A love of color runs deep for both Steve and Jill.
In fact, Steve worked for Sherwin Williams during all of his summer breaks from college. He actually had to pass several rigorous color accuracy exams to secure the role, affording him the opportunity to pull together paint palettes for specific markets. Beats the traditional summer gig laboring in the heat, right?!?
Needless to say, this love of color hasn’t faltered over the years and when first conceptualizing the idea of steve mckenzie’s, textiles in a broad range of vibrant colors were top of mind for Steve and Jill. These textiles have, of course, come to fruition, and the original palette has grown to include new colors and patterns – and are a favorite product to share with clients for the whole steve mckenzie’s team!
Naturally, Steve and Jill are always excited to see when new paint color palettes are launched. And, when they first heard about the smart partnership between OPI nail polish and Clark + Kensington paint, they knew there was synergy there to expand this pairing to our steve mckenzie fabrics!
We had a ball sifting through the many delicious colors available through OPI – not to mention enjoying the cheeky polish names – and matching them to our own fabric palette. Perhaps this will inspire you to bring some of that color up off your fingernails and go bold with the fabric and accessories for your home…
steve mckenzie’s Ocean / OPI’s Teal the Cows Come Home
steve mckenzie’s Walnut / OPI’s Suzi Loves Cowboys
steve mckenzie’s Fog / OPI’s Nein Nein Nein Ok Fine
steve mckenzie’s Indigo / OPI’s Yoga Ta Get This Blue
steve mckenzie’s Tulip/ OPI’s I Eat Mainly Lobster
steve mckenzie’s Paprika / OPI’s Y’all Come Back Ya Here
steve mckenzie’s Aubergine / OPI’s Purple With A Purpose
We’re absolutely thrilled to have an opportunity to share the latest Tastemaker in our Tastemaker Tuesday blog series with you! Willem Stear, of Tonic Design Studio, has so graciously agreed to let us pick his brain and ask him those questions we’re so anxious to learn his responses to… With a distinctive eye for international style, Willem Stear’s designs have been something of a vacation for our senses and we’re excited for you all to be able to experience this as well through this installment of our Tastemaker Tuesday series on the blog for steve mckenzie’s:
Born in South Africa, Willem Stear, owner of Tonic Design Studio, studied at the Calder School of Interior Design in Johannesburg after which he worked with several well-established South African designers. Prior to relocating to the US in 2008, Willem worked on projects in London, Paris, Switzerland, Israel, Dubai, Boston MA, Johannesburg and Cape Town. Since working in the US, he has successfully completed projects in Atlanta, San Francisco and Healdsburg (Sonoma, CA).
Blending classic and contemporary styles, Tonic Design Studio features European and African design influences to create an eclectic mix. A unique atmosphere that compliments the client is created by juxtaposing the rough and the smooth, the grand and the humble, the high-tech and the handmade.Tonic Design Studio brings a fresh, energetic approach to a traditional sense of luxury. Color, texture and form blend to create a comfortable sense of elegance, seamlessly balancing function and style.
1. What are three words that describe your aesthetic?
Eclectic, Comfortable, Timeless
2. Would you please share a little about your favorite space/project to date?
I’m currently in the process of renovating/restoring my home, which is a 1970’s modern in Buckhead. Designed and built by Joseph Amisano, who was a well known Atlanta architect (Toombs Amisano Wells), who designed the original Fernbank building, Peachtree MARTA station and the original Lenox Square (now Lenox Mall). The home was built for him and his family and is a fantastic example of modern architecture. Designing for myself is both exciting and a challenge, but I know that eventually the outcome will be spectacular.
3. What’s the source of your inspiration?
Really anything inspires me. Food, art, music – something as simple as a photograph or piece of fabric. Inspiration is everywhere!
4. Name three people (alive or dead) you’d invite to your dream dinner party…
Wow, that’s a tough one. Frank Lloyd Wright because he was a genius way ahead of his time, and would make for great dinner conversation. Meryl Streep just because she seems like a fun person to have a cocktail with and I adore her. Martha Stewart can make us dinner!
5. What’s a piece of/type of furniture you couldn’t live without?
My dogs, Chole Bear and Leo Lover. Technically they’re not furniture, but Leo weighs as much as a sofa!
6. Do you follow a particular set of rules when mixing textures, finishes, etc. – how do they work for you?
I never try to match anything. I try to create tension and something a little unexpected. Mixing old with new, sophisticated with organic. It’s all about how it feels.
