comfortable bedroom.

Be thoughtful about layering in the bedroom! If you’re hosting guests overnight, you’ll want them to feel comfortable. Start by styling the bed with a duvet layered with a lightweight throw, then finish off the moment with a curated mix of pillows, in a textural, similarly toned palette. I love completing the space with a subtle scent—whether it’s an unlit candle, or a spritz of linen spray before guests arrive, scenting the space makes it feel more lived-in and comfortable!

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