The texture in the reclaimed wood wall treatment gave an opportunity to take a rustic finish and show how modern details could prevent it from feeling "lodge-y"
Life is full of defining moments. For Designer Denise McGaha, it was when she told Dallas Renovation Group CEO Ralph Stow, “yes,” to tackling “The Remodeled Home of Tomorrow” project at the 2011 Texas State Fair. Because from it, due to the unexpected twists and turns, and the short deadline of the project, she envisioned and created her new line, “Designing with a Deadline.”
Originally, “The Remodeled Home of Tomorrow” was going to take on the form of an actual little residence between 1100 – 1200 square feet. Architectural and exterior plans were in place. But in September, McGaha received a phone call, while she was in New York that those plans had fallen through. The house was now going to be built under a tent with just the sheetrock to make up the interior.
The organic sphere (on table) showcasing reclaimed wood, creates another redundant design element of spheres in the space. The workspace ("mom's desk") in the breakfast area also houses the inspiration wall for fashion and design, which is painted with magnetic paint so that the pictures can easily be changed out. It also allows parental supervision for the family computer and a space to support homework assignments and projects.
Starting the weekend after Labor Day, McGaha had to make every second count, in order for the project to be complete by the time the fair began. She worked and collaborated closely with the Dallas Renovation Group, by whom she was given full designer’s license on the project, and they built, installed and furnished the home in a mere 16 days.
“My design concept for the home was to show clients how a space as small as ours can feel and live so large,” said McGaha. “My design vision was to show people how you could take rustic products/finishes and combine them with modern touches to really create a look that’s all your own.”
Flannel sofa and pops of color on linen pillows add energy to the space
For McGaha, every day on the project was a new challenge. They went through three to four re-selections with everything. It required her to keep her cool and also provided her the platform to tap into other talents.
Since everything else was donated, they had to work with whatever the designer gave them. Typically, McGaha’s style is much more of a high-end, more controlled design process. It was quite the designer’s challenge, she remarked.
Bold chevron tile pattern and bright yellow Bertazzoni range create a wonderful backdrop for the glass-covered fabric backsplash
(Fabric by Schumacher - Trina Turk Collection)
“It made me start thinking about how this is a need for many people when they’re doing a remodel, be it a kitchen or bath,” she said. “They want something that has a start and finish, so they can get on with their lives.”
Because of the diversity of the crowd coming through the exhibit at the fair, McGaha incorporated several DIY features in the small space. She also demonstrated how you could turn something ordinary into something extraordinary – like a creative tile pattern.
Bonsai scissors were displayed with abandon on small panel nails then framed with open white frames. A simple DIY that was unplanned but came together the night before the showhouse opened.
Throughout the home, especially noticeable in the living room, there was a mixing of patterned fabrics. McGaha claims it is her signature “look.”
“Each room had a shape theme. Even though there was a mix a patterns they all held a common theme,” she further explained.
The mosaic tile striped pattern in the master shower was continued in the space with navy stripes on the wall. The flow of the space and bold pattern created a bright counterpoint to the subdued colors of the light gray wall and tile palette.
As people came in and out of the exhibit, it was a great and sometimes entertaining thing to realize what intrigued some and didn’t intrigue others and the comments they’d make.
The fact that “The Remodeled Home of Tomorrow” all came together even better than the concept she had planned originally, proved to her that you can, in fact, design on a deadline and not be shorted in the end. This defining moment inspired and birthed her new line of Designing on a Deadline.
The bookcase nestled underneath the console table houses books displayed with pages facing out. Great way to create a constant color scheme on bookshelves and again adds visual texture.
“It can be done and it doesn’t have to be 4,000 people or like an extreme home makeover,” McGaha said. “It is doable if you work with a designer who has experience and understands the entire project.”