Collectibles: Jonathan Adler Pottery

We have been long-time appreciators of pretty much anything and everything Jonathan Adler since our time living in Colorado, over 12 years ago. Throughout the years, we’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy Jonathan Adler rugs, pillows, and of course, his signature pottery in our home.

That’s why it felt so appropriate to begin our “Collectibles” series here on the blog for steve mckenzie’s with one of our very favorite collections, our assortment of Jonathan Adler pottery.

Our love of his whimsical pieces stems from our love of Danish design. Adler’s smooth and stylized pieces are reminiscent of the iconic Dala Horse, indicative of that Danish design – and Scandinavian design in general – we’re so very fond of.

Danish pottery

Here are some images of our prized Jonathan Adler pottery collection throughout our home…


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We typically group pieces with similar finishes together for maximum impact in our space. We just love how the funky shapes of the Adler pottery play off one another to create a uniquely mod mood.


Although, we believe the Adler pottery we so covet is truly timeless.


One of our favorite collections within the full line of his pottery is the menagerie collection of modern animal sculptures. This bull, by Jonathan Adler sits perched on the corner of the desk in our home office/library, and offers a playful touch. The creamy white ceramic finish works in almost any room, and could complement any style.

Carter's room
This Jonathan Adler horse lamp is our son Carter’s prized possession. Although he’s off at college, it remains in our home until he chooses to move it to his “real” house, post college. We’ll soak in every ounce of it’s uniquely molded exterior until that time!

As you can see, our Adler pottery pieces are scattered throughout our home, so we may enjoy them in different scenarios, and honestly, just so we can enjoy them more often!

Do you have a favorite collection? Or, are you also a fan of Jonathan Adler pottery? If so, what are your favorite pieces?

Tastemaker Tuesday – Michel Boyd

We’re honored to feature the incomparable Michel Boyd, of SMITHBOYD Interiors, for our first-ever Tastemaker Tuesday post! This blog series will highlight a member of the interior design industry, whom we’re drawn to here at steve mckenzie’s, and share a bit about them in just ten short questions. As for why we asked Michel to participate in this series, besides being charming, and quite debonair, we enjoy his use of luxurious fabrics and textiles and cool art that’s unexpected for the space. Michel creates very chic spaces that are still inviting and comfortable. Enjoy!

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Michel Boyd

With an initial interest in architecture, Michel Boyd, an Art Institute graduate, realized his love for fashion, textiles, and furniture was a perfect foundation for pursuing a career in interior design.  The Louisiana born designer’s first influences were in the rich French history of New Orleans, living in New York City and extensive European holidays.  Elements of each of these cultures and experiences can be detected in the layers of design found in each space he transforms. While still fairly new to the industry, Boyd is quickly making an impact and has created a niche of building “boutique bedrooms.” His philosophy is that bedrooms should be the ultimate hotel suites, therefore destinations for his clients. Learn more about Michel here.

Without further ado, Tastemaker, Michel Boyd:

1. What are three words that describe your aesthetic?

Thoughtful – Layered – Luxury

2. Would you please share a little about your favorite space/project to date?

My favorite project to date is one where I was a part of the design process from its conception. Over the years, the homeowners’ and my taste level/aesthetic grew exponentially, and they gave me license to design accordingly. The icing on the cake was when the lady of the house said that old furniture doesn’t work in new houses. In my head I heard choirs of angels. Priceless!!

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3. What’s the source of your inspiration?

I feel really fortunate that I find inspiration just about everywhere. Fashion is by far my favorite because of my obsession with textiles and the clear points of view of the designers. The opportunity to help develop/execute a client’s authentic point of view is one of my favorite aspects of this job. When we are successful at delivering a project that is a true reflection of our clients, they are in turn inspired. Mission accomplished.

