'I would wear this pattern' – this last-minute decor decision proved a game changer in Shea McGee's dining room reno

Interior designer Shea McGee recently unveiled her finished home renovation, and this dining room redesign is one of our favorites. These are the design decisions that made the space

shea mcgee coastal interiors
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In a recent home renovation, Shea McGee took a magic wand to the dining room, adding stunning design details beautiful character. The sun-drenched space is part of an open-plan ground floor, but feels like a defined space of its own – and some clever, last-minute design decisions made the final product possible.

Though each and every design element is thoughtfully chosen for the dining room ideas, a botanical wallpaper selection takes the space to a new level, and Shea says she loves the statement pattern. Here's an inside look into the designer's new dining room – a standout room from her home remodel – with specific products and behind-the-scenes details.

The McGee remodel was all about adding character and traditional details – Shea wanted the home to look historic. And the dining room was no exception to the greater goal. 'In our dining room, we added instead of taking away,' Shea says in a YouTube video exploring the finished dining room.

Although the dining room already had gorgeous ceiling detailing before the renovation, Shea wanted to add even more of her signature modern charm to the space. The first step was creating a bit more separation from the adjoining kitchen, making the dining room an area of its own. 

To create more space, Shea added sidelight windows and paneling, making the room's design feel intricate yet expansive. The final result is sun-soaked and comforting, and the room maintains the historic appeal Shea was after.

'It didn’t close off the room in a way where it feels smaller, but it does feel like it’s its own space now instead of just part of the kitchen. I love that because this is our only dining space – we don’t have a formal and casual dining space,' she says in the video.

While the space was beautiful as is, Shea says she knew it needed wallpaper from the beginning – the only issue was she couldn't find the perfect pattern. She wanted to accentuate the room's high ceilings and give the dining room more distinctive character.

'I have a lot of space above, and I wanted the dining room wallpaper to feel like it was growing up and over the windows,' she says.

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.

After sorting through samples, Shea says she landed on a 17th century-style wallpaper from Pierre Frey in a stunning botanical pattern. She'd been holding onto a fabric sample with the pattern for years, but made the call to wallpaper the space at the very last second of the renovation. Now, she says the room is 'completely transformed.'

'I just knew it was the one. My favorite color is green so I’m never going to get tired of it, and it’s a leafy, floral vibe. I’d wear this pattern, I would decorate in this pattern, it’s just the right thing for this space. I love that when you walk into our home in the entryway, you can look back to this room and see it,' says Shea.

The green accent wallpaper meshes beautifully with the room's warm neutral color scheme, which is held down by a McGee favorite – Swiss Coffee from Benjamin Moore. With tones of cream, brown and green throughout the space in the form of house plants, expansive curtains and stylish McGee & Co. furniture, the space is inviting and welcoming to all. It fits in with the whole home's color scheme seamlessly.

Shea brings organic texture with the addition of a Braided Jute Rug from McGee & Co., which also serves to separate the dining space from the kitchen. Shea says the dining room rug is 'one of [her] favorite pieces,' adding that the previous space didn't have a rug – and for good reason.

'In our previous dining look, I didn’t have a rug in this space, and it was mainly because I had little kids and I thought that there would be a lot of spills on the rug. Then, I lived in the home for a while, and realized that my kids love to eat at the kitchen island. So, we don’t eat at this table as often as in our kitchen, and we could handle a rug,' says Shea. 

When designing dining rooms for clients, Shea says she often gets the question of whether a rug is required. Speaking from personal experience, she says rugs are nice to have in formal dining rooms, but are a more personal decision when placed in more casual, off-the-kitchen spaces. There, you'll have to assess your family's lifestyle and see if a rug is a good fit.

Aside from the rug, the finished dining room features other standout pieces from McGee & Co., including an Orville Extension Dining Table and Sascha Slipcover Dining Chairs, which add a soothing white hue to the warm space.

'As I went down the path of creating a new look for this space, I wanted to try out some of our new McGee & Co. pieces, and I fell in love with this table that has the clipped corners. It also is an extension table. I host a lot, and so with a few feet on either side left in this space, I knew I could expand the table and add a few more guests,' says Shea.

Shea adds that she appreciates how the clipped corners of the dining table pair with the light fixture – a gold, sculptural, modern chandelier. 'The shapes complement each other really well,' she says. For the dining chairs, the team opted for a 'cottage, homey' feel, pairing the intricate design with cushions from Shea's collection with Target.

'We really mixed high and low in this space, and I’m all about that,' says Shea. 

As for the end chairs (gorgeous armchairs in white linen), Shea recognizes they're quite a controversial decision for a space dedicated to dining: 'I know you’re hearing white linen and thinking I’m crazy, but mom and dad are the only ones who get to sit on the white linen chairs.'

This dining room refresh achieves the transitional look Shea was after with ease, blending traditional design elements with modern pops of color and sculpture. A gem within an overall successful home transformation, this room provides an endless supply of design inspiration.

Abby Wilson
Interior Design News Editor

I am an Interior Design News Editor at Homes & Gardens. 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.