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'Dream Home Makeover': Who are Shea and Syd McGee? How couple went from young and broke to being design influencers

Shea and Syd McGee are a Netflix phenomenon today, but it wasn't an easy start for them as they fought some extremely difficult days initially while bringing up two kids

The creative duo on the binge-worthy ‘Dream Home Makeover’ is husband and wife Syd and Shea McGee, who are also owners of Studio McGee, an interior design firm based in Salt Lake City. The two not only custom-design multimillion-dollar dream homes across the United States, but also run a successful YouTube channel that led to the creation of the Netflix original series and it's all set to release another season this coming year.

If you want to know the difference between "California Cool" and "Modern Farmhouse", or if you love organizing and have binge-watched ‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo’ and ‘Get Organized With The Home Edit’ in one sitting, then ‘Dream Home Makeover’ Season 2 should be your next Netflix binge.


Together, Shea and Syd McGee have a net worth of an estimated $5M – set to rise in the future with the projects they are undertaking and the Netflix show. But fans of the husband-wife duo might not be aware of the many obstacles the couple overcame to garner streaming fame and solidify their spot in the design world. Years before they had become an Insta-famous design company or landed a Netflix home makeover show, Syd and Shea McGee were a young, broke couple with a big dream.

Released on October 27 and is now already a New York Times bestseller, their memoir ‘Make Life Beautiful’ details exactly that. According to Syd, there came a point when "We cut out everything that wasn’t mortgage or food, and even with that we had a strict grocery budget." Even with their strict budget, the couple was swiftly "losing ground" financially.


"But no matter how much we cut our expenses, something always came up," Syd shared. "We started using the credit card for emergencies, which turned into using the credit card for anything we couldn’t cover at the end of the month. We were losing ground quickly, making my lack of contribution even worse." Still living in California, they were struggling to make ends meet as they tried to grow their business and provide for their two young daughters, Wren, now 7, and Ivy, now 4.

For Shea, who quit her public relations job to pursue design, there were times when a sense of guilt hit hard. "I was angry at myself for failing to provide basic necessities for my family," she wrote. "I was ashamed that I cared what other people would think. I felt sick knowing we would have a safety net if I hadn’t been so focused on spending all our money to build my portfolio."

Now, the McGees can truly say that their early hardships made them stronger as both a couple and as business owners. In addition to their show and book, their design firm is a huge success with projects in Utah and beyond. They have a home collection at Target as well as their own decor line called McGee & Co. The pair also finished building their own dream home for their family in Salt Lake City from the ground up and moved in earlier this year.