Shea McGee just shared how she balances vintage and modern home decor – the key is to always keep new items 'streamlined'

This recent home renovation by Studio McGee is a masterclass in timeless, transitional style. Here's how Shea got the blended look down

Three images of a dark green moody living room
(Image credit: Studio McGee)

Shea McGee – founder of design firm Studio McGee and homeware brand McGee & Co. – has established herself as an expert in timeless, transitional design. The interiors she creates are chock-full of modern charm, and they blend old and new design elements with ease. Recently, Shea applied her signature style to the home of former MLB catcher Jason Castro and family, and the results are truly stunning.

To share a bit of insight into how she finds a balance between storied, vintage pieces and furniture that's fresh off the McGee & Co. press, Shea took to social media. She pointed out three areas of the Castro family's living room where she mixed traditional and modern design with grace. Here's what we love about the choices she made for this space.

This moody living room stands out for its deep green hue and unmistakably historical features. With high ceilings, built-in wooden shelving and grand, detailed doorways, Shea truly knocked this project out of the park. Though a moody color palette grounds the space, calm-colored furniture and an abundance of natural light bring the perfect level of brightness for a fun-filled formal living room.

Shea McGee
Shea McGee

Interior designer, Shea McGee founded her iconic design firm, Studio McGee, with her husband Syd in 2014. They later launched their e-commerce brand, McGee & Co, and starred in their very own Netflix show, Dream Home Makeover.

A green living room with an antique wooden table and two leather armchairs

(Image credit: Studio McGee)

Illuminated by floor-to-ceiling windows, one of the first pieces of furniture to draw the eye in this living room is a vintage wooden table. Shea shares that this piece is a family heirloom – one that was built for a starring role. 

Decorating with family heirlooms brings character and charm to any space, but it can be quite difficult to fit them into the overall design scheme. Here, Shea says the secret to making this vintage table work was the accompanying 'streamlined leather chairs.'

The earthy color palette that unites these three pieces of furniture creates a cohesive overall look, and the ornate detailing of the table contrasts beautifully with the sleek, defined lines of the leather armchairs. Often, juxtapositions like these are what make a blended transitional design style shine.

A green living room with a curved boucle sofa and a vintage patterned rug

(Image credit: Studio McGee)

In the living room's main area, a patterned vintage rug 'that has a more floral motif' creates a foundation for comfort-forward, chic furniture. And while the rug leans heavily to the traditional side of design, it's paired with modern pieces that tip the balance back to transitional.

Shea says that a 'streamlined coffee table' and an 'asymmetrical sofa' deliver contemporary appeal in this space. Though still timeless and considered, these chic additions introduce a level of present-day playfulness that prevents the space from feeling too serious. Plus, the lush boucle texture of the sofa and the impactful impressions marking the coffee table adds visual interest and depth to the space, working beautifully alongside the vintage rug.

A green living room designed by Studio McGee

(Image credit: Studio McGee)

Looking to the ceiling in this space reveals an artful mix of old and new. With gorgeous crown molding and millwork painted in deep, soulful green, the historic nature of this property is on full display. So, how did Shea make the ceiling work for the present day? 'Streamlined light fixtures,' she says.

Using the Glennon Pendant from McGee & Co. and gilded sconces on either side of the statement fireplace, Shea lit the space with modern charm. The contrast in color and form works perfectly, finishing off this living room design with style.

Shea's style is always a home run in our books, and this project only reaffirms her expertise. With moody hues, historic details and 'streamlined' furniture to boot, this is a home to take design inspiration from any day of the week.

Abby Wilson
News Writer

I am a News Writer at Homes & Gardens, with a focus on interior design. Most recently, I worked with Better Homes & Gardens, where I wrote and edited content about home decor, gardening tips, food news, and more. Before that, I studied Journalism and English Literature at New York University. I’ve moved around quite a bit in the last several years, most recently making the trip to London, and love transforming each new space into a comfortable retreat that feels like home. When it comes to decor, I’m most drawn to unique vintage finds and calming colors.