It’s been quite a summer for everyone. Steve and I did a quick mental inventory over lunch, and we have much to be thankful for. Two new grand babies, family meals, gardening, continued work and quiet fun. Little did we know that our collaboration with Creative Candles would keep our creative juices charged throughout this spring and summer. We thank them for their top quality candles in mesmerizing colors, and kindness.
There is still time to use code MCKENZIE20 to save 20% on your total Creative Candles purchase by Sept. 6th.
Spring kicked off with a virtual Baby Girl Shower. Keying off this darling Blabla stuffed elephant, Josephine, the Barely Blush pink and Moss Green palette developed sweetly. We shared the fun with our new mom-to-be, family and friends virtually.
Then we really got creative, in our two bedroom condo and outdoor space. A romantic dinner for two on the balcony featuring lush greenery, textures and desert inspired candles.
Festive family dinner was next and you know Steve loves to set a gorgeous table. He’s also a fabulous cook, so it’s a win-win for all.
And our final summer wrap up is a self-serve cocktail bar with these vintage atomic candle holders and round bronze candles, an old-fashioned made with local Fiddler Bourbon by ASW Distillery, Schermer pecans to nosh on and bold buffalo check napkins.
Actually, this is a valuable documentation of this C-19 spring and summer. We’ll remember how and why we did so much work at home. Have you documented your experiences? Tell us what you’ve done to remember this crazy period of time. As always, thank you for traveling along with us. Cheers!
Our snack routine got stale, with all this time at home, WFH, cooking ALL the time. Who’s in charge of the pantry anyway?! Then we remembered Schermer Pecans, a treat from The Southern C summit a few years ago. Remember going to conferences? Someday…
Grown in Georgia, these deliciously fresh pecans will change how you look at snacks forever. Once you read about their legacy, history and their dedication to quality, you will feel even better about supporting this delectable regional and national treasure.
Our first snacks were the Roasted and Salted Pecans and the Cinnamon Pecans (the Cocktail Collection) to accompany a Friday evening cocktail. There is a difference in pecans – Schermer Pecans are so fresh, nutty, just the right amount of salt and then cinnamon to tease the tastebuds.
Need we say more? You need to try these delicious pecans for yourself. Get a head start on your holiday shopping too. They are a welcome gift too, see all the options here.
Anyone else adding green plants to their spaces these days? We’re fairly obsessed with house plants (a positive side effect of Covid). You know, propagating them, repotting them, trying to squeeze more of green into our condo. We’ve found lots of great information and plant ideas on Pinterest. Plants give us a sense of purpose, a sense of growth, something to care for, and add healthy benefits to our world.
Now I need to find some cute pots for two special spider plant starts, babies from my grandmother’s plant.
Show us your plants on Instagram using the hashtag #stevemckenzies. Be well!
Several folks have asked how we came up with our Summer Collection x Creative Candles. We’re happy to share our thought process and hope you enjoy the tour. It all starts with flowers, of course, playing off the colors we most often use in our home. You know how much Steve loves floral design (I’ll brag, he’s won a national award), hence summer floral is our launching spot for our Summer Collection.
Our personal home colors are gray, orange, greens and golds, on the softer side. Creative Candles has such a wide variety of artisan colors, it made it easy to gather a gorgeous grouping for summer. While Paris Gray was our year-round favorite in our suburban home, this Summer Collection branched out to embrace Barely Blush, Terra Cotta, Maize, Moss Green, Wedgwood and Roman Bronze. These luxurious, hand-dipped candles come in a variety of lengths and shapes too.
Desert colors, warm summer colors and sunsets also inspired the collection. Look at how the Terra Cotta, Barely Blush and Maize candles play off each other like a summer sunset. Dear Keaton baskets gave this alfresco table some texture and a cute vessel for the kalanchoe flowers. Those extra long tapers added a fun flair to the background monstera plants.
