Designer Denise McGaha: Monogrammed Towels, Linens & More — How To Make Your Second Home the Most Relaxing Design Haven Ever

When it comes to decking out a second home, interior designer Denise McGaha has seen it all. Denise is the Owner and Principal of Denise McGaha Interiors , an interior design firm in Dallas, Texas.  After 7 years with luxury retailer Neiman Marcus, Denise opened her design firm and set out to design luxury homes for her clients. Denise often designs second and third homes and enjoys building long term relationships with clients and their families.  Her designs reflect the style of each client, and fine art and textiles are often a catalyst for her design inspiration. 

“Designing a vacation home for our clients, we often depart from the style they have in their primary residence.  This gives you an opportunity to TRULY feel like you are on vacation from your real life, ” says denise

 Here are her tips for making that second home as relaxing as possible:

1. Resist the urge to take old furniture or accessories from your primary home to your vacation home.  This only creates a garage sale feeling when you arrive and you should be inspired the minute your turn the key in the door.  Buy new, or at least reupholster old pieces for a fresh new look.

2.  As you will often have friends, family, and even clients sharing your vacation home, make sure you are investing in durable flooring and furnishings.  There are so many great fabrics that are indoor/outdoor you can create a designer look that will LAST.   Flooring should be easy to clean and durable too.  I use lots of hard surface flooring with rugs in second homes.

3.  Buy great art, local if possible.  Take the time to tour local galleries and meet local artists.  This will bring local flavor to your vacation home and inspire you time and again at your arrival.

Second homes are an Rx for relaxation!

4.  Invest in the best linens you can afford.   I love Sferra linens because of the numerous options. But I found some GORGEOUS 1,000 thread count sheets for one client at Tuesday Morning! You will have time to appreciate them more and there is nothing like sliding between cool sheets or warm blankets after a day of sun or slopes.  The same applies to towels.  I like to create a special monogram for our clients’ second homes and use them on beach bags, ski gear, bedding and towels.

5.  Stay well stocked.  Make sure you have lots of your favorites on hand.  Whether it’s soaps, sparkling water, libations, or candles, having everything you love when you arrive will make for a less stressful arrival.  I don’t like having a list of to-dos the minute I arrive for relaxation.  Have your local store deliver food before your arrival so the fridge is well stocked too.  Give them a list of your favorites and call them before each trip. Some friends have housekeepers in the area who check in on the house and shop for food before your arrival.

Arrive late at night to a full stocked kitchen

A vacation home is an opportunity to relax, regenerate and build memories with family and friends!  Make sure yours is ready for all three by investing a little planning and in the beginning to design the space to do just that. 

Denise McGaha is the Owner and Principal of Denise McGaha Interiors , an interior design firm in Dallas, Texas.  After 7 years with luxury retailer Neiman Marcus, Denise opened her design firm and set out to design luxury homes for her clients. Denise often designs second and third homes and enjoys building long term relationships with their families.  Her designs reflect the style of each client, and fine art and textiles are often a catalyst for her design inspiration.

All the comforts of the first home in your bedroom!