4. Name three people (alive or dead) you’d invite to your dream dinner party…

My dream dinner party consists of Langston Hughes, Tom Ford ( or maybe Cocoa Chanel?), and David Sedaris for humor. Perhaps Kelly Wearstler would set the table?

5. What’s a piece of/type of furniture you couldn’t live without?

How do I pick one piece of furniture that I can’t live without? I’m a designer, therefore indulgent by nature! I MUST have a sofa or lounge in every bedroom, however, I am obsessed with lighting. Chandeliers and lamps are room jewelry!


6. Do you follow a particular set of rules when mixing textures, finishes, etc. – how do they work for you?

Mixing textures doesn’t have to be a standard recipe, however it must be a balanced one. A leather sofa requires a velvet chair with equal parts woven ottomans, peppered with complimentary prints and just a sprinkle of silk drapes. Your room is like a salad, and all lettuce does NOT a salad make.

7. Trending… What is something you are currently “into” and something you are “over?”

-My favorite current trend is jewel toned walls. Those deep, moody hues are a great foundations for rich interiors.

-The trend that I’m over is blatant design plagiarism. Social media and design magazines are great sources of inspiration, even platforms for new ideas- not for taking credit for another’s work. Design integrity is paramount.


8. How does artwork fit into your designs?

A great piece of artwork anchors a room and can inspire an entire home. Adding to our clients’ art collections is always fun, but I’m really excited when they already have one that they’re passionate about. That passion is contagious and translates into the design process.

9. What would be the one thing you would have if you were stranded on a deserted island?

If I was stranded on a deserted island I would need room service! Seriously, I’d need a sketch pad to jot down/design all the ideas that I’d never have time to….unless I were stranded in a deserted island.

10. Please share a piece of advice you’d offer to someone looking to break into the interior design industry…

My advice to anyone breaking into this business; Building relationships in your design community is as important as your education and talent. Hiring a designer is a luxury, however BEING one is an even bigger luxury. Let’s treat the privilege with the respect it deserves.

Thank you Michel for allowing us to feature you as a Tastemaker for our new blog series, we’re excited to continue following your work!

*Michel is currently a finalist in Architectural Digest’s Before + After Closet Showcase – check it out and vote for his (Atlanta, GA) fantastic closet makeover!

Tablescape Thursday – Pastel with Pops of Cobalt

If you’re like us, you’re tired of the traditional reds and greens of the holidays, and you’re over the gloomy grays and whites of winter… We’re in desperate need of color around here and our featured setting for our first Tablescape Thursday post is the remedy!


We’ve taken pastels and made them especially timely with pops of rich Cobalt blue – a refreshing look after the holidays when you’re not quite ready for spring, but are ready for a change in hues for your home.


It’s surprisingly easy to mix pastel colors with a steady stream of cobalt blue; even when not everything has that blue tone in it!

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Our favorite R. Wood Studio dinner plate, in the Blueberry colorway, was the basis for our place setting, creating a cool contrast with the wood of the table top and crisp white of the salad plate, cloth napkin, and classic utensils.

Additional pastel colors are worked in through these fun dinner napkins (steve mckenzie’s hostess tip: We believe in utilizing cloth napkins day in and day out; primarily from an environmental and comfort point of view. In addition, it’s fun to change your tablescape with seasonal napkins. Have everyone keep their napkin on their chair until it’s time to toss them in the wash).


Another way to easily update the look of your tablescape isn’t on the table at all… Look up! Consider updating your chandelier lampshades a few times throughout the year for a relatively inexpensive way to make a dramatic change in your dining space. We can help you create custom shades with fabric from steve mckenzie’s, or try Sunlighting Lamp and Shade Center for a fabulous selection of shades.

Centerpiece - love how all the colors come together in the Asian Figures

Not only does this whymsical centerpiece add a touch of bling and flair, it also serves a purpose. These unique Asian figures are perched upon dessert plates, making for a seamless transition to the final course of the meal.