As lifelong learners, be bold and add some new colors to your table settings, coffee table and patio with candles, pillows and plants. Feel free to contact McKenzie Design with any questions and/or design needs. Be well and have fun!
Happy Monday! You still have time to visit this beauty of a showhouse this week through Sunday, June 28th. Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles magazine along with developer Benecki Homes, Linda MacArthur Architect and honorary chair, Melanie Turner and their talented team including over 15 of the top interior designers in the southeast, have outdone themselves with this year’s Villa Flora. We know how challenging a showhouse can be, then throw in the COVID shut down, and it could have easily gone awry. But this stalwart team kept calm and designed on.
Here’s a quick tour to whet your appetite for more…starting with the stately and welcoming exterior. You’re then quickly drawn to the back yard view of the six acre property. This family room by Melanie Turner Interiors provides cozy, custom luxurious seating, inspiring art and a view of the sparkling pool.
Which canopy bed is your favorite? Hint, there’s one more… Also the hand painted Gracie Studio wallpaper in Jared Hughes Design room is a stunner.
We’ll close with this soothing indoor lap pool, original to the home, updated by Melanie Millner of The Design Atelier with these handmade hammocks. Click the link to see ticket information. What a terrific way to kick of your summer!
We’re still home, a lot, all together. It looks like this will be the norm this summer. Let’s face it, if the kitchen isn’t working for you, not much else matters. Is it time to remodel your kitchen?
Finally fed up with the tiring work flow, dark cabinets and poor use of space, this owners of this 90s kitchen decided it was time to remodel, but without moving any walls, plumbing or electricity. Before and after photos tell this story, don’t they? You may want to take some notes…
Steve McKenzie came on board this project, assisting the homeowners and their contractor with the goal of maximizing and updating the spacious yet awkward kitchen. The family of six enjoyed cooking together and entertaining and knew there had to be a better way to use the space. It was also time to update colors, lighting and finishes with an eye toward resale. Steve started with reconfiguring the kitchen island and removing the high-low feature that so many of the kitchens had. Take a look at the after photo.
By squaring off the island footprint, it became a focal point of this new cool blue-gray kitchen. Updated tile combined with dark pewter hardware and modern clear glass pendants gave it a brighter outlook as the hub of the home. The vivid antique area rug gave it added warmth.
Steve’s team refinished the existing Lazy Susan table and chairs, added new seat fabric and a bright modern light fixture to complete the update. The family was thrilled with Steve’s solutions to their problems. Updated with the perfect tile, paint and fixtures, improved function and work flow, all with minimal disruption, all boxes checked off.
Feel free to share this with a friend and know we appreciate your taking time to spend time with us. How can we help you and your home? We would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org or @stevemckenzies on Instagram.
I may have mentioned that our son and his wife are expecting their first child in June, a little girl. Right away, my daughters and I started planning a ladies-only celebration baby shower for March to celebrate this blessed event. Well, we all know that life came to a screeching, shelter in place halt in early March. The invitations were mailed, personalized cups and napkins and dreamy candles ordered but off course we cancelled it, keeping everyone safe and at home.
As the baby shower date approached, we decided to go ahead and set the table, making it special for the new mama-to-be via photos. For a refresher, here’s a quick party planning breakdown of what we used and why. First Creative Candles Barely Blush votives were the building block for the color scheme and celebration.
This soft pink and mossy green palette paired beautifully with our Wedgwood Edme dishes. This is pretty pink quilt made a perfect table cloth backdrop for the candle lit setting of sweet nibbles and drinks. Get creative next time you set the table. Is there a vibrant scarf or shawl you can use on the table? Fresh flowers always add to the table too.
It’s not the same, we know. But we are making the best of these days at home, finding ways to celebrate the big, and the little, things. Let us know what you are celebrating via email, tag us on Instagram and we’ll see you soon.
Did you know Steve’s art is available at Huff Harrington Fine Art gallery? Yes, that charming little house off Roswell Road, brimming with loads of art from Atlanta and abroad.
