Designer-Tested Palettes: Studio McGee’s Go-to Colors

published Jun 9, 2016
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(Image credit: Studio Mcgee)

As a tried-and-true color extremist, I tend to gravitate toward rooms exploding in sapphire blue, emerald green, canary yellow (I also have a thing for gemstones, could you tell?). But hey, the world is an erratic place and sometimes, the eye needs a little rest. Enter interiors firm Studio McGee’s tested palette of ooom-inducing gray and sea glass green.

I first discovered Shea and Syd McGee, the adorable husband-and-wife team of Studio McGee, during a down-the-rabbit-hole Instagram evening extravaganza. I fell smitten with their Salt Lake City office and their refreshing, sweet designs, so I knew I wanted to pick their brains on what color palettes work for them, time and again.

A little background on the firm: Shea and Syd say it best on their About page, so I’ll let them take it from here. “Studio McGee was created in a spare bedroom with lots of big ideas and no room for fabric samples. After many late nights of brainstorming and collaboration, husband and wife team, Syd and Shea McGee decided to take what was a small business for a stay-at-home mom and turn it into something much more.”

Go-to color palette and why it works: Gray and green. This combination isn’t as trendy as, say, navy and pink right now, but I love it all the same. We tend to use gray on upholstery, cabinetry or walls, then we add in the green through plants or textiles. Gray and green together makes for a really soothing vibe.

(Image credit: Studio Mcgee)
(Image credit: Arlyn Hernandez)

How do you go about finding color combinations that work for your designs? Certain colors just really speak to me and others do not. In general, I just love blues and pinks, so I like them even more when they’re paired together. I am not naturally drawn to lots of red or orange, so I tend to use them in small doses. I have always selected things that I am naturally drawn to and they kind of just work together. Over time as I design more and more spaces, it is fun to see the patterns develop and continue to push myself to do different things.

Any colors you’ve been itching to try together? I had been dying to do a really dark green/black/white combination and I got my chance recently! It took some convincing, but the result was stunning.

(Image credit: Studio Mcgee)

Where you do look to for color inspiration? Artists’ paint palettes…the way they see and mix colors together is beautiful and quite inspired. Also, floral arrangements are a great source for me to pull palettes from.

Favorite color of the moment: Pink! Everyone loves it right now! Blush, fuchsia, coral-y pink—basically all shades of pink are the most requested colors right now.

(Image credit: Studio Mcgee)

Travel inspirations? How cliché is it to say France? Very cliché, but it’s true! From the timeworn grays and golds, to the pastels in a macaroon box, Paris has it all.

How do you recommend moving room to room with different color schemes? You can change the color palette, but the vibe needs to stay similar. Don’t try to do the bohemian look in one room and the preppy look in another. Mix them altogether and then carry that look with different colors from space to space.

Thanks Studio Mcgee! Now, onto perusing some more rooms with this serene color palette. Happy scrolling!

A gray and green palette works just as well outdoors as indoors, as made evident by this friendly exterior seen in Luxe Interiors + Design. Plus, we couldn’t not share this downright adorable Dutch door, and furry friend, by designer Joe Lucas and Parrish Chilcoat, Lucas Studio, Inc. Welcome home!

(Image credit: Inside Out)

Opting for a jewel-toned green ups the glamour of this airy three-story warehouse apartment (via Inside Out).

(Image credit: Cup of Jo/Paul Ferney)

Let neutrals anchor your space, and then pepper in a vibrant statement piece (like the luscious emerald sofa event planner Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day chose for her home, featured on Cup of Jo and plenty of foliage.

Do you have any of your own go-to gray or green paint colors? Share the love with us and other readers in the comments!