We hope these tips, suggestions, and product finds help inspire you to create an updated tablescape utilizing unexpected color combinations. We promise, it will give you a fresh perspective… Bon appetit!

Museum Monday – Musee de la Chasse

We’re excited to share about the Musee de la Chasse for our inaugural Museum Monday post here on the blog for steve mckenzie’s!

Courtesy of Musee de la Chasse

This private museum of hunting and nature, located in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris, is Steve and Jill’s son, Carter’s favorite museum – and for good reason…

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10 year old Carter enjoying Musee de la Chasse
McKenzie's at Musee de la Chasse 2
10 year old Spencer fighting off alligators (!) at Musee de la Chasse

Although the idea of a hunting museum may seem barbaric, we assure you this museum is anything but. It artfully explores the relationship between man and beast, and the role animals have played in man’s life.

Courtesy of Musee de la Chasse

Each room of the museum is dedicated to a different animal; giving us each the opportunity to pick a favorite. This makes for a fun and memorable family outing indeed!

Courtesy of Musee de la Chasse
Courtesy of Musee de la Chasse

We look forward to sharing many more of our family’s much-loved museums through our Museum Monday posts, and hopefully inspire you to visit – or even re-visit – some of our favorite places.

Have an artful day; and please share any of your favorite museums with us!

Library Friday – Elias Rivera

We’re fortunate enough to have been able to take a room in our home and transform it into a library. But, we must confess – most of the books housed in this favorite room are of the art variety. In fact, the shelves in this space were made deeper than regular bookshelves to accommodate the depth of our favorite art books.

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Because books are a favorite pastime and an important source of inspiration for us, we’ll be sharing some of our most treasured volumes with you, in hopes of inspiring you to live an artful life, in our Library Friday series here on the blog for steve mckenzie’s.

In this first installment, we wanted to share a most beautiful book of Elias Rivera’s work by Edward Lucie-Smith from Hudson Hills Press 2006. On grey wintery days, like we’ve been experiencing lately, we can warm up simply by perusing the work of this great artist, Elias Rivera, master of light and rich colors.

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For us, this book is so inspiring because Rivera is able to capture a slice of life… From all walks of life, such as farmers and Trump Tower to an iconic diner. With each of his pieces you can practically feel the air and light within his painting.

Here’s an image of one of the artist’s works we’re lucky enough to enjoy on a regular basis, thanks to a generous gift to Jill from Steve for her 45th birthday. Like all of Rivera’s works, this piece features a lovely warmth and texture.

photo 1 (2)If the book isn’t quite enough for you, and you’re local here to the Atlanta area, the Georgia Museum of Art, located in Athens, has an Elias Rivera work in their collection titled “Waiting.” It’s truly stunning and worth a look, if you’re in the area or can make the quick trip to this gem of a town.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into our library and of one of our favorite art books housed within it. Do you have a favorite art book you’d like to share with us – we love recommendations!

steve mckenzie’s Showroom Re-Do – And a New Colorway After the Holidays!

For many, a New Year means resolutions – cutting back, saving more, etc. And although we have our resolutions for 2014 in place, we’ve also been feeling the need for a fresh look in the store. Enter cue for a showroom re-do at steve mckenzie’s… Not only have these showroom updates inspired us to introduce some new items in a beautiful way, they’ve also encouraged us to get creative. If you can’t come in and experience our showroom re-do in real life, take a look below to experience the digital version and get some ideas to freshen your space for the New Year:

Image 3 - CopyDo we spy blue?!? Spring may really be on the horizon, even if our thermometers disagree. Blue offers us an easy, soothing transition into spring. This new table setting in our showroom incorporates spring blue with natural elements, and even a few polished items, offering a sense of casual elegance. We’ve also mixed up seating at the table with a painted blue chair situated at the head.

