Tastemaker Tuesday – Matthew Patrick Smyth

Our May Tastemaker on the blog for steve mckenzie’s really needs no introduction… We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to share Matthew Patrick Smyth as our latest featured interior designer for our Tastemaker Tuesday blog series! Matthew’s stunning, traditional interiors offer an updated twist on classic design. His refreshing style showcases an unparalleled attention to detail that is evident in all he does. His book, “Living Traditions: Interiors by Matthew Patrick Smyth” offers a glimpse into some of his most memorable projects and has become an instant classic.

We hope you enjoy learning about this supremely talented interior designer, Matthew Patrick Smyth, in the newest installment of steve mckenzie’s Tastemaker Tuesday series:

Matthew Patrick Smyth
Matthew Patrick Smyth

After studying interior design at the Fashion Institute of Technology and working with David Easton for six years, Matthew Smyth launched his own firm in 1988. He gives careful consideration to blending classic style with comfort and values long-lasting client relationships. In fact, many of Matthew’s clients are on their second, third, and fourth projects with Matthew Patrick Smyth Inc. Clients say the key to these long-term relationships is Matthew’s straightforward and easy manner. In addition to participating in a number of designer showhouses and charity projects, Matthew has branched out into product design. Patterson Flynn Martin produces two Matthew Patrick Smyth carpet collections. A Matthew Smyth line of fabrics was introduced by F. Schumacher and a line of wallcovering designs soon followed. Matthew has been consistently listed as one of the top designers in publications such as Traditional Home, New York Magazine and New York Spaces.

1. What are three words that describe your aesthetic?

Appropriate…. Comfortable…… Quality

A NY Mets themed room for Ronald McDonald House by Matthew Smyth.

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

I just did a room for the Ronald McDonald House in Long Island.  I was given the NY METS room and ran with it. I had the best time and what was most rewarding was that it is permanent for use by the patients and their families. It is such a good cause. The kids were thrilled and so was I! 

3. What’s the source of your inspiration?

Paris….  It never stops amazing me. Every time I go, I discover something new and what I’ve seen a hundred times still pleases me.  I always feel recharged when I come back from Paris.

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

Gloria Vanderbilt, Billy Baldwin and Emma Thompson.  


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

The daybed in my library in Sharon Ct.  I spend rainy Saturdays there with my books, music and Ipad. It’s my favorite spot!

sun room

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

I was given some great, simple advice in Design School from the late Stanley Barrrows who taught Mario Buatta, Angelo Donghia etc… He said “Never match… blend”   I still repeat it in my mind and to my assistants. I think BLEND AND BALANCE are the key words in my design process.
7. Trending… What is something you are currently “into” and something you are “over?”

I’m now loving Amsterdam and anything Dutch inspired… Colors, antiques and attitude.

I think the Moroccan theme has been played out way too long, but I’m still attracted to it.

living room
A living room space by Matthew Patrick Smyth.

8. How does artwork fit into your designs?

Artwork is the finishing touch.  I enjoy putting a room together and then having the art bring it all to another level.  

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

My iPad downloaded with all my favorite music, movies and episodes of Homeland, as long as I also have a solar charger!

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

Take your time and work for someone before starting your own business. Too often a young person fast tracks it and then eventually it all crashes and burns. It’s one thing to get a project, but it’s another to finalize it to the client’s satisfaction.  There are no shortcuts in this industry!  Learn all you can before you head out there on your own. There’s plenty of time! Do it right and get as much experience as you can! Keep in mind that design is actually only 10 percent of the business. The rest is paperwork and navigation. It does not matter how good your design is if you cannot deliver it. Get experience and embrace the paperwork and logistics.

Thank you so much to Matthew Patrick Smyth for agreeing to participate in our Tastemaker Tuesday series! A glimpse into his beautifully designed and curated spaces is always such an inspiration and a treat!

Tips for Creating an Inspired Wedding Registry

Know a couple who like to do things a bit differently? Perhaps you and your fiance fit into that “out of the box” category of engaged couples? If so, a steve mckenzie’s wedding registry may be just the unique touch that wedding registry lineup needs!

Some tips from Jill and Steve on creating the perfect wedding registry for you and your beloved:

  • Consider where you’ll be living when selecting items. If you’re city-dwellers, a rolling bag for groceries may be a necessity. Or, if you’ll be living in a single-family home with lots of patio space, you may consider outdoor entertaining pieces a necessity. Our eldest and her fiance registered as if they were moving into a large suburban house, as opposed to the graduate school apartment, which became a reality. She’s shared that, thinking back, they could have made some different selections at the time.

    Blenko Tangerine Pitcher – a perfect “special” piece to add to the registry!
  • With that said, go ahead and register for all of those really nice things you’d love to live with. Fine china, silver cutlery, top-of-the-line cookware can all be added to the list – go for it! After all, there’s no other time like this in your lives.

