Designer Friday: Denise McGaha

Right on time, our Designer Friday for the week highlights the fast-tracked Denise McGaha, a Dallas-based designer trademarked for her “designing with a deadline” mindset. Once a Neiman Marcus corporate executive, she now offers her eye for affordable, forward-thinking design to clients looking to complete their project in ninety days or less. In conversation with Andrew Joseph, she reveals everything from her bedtime to her favorite Elton John ballad.


Andrew Joseph – What’s your wakeup ritual?
Denise McGaha – Alarm at 5:30. Out of bed at 5:31.

Andrew – What’s your go to bed ritual?
Denise – In bed by 9:30. Fall asleep before head hits the pillow.

Andrew – How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Denise – I will let you know when I figure that out. Trying to incorporate young children in my house as employees hasn’t worked.

Andrew – What modern design trend makes you cringe?
Denise – Grey and white graphic patterns on everything. Shiny shag rugs.

Andrew – What’s your favorite time of day?
Denise – Morning.

Andrew – What is one thing no one knows about you?
Denise – My life is an open book – just check my Instastories.

Andrew – Dream country to work in? Or dream project to take on.
Denise – A beach house on any beach in the world.

Andrew – What’s the biggest surprise you’ve had?
Denise – When I found out my second child was a girl. I was convinced I was carrying a boy. Convinced.

Andrew – Vintage or new?
Denise – Vintage.

Andrew – Who do you want to write your obituary?
Denise – Stacy Kunstel

Andrew – What are three things you can’t live without?
Denise – Sleep, my dogs and my family.

Andrew – Most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life?
Denise – I have my motorcycle license.

Andrew – Favorite bad movie?
Denise – The Money Pit with Tom Hanks and Shelley Long

Andrew – Favorite piece of clothing you own?
Denise – Anything Gucci.

Andrew – Best advice you’d give your teenage self?
Denise – Relax.

Andrew – How do you define beauty?
Denise – Being yourself and always greeting someone with a smile. That is beautiful.

Andrew – Favorite city to recharge?
Denise – St. Johns, BVI

Andrew – A skill you’re working on mastering?
Denise – Doing nothing. It still needs work.

Andrew – Favorite scent?
Denise – Tom Ford Tobacco Vanilla

Andrew – Sweet or Savory?
Denise – Savory.

Andrew – Who is your ideal client?
Denise – Fashionable, understands a healthy budget, smart, sees value in design and funny. I can fill in the rest.

Andrew – Are there qualities in potential clients that you identify that make you know you have to run away?
Denise – Someone who uses the word “cheap” regularly in sentences.

Andrew – Song you can listen to on repeat?
Denise – Tiny Dancer –Elton John

Andrew – What’s one thing that is always in your refrigerator?
Denise – Eggs.

Andrew – Before leaving the house, you always…
Denise – Fill my water bottle.

Andrew – What is one Instagram account you can’t live without?
Denise – @busyphilipps


About Denise McGaha | Denise’s Trademarked process for “Designing with a Deadline” makes her the go-to designer for clients who want luxury, but not the wait. By offering Deadline Driven Design solutions since 2001, her discriminating clientele receive exhilarating interior design, coupled with prompt, and nimble, completion of their luxury project. Denise McGaha Interiors, is consistently ahead of the curve, not just influencing interior fashion, but often dictating it. Denise’s sophisticated methodology, and solid business acumen, evolved through her decade in
the corporate landscape of luxury retailer, Neiman Marcus, where she honed her well-trained eye, and was an integral part of the team that launched NeimanMarcus.com.

Often tapped as an interior design influencer, Denise, and her design projects, have been featured in national advertising campaigns for luxury manufacturers including Miele, Loloi Rugs, and Silestone by Cosentino. As a Trendspotter for Cosentino, Denise was part of the design team that developed new and innovative countertop designs for Silestone and her kitchen designs for Cosentino/Kohler/Benjamin Moore were featured in House Beautiful (Sept 2017). Denise has also been a designer for Curated Kravet, designing rooms for their Quick- Ship furnishings and accessories collections, which complement her “Designing with a Deadline” philosophy.

Denise’s projects have been featured in top shelter publications including House Beautiful, Traditional Home, Luxe Magazine, Modern Luxury Interiors, and D Home. Her work has been featured in design books by Susanna Salk, including Decorate Fearlessly, and It’s The Little Things and Christmas at Designers’ Homes Across America by Patricia McMillan. Her work will also be featured in the upcoming Southern Style Now book by Robert Leleux.

Denise had the privilege of being named the 2014-2016 Brand Ambassador for Currey & Co, she is an alumnus of the coveted Brizo Blogger 19, and she has traveled across the country as a member of the Design Leadership Network. She is a frequent speaker on the business of design, and design efficiencies at High Point Market, Dallas Market, and ADAC and has had the honor of being selected to design several showhouse rooms, including the coveted Hamptons Designer Showhouse in Sag Harbor, NY, The Modernism Showhouse at the Christopher Kennedy Compound in Palm Springs, CA, and a couple of The Southern Style Now Showhouses in New Orleans, LA and Savannah, GA and Dallas Decorators Showhouse in Dallas, TX. Denise currently has collections with Materials Marketing and Design Legacy and just launched a collection with Currey & Co in Fall 2018.


About Andrew Joseph | Andrew Joseph’s passion for design and rich journalistic history led to the launch of his boutique PR firm in 2012. Prior to enjoying the successes of Andrew Joseph PR, Andrew honed his editorial skills at Vanity Fair and Allure. This experience, as well as the strong network of contacts developed over the years in public relations, brings a valuable edge to his new role as contributing editor. Let the musing begin.

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