Considering their line of business, the McGees obviously have a huge, astonishing home that is decorated to perfection. But, this wasn’t always the case, and creating their dream home took a lot of hard work and many years. At first, when they were starting with Studio McGee, Syd and Shea used to work out of a spare room in their tiny apartment.
As they kept designing luxurious homes and mansions that were worth millions, they moved from one rental apartment to the next for over five years. Every bit of their earnings went into the business – now that’s true commitment!
The Stories Behind the Names
It’s no secret that Shea and Syd love nature, which can clearly be seen through their designs and clean styles. So, when it came to picking a name for their daughters, it’s no surprise they got their inspiration from nature. Their first daughter, Wren, gets her name from the beautiful bird, and Shea says it couldn’t be more fitting – they say that she’s always been delicate and tiny like a little bird.
Their second, Ivy, is not only a plant but was also Shea’s great-grandmother’s name, so there’s an extra special connection there. Their third, Margot, is the French word for “pearl”, which is also an element of nature, and Shea says the name couldn’t be more perfect, because she really is a pearl.
Opening Their First Storefront
For the first four years of Studio McGee, Syd and Shea were building their portfolio with renovations of their own home and mainly doing design work for friends, family, and neighbors. When they started to create their own design collection, they did e-commerce and sold everything online. But in 2018, they finally opened their first store!
Located in California’s beautiful Costa Mesa neighborhood, the shop is filled with gorgeous designer collections and styles for home décor. Shea explains that the previous owner of the shop contacted them directly, since she had known the McGees for years – they used to shop there all the time.
Giving It All Up
Having to constantly uproot their lives and move from one rental apartment to the next wasn’t the only big sacrifice Syd and Shea made for their business. As they explain in their memoir, “Make Life Beautiful”, the couple had to sell practically everything they owned – including Syd’s truck, surfboards, bicycles, and some of Shea’s furniture.
They also had to stop going out to restaurants, cancel their gym memberships, their cable, and basically everything that wasn’t essential. Syd explains that Shea was his role model, staying awake up to late hours of the night, juggling tending to their first daughter Wren, meeting with clients, and curating their Instagram posts. She definitely sounds like a superwoman.
Building Their Dream Home
After years of financial struggles, planning, and hard work, the McGees finally built their dream home in 2019, in Lehi, Utah. And as you can imagine, every single room is breathtaking – from the astonishing kitchen to the luxurious master bedrooms, and even the laundry room!
Shea and Syd blended styles to create a gorgeous mix of wood and marble with minimalist designs to create the perfect space. They have a lush, green backyard where their girls play, and Shea does gardening. An amazing party room where Syd has a skate ramp, a huge pool, and a music and arts & crafts room. What more could one ask for in a home?