    R. Wood Studio’s Antipasto Platter may be a dream registry item for the entertainer in your future family!
  • Take your partner into consideration when registering, even if they’re not able to make it to each store with you. Will they be doing the yard work? If so, a registry at a local hardware or home improvement store for things like their dream weed-whacker may be the perfect addition to your wedding registry options!
  • Don’t let your mother (or any friends or family members) pressure you into registering for things you don’t want. Only you and your fiance know what your married lifestyle will be like. Although, Jill does suggest to at least consider mom’s suggestions… 🙂

    Mitchell Black art
    Art by Mitchell Black – available at steve mckenzie’s
  • If you and your fiance already have a well-established household, consider registering for some special home accessory items, such as a unique lamp or piece of artwork. These items may be perfect to feather your nest with since you probably have all the linens and serving pieces you need.
Of course you know we’ll have everything to set the perfect table and make an amazing bed… And the unique pieces available through steve mckenzie’s will certainly not be repeated on a friend’s registry at a big box store.
Our registry is set up so anything from dishware to outdoor furniture may be included. Items from a steve mckenzie’s wedding registry won’t just turn your house into a home. These gifts will fill your abode with loads of personality and help create a warm and welcoming environment!
*Newlyweds – don’t forget those thank you notes either… We have a wonderful selection of stationary that will match your notes of appreciation to your unique style.

A Color Story… Why the 2014 ASA Showhouse won’t be soon forgotten.

You know we love color here at steve mckenzie’s… And after visiting the 2014 Atlanta Symphony Associates (ASA) Showhouse, we’re tickled pink (pun intended!) to see some other folks do too!

Traci Rhoads Interiors (3)
Designer Traci Rhoads in her inspiring bedroom space at the ASA Showhouse

Designer Tracy Rhoads took bedroom design to another level with this stunning “House on the Klong” collection wallpaper from Jim Thompson!

Traci Rhoads Interiors (1)

And the branch light fixture she so artfully curated – stunning against that aqua metallic ikat backdrop… Seriously we’re still dreaming about it.

Laura walker

Stormy colors (and not to mention artwork) abound in the home’s grand hall, designed by Laura Walker, of Verde Home and Laura Walker Ltd.
Master Terrace - Lance Jackson - Parker Kennedy 1
A vibrant green palette – and whimsical textiles – set the stage for the home’s master terrace by the team at Parker Kennedy. How perfect is this spot for a cup of tea in the morning?!?
Morning Room - John Oetgen - Oetgen Design Inc. 2
Speaking of a lovely am ritual, at steve mckenzie’s we love a good morning room. And John Oetgen‘s space didn’t disappoint! His thoughtfully curated collection of colorfully patterened throw pillows were a welcome sight.
If the colors showcased throughout this fabulous home don’t inspire you to bring some new hues into your space, we don’t know what will! But, if you’ve been bitten by the spring color bug, reach out to us today to see how we can create the perfect palette for your space.

5 Reasons to visit the Atlanta Symphony Associates Decorators’ Showhouse (or really any showhouse!)

Last week Jill attended the kickoff of the 44th annual Atlanta Symphony Associates (ASA) Decorators’ Showhouse… And let us tell you, it was a showstopper. So much so, we’re still musing over it. And there was so much to be inspired by we’re sharing all about it in not one, but two blog posts!

ASA Showhouse

It doesn’t take much to twist our arms to visit a showhouse, but if you – or maybe your friends – need a little more convincing, we’ve gathered our list of the top five reasons to visit the ASA Showhouse, or really any decorators’ showhouse for that matter:

Architect Neel Reid
Architect Neel Reid
  1. You have an opportunity to tour a home you wouldn’t normally get to experience. The ASA Showhouse was designed by architects Neel Reid and Philip Shutze and built in the 1920’s for the Rhodes family. Neel Reid – iconic. Need we say more? Known around these parts as “The Pink Palace” because of its previous pink color and pink dogwood trees, this home is one of the most recognized historic family homes in Atlanta. And, thanks to the ASA, you get to explore the interior!

    Love the juxtaposition of this classic work of art and modernly styled mirror.
    Love the juxtaposition of this classic work of art and modernly styled mirror.
  2. You’re able to become truly enveloped in an array of styles of interior design as you move from space to space within the home. As you tour, ask yourself: “Which of these styles speaks most to me?” You just may learn something about yourself! You may also be inspired to incorporate some of the ideas you see in the showhome in your own house. The round mirror and artwork in Michael Boyd‘s space really spoke to us!

    Habachy's cool-toned open space. So refreshing!
    Habachy’s cool-toned open space. So refreshing!
  3. By visiting a decorators’ showhouse you’re able to envision many styles of living. At the ASA Showhouse there were cozy spaces, dark rooms and wide open spaces, such as the above space by Habachy, in cool colors… Which do you see more in your home?
  4. A visit to a decorators’ showhouse is a fantastic excuse to plan a date with your group – don’t forget the practically required post-showhouse lunch. Where else will you dissect the home?!? The delectable Carol Parks Catering is in charge of the ASA Showhouse Cafe and the menu offers many tantalizing options.
  5. By simply visiting a home you’re supporting an excellent cause, in this case the Atlanta Symphony Associates. If you really want to rack up some positive karma, consider volunteering at your local showhouse. During the times it’s not busy, you can even daydream about what it would be like to live there 🙂
Bonus – A favorite ASA Showhouse detail for Jill? The built-in pet feeding center in the amazing kitchen by Design Galleria. Talk about an idea to bring home!
Cool dog detail from Design Galleria
Design Galleria’s unique pet feeding center, built right into the kitchen island!
So, what do you think?!? Are you ready for a little showhouse field trip? We promise you’ll leave feeling inspired!