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Here’s a little tighter closeup – the wintery green tone is made fresh with birch candle holders (our homage to wabi sabi) and bright acrylic glasses. The napkin rings bring a touch of bling with them. We always suggest mixing textures when creating any tablescape. From the mottled look of the handmade dishware, to the weave of the layered green place mats, mixing varying textures helps achieve interest and depth in design.

photo (1)Our new vignette of Julie Wear’s Kentucky horses china mixed with r wood’s pottery in blueberry and vintage anchor dessert plates also plays off the blue hue introduced throughout the store.

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Sparkle is added with our mercury glass centerpiece filled with winter greenery. After all, any makeover, whether in a home or store showroom, needs a bit of bling! And this centerpiece was simple to create… Bring together a dramatic vessel and fill with delicate greenery and moss. Utilize it as a focal point, or place in a corner to add a touch of softness.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our tour of our revamped showroom – hopefully we’ve inspired you to make some spring-inspired updates to your home.

Cheers to the new year and a fresh look at steve mckenzie’s!

*Click here to view the wide range of dining and entertaining products available at steve mckenzie’s.

Wanderlust Wednesday – Scandinavia

This week’s Wanderlust Wednesday post is about our dreams of traveling to Scandinavia, specifically Copenhagen, to enjoy the rich heritage of design and natural beauty this country has to offer. Both Steve and Jill are huge fans of Danish design, and agree it is the perfect blend of form and function.


The iconic Egg Chair is a piece that holds many memories for Jill, as she grew up reading her favorite books tucked into its graceful lines; it’s also a favorite spot to sit in the McKenzie’s home now.

danish egg chair

Traveling to Scandinavia, and learning more about the historic work of architects and designers, such as Arne Jacobsen and Finn Juhl, is truly something to be inspired by and to wanderlust over on this winter Wednesday…
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VM houses in Ørestaden, Copenhagen

steve mckenzie’s Resolutions for 2014

It’s the start of a New Year, and for many of us, that means a fresh start and possibly some goal setting. Although many New Year’s resolutions focus on dropping a bad habit, getting healthier, or saving money, our goals for 2014 are a bit different. And to help us stick to them for the year, we’re sharing them here with you.

At steve mckenzie’s we resolve to…

  • Create – Of course! You’d think we wouldn’t have to make this one a resolution; it’s what we do everyday, right?!? Well, it’s easy to get sidetracked and loose focus. This year, we’re looking forward to focusing on creating art, working to create inviting spaces, and to creating new combinations.
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Some or our favorite creations from the past few years
  • Inspire – A goal for us this year is to really work to inspire others. We want to inspire our clients here at steve mckenzie’s to get brave, go bold, and express their own aesthetic by creating their own spaces. We hope to design memorable displays and get creative (see above) with unique combinations, which will work to inspire others.
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Tabletop inspirations at steve mckenzie’s – photo courtesy of LONNY
  • Read – This one’s a personal goal for both Steve and Jill. To make time in our hectic schedules to actually sit down and read – for Steve to enjoy some of the great Southern authors, such as Harper Lee and Faulkner, and for Jill to focus on finishing one book each quarter. Book recommendations welcome!
  • Entertain – Again, something you think would come naturally in our line of business. But, even we need to make an effort to spend more time with family and friends. Not only will entertaining more allow us to nurture those important relationships, it will also give us an opportunity to get creative (ah ha, back to #1 again!), and possibly give us an opportunity to inspire others (and onto #2 – we’re covering all the bases with this one). AND this resolution even ties to the next one…
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We need more great times, like this one, spent with family and friends!
  • Unplug – We’re sure we’re not the only ones with this resolution for 2014, but time unplugged is what enriches our lives, and helps us recharge. In the digital world we live in, it’s easy to get caught off guard, and realize we’re not really engaging with others or having meaningful interactions. Really unplugging with give us an opportunity for more face to face time and activities. Euchre anyone?

Maybe we’ll revisit these in a few months for a status update… Keep an eye out! And please share – what are your resolutions for 2014?