Remember when you were young or even now, you waited for that certain person to notice you, maybe smile, or ask you a question. You know you will be best of friends. If only your paths would cross. Well, we’re so pleased our spheres intersected and created such synergy. Here’s how it happened.
When the energetic and effervescent owners, Ann and Meg rang us for a lunch date last spring, we were delighted and accepted with a big smile. Over a delicious chick salad lunch, we exchanged useful tips and business insights. As the conversation flowed to art, they hesitated a second and then asked Steve to be part of their dynamic gallery. Wow! We were clinked our ice tea glasses in celebration.
If you’ve seen our homes or Steve’s design studio, you know how we value art into our living and working spaces. Art evokes emotions, dreams, smiles and happiness. The Huff Harrington Fine Art gallery does just that and is a feast for the eyes. Steve is proud to be represented there. Please visit online and let your eyes and soul wander.
Be sure you add Huff Harrington Fine Art to your list of “Places to Visit After Covid”. For now, you can peruse their online array of original paintings by American and French artists in all styles and media. Follow both @Stevemckenzies@smckenzieart and @huffharrington to engage your creative spirit and soar.
Anyone else compiling a list of weekend getaway trips? We so enjoyed our recent weekend trip to Thomasville, Georgia, that we must share! It started off with Steve receiving a coveted invitation to design the entry way to the 31st Thomasville Antiques Show.
Much like a showhouse, he could think out of the box and keyed off this over-scale artwork from Wendover Art. Watch for a later recap of how he formulated his design plan.
Delighted that Thomasville is only a four hour drive from Atlanta, this charming village has something for everyone. We booked a charming VRBO cottage, perfectly appointed for us with super helpful owners. While much of our time was spent at the antiques show shopping and listening to the speakers, we did get a special tour one of the venerable southern shooting plantations, Pebble Hill Plantation.
No photography is allowed inside. But it wouldn’t have done the rooms justice anyway. The interiors are intact, down to the seahorse tortoise shell comb in the powder room, with Gracie wallpaper, over 20 sets of china, discrete bell pulls for the staff, and a lively family history.
After soaking up the history and timeless design at Pebble Hill Plantation, we enjoyed a fabulous lunch at Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese Shop in downtown Thomasville. Are you a blue cheese lover like me? I highly recommend their Asher Blue.
Then we strolled along the bustling downtown sidewalks. We had to explore this amazing taxidermy shop, of course.
Be sure to allow lots of shopping time, and don’t miss Firefly. It’s a magical place full of gifts for all ages, things you won’t see everywhere. Nan Myers is the mastermind of the magic, a talented event planner too. And there’s a local book store, toy store, clothing boutiques, and top it off with a chili dog from Billiard Academy’s walk up window.
Don’t you love that skirted table? Cowtan & Tout fabrics are a perennial design favorite of Steve’s. Easy way to update a hallway or side table too.
What cities and towns are on your weekend getaway list?
Steve and I recently reviewed our calendars, looking ahead to the balance of Q1 and the opportunities in Q2. My eyes lit up at the Influencers of Midlife Conference, marked with colorful stars and underlines. It’s happening March 26 – 29 at the Hotel at Avalon, headed up by my dear friend, interior designer, over 50 fashion maven, Robin LaMonte. Steve wondered aloud and asked me why all the happy symbols (literally, in my journal)?
So I stopped to think, why am I excited about IOM? Here are my top reasons, and I think some of them may resonate with you too.
Hanging out with like-minded women for a whole weekend! Women who are life-learners, hard workers, active, and eager to share, and know where I’m coming from. My kind of peeps…
Learning from these women, everything from wellness to fashion tips to business advice. Midlife is a pivotal transitional point in our lives, many of us experience a spiritual and emotional renaissance.
I see myself through a different lens with these ladies. So much potential!
Sharing in a spirit of growth, support and kindness to each other and ourselves.