Spring is known as the best time of year for a design refresh, and Shea McGee just put a name to the timeless, transitional style we’re adoring as the seasons change: Modern Charm. Shea’s home brand McGee & Co. just dropped its spring collection, and it’s full to the brim with pieces that exemplify this fresh yet oh-so-cozy look.
Blending traditional design tenets with modern updates, the collection has certainly charmed the design world. Here’s what designers have to say about the spring-ready look, and how you can bring transitional style into your own home.
What is Modern Charm?
McGee & Co.’s latest collection emulates the best of the transitional style, bringing the ‘refreshing nature of spring’ into the home, says Shea. ‘Familiar comforts’ blend beautifully with ‘a renewed perspective’ on interior design to create an all-over wonderful aesthetic.
‘Some of the design elements you’ll see carried throughout is understated opulence like skirted and fringed upholstery, luxurious textiles like linen and waffle weave, and handmade touches like block print patterns and inset embroidery. Our spring collection is all about new comforts and old charm,’ says Shea.
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.
How to bring Modern Charm’s influence home
Emma Beryl, interior designer and founder of her eponymous design studio, says that modern charm exudes a ‘timeless, inviting aesthetic.’ She suggests starting simple before building the style out with considered details and accessories.
‘Focus on clean lines and minimalistic design while incorporating warm and welcoming touches. Choose a neutral color palette with pops of subdued, sophisticated hues. Opt for furniture with simple shapes and functional elegance, blending modern pieces with vintage or classic accents,’ says Emma.
Along with a neutral and earthy color palette, Emma says natural textures add dimension and interest to a space – throw blankets and rugs in comfort-forward materials work wonderfully. Plus, materials such as wood and stone add a natural element of warmth that will tie the other organic elements together with ease.
‘Add personal touches through artwork, decorative items and a mix of textures to achieve a modern charm that feels both stylish and welcoming,’ says Emma.
Emma Beryl is the founder of her eponymous design firm based in New York. After training at the New York School of Interior Design, Emma worked on an array of international projects before settling in the city. She was recently named as a top new designer to watch by Lonny Mag.
Modern charm is all about the layers, according to Becky Shea, interior designer and founder of New York City-based Becky Shea Design. Experiment with varied layers and textures until your space fulfills modern charm’s ‘artful fusion of vintage, contemporary and modern elements,’ says Becky.
‘The charm lies in the layers – the interplay of textures and carefully selected accessories and art that breathe a fresh and contemporary vibe into the space while retaining a connection to the past,’ she says.
By curating a selection of both old and new design elements through these details, your space will ‘exude both clean sophistication and a palpable sense of history and character,’ Becky adds.
Becky Shea is a full-service interior designer and lifestyle entrepreneur in New York City. She co-founded her studio, Becky Shea Design, where she currently works as the creative director. Her work is rooted in her love for natural materials that celebrate sustainability and craftsmanship from the local artisan community.
Kristine Renee, interior designer and co-founder of Design Alchemy, says that when done right, modern charm is ‘the essence of California casual.’ Echoing many tenets of the laid-back and inviting West Coast style, modern charm combines sleek design choices with ‘natural, organic materials and shapes,’ says Kristine. And the key to mastering the color scheme of modern charm? Having a look outdoors.
‘We often infuse “Modern Charm” through layering organic fibers such as jute or wool rugs, with lush linen upholstery and draperies. A color palette that speaks to the landscape is key for seamlessly pulling off the look,’ she says.
Kristine Renee founded Design Alchemy in 2012 with her mother, Deborah Costa. Design Alchemy is a full-service design studio with projects across the United States.
Alexis Elley, interior designer and founder of Textures Design, says that modern charm is part of a larger design movement – more and more designers are looking to update traditional architecture with modern-day interior design trends rather than scrapping the foundation.
‘I have designed many beautiful old homes with wood paneling and high ceilings – which always add drama and intrigue to the design elements chosen for a space. If your home is not an old Tudor style, try adding millwork to add some dimension, pair with gilded mirrors and antique chests with a modern style light,’ says Alexis.
If your home doesn’t feature traditional style, you’re not out of luck. There are so many ways to bring modern charm into your interiors, says Alexis. She suggests opting for muraled wallpaper in a dining room paired with sculptural chairs in timeless fabrics.
‘Sculptural furniture is a trend that is always in style. It is a conversation starter and can evoke emotion or a feeling. For example, an interesting accent chair, or coffee table adds an elevated element to the room. The unique detailing of many sculptural pieces can be such a fun, unexpected addition to a room,’ she says.
Folk-inspired patterns also emulate modern charm, and they speak to a serene, slow living mindset that many have gravitated toward in recent years, says Alexis.
‘Some ideas here that have worked well in my projects – kitchen window treatments, skirted dining chairs or throw pillows to add in some layers on a linen sofa,’ she says.
Alexis Elley founded Textures Design, a full-service design studio, in 2016.
Modern charm might just be our favorite spring style so far, and it’s clear that designers are loving the look as well. With lush layers and textural details, it’s the perfect blend of old and new, proving transitional and timeless once and for all.