7. Trending… What is something you are currently “into” and something you are “over?”
I’m into beautiful, organic furniture like live edge tables, or tree root table bases and hand carved wooden stools. These pieces mixed with very sleek, streamlined items gives a very sophisticated look.
I’m over cookie cutter interiors with no soul or depth.
8. How does artwork fit into your designs?
Artwork is the most important part of a design. It elevates a space. That said, art is very subjective and is a real representation of the owner’s personality.
9. What would be the one thing you would have if you were stranded on a deserted island?
Just one? I would have to have my iPod and maybe a case of good champagne. If I’m going to be stranded, I’d at least want to have a party!
10. Please share a piece of advice you’d offer to someone looking to break into the interior design industry…
Be passionate – love what you do! Get involved in the design community. Networking and personal relationships are just as, if not more, important than a good education.
Ahhhh… Now you see what we mean when we talk about an international flare through interior design?!? A vacation for the senses indeed. Many thanks to Willem for his candid responses – we’ve loved learning more about you and your work!
Know that feeling of climbing into a bed with supremely soft sheets, fantastically fluffed pillows, and perfectly proportioned duvets and blankets?!? Well, this little luxury isn’t reserved for hotel stays any longer! You can create your own sleep oasis with these tips from steve mckenzie’s on selecting the right bedding:
Choose your inspiration – Of course you want something beautiful that reflects your personal style. We suggest keeping the colors and patterns serene, as your bed should be the most comfortable and relaxing spot in your home! Anything from an accent pillow to a throw blanket, or even a piece of artwork can set the tone for your bedding style.
Select the bedding base – To us, the base of your bedding is the piece you see the most of, this being your comforter, duvet, bedspread or quilt. Do you go for full and fluffy or light and airy?
We suggest splurging on a quality down comforter that can fit inside a duvet. This way, you can easily have the duvet laundered, or even switched out to freshen your bedroom space.
Procure the perfect pillows – This is a tough one, as there are so many pillow options, and even more preferences for each individual. Just to clarify here, we’re talking pillows you’ll lay your head down on at night. You’ll want something supportive, and cool. These pillows need to be switched out every year and a half to two years to maximize both comfort and cleanliness levels.
The Secret to great sheets – No matter what you’ve heard, it’s not all about thread count here, although that is one item to think about. There are actually a couple of factors to consider when in the process of sheet selection:
Cotton quality – 100% long fiberEgyptian cotton is the best, but if you can’t splurge on that, 100% pima cotton is a great option as well. These two options will provide you the best mix of comfort and durability.
Thread count – This term refers to the number of threads woven into a square inch of fabric, and can be used as a barometer for a sheet’s smoothness and quality. But bigger isn’t always better. Finding just the right recipe of fabric and thread count it key.
Adding comfort and aesthetics – Now that you’ve got all the basic requirements for a good night’s sleep, try turning up the volume and really going for a little luxury here. Layers of fabrics with varying colors, patterns and textures will give your bed that designer look, while providing comfort on cooler nights, or extra softness after a tough workout. Here are a few tips on adding the perfect little extras to your bedding oasis:
Euro shams/pillows – These oversize, square pillows are the perfect backdrop for the layers of pillows you may add to the head of your bed.
Coordinating shams – Shams are a fun place to add some fun color and pattern, and they’re so simple to alter as your tastes change.
Throw pillows – Easily, one of our favorite bedding accessories here at steve mckenzie’s, a thoughtfully selected throw pillow will easily act as your bed’s focal point and can be a really fun detail. This is another great place to splurge on something really special, you just can’t live without.
If you’re looking to upgrade your bedding and create the perfect place to rest, contact steve mckenzie’s today and learn more about our fantastic collection of custom Bellino Linens (the Tren collection is pictured above), beautifully crafted in Italy for those discerning people who look for top quality and style in all they bring into their home.
The 4th of July is right around the corner and if you’re looking to add a few special patriotic touches to your home – or for your upcoming celebration – steve mckenzie’s has some fun and fantastic pieces to choose from!
We currently have loads of fabulous Marioluca Giusti acrylic glassware, such as the cheeky red tumbler in the photo above, ideal for any outdoor soiree, a special edition red, white and blue water bottle by Blenko, vintage items that just scream childhood memories, like our classic sailboat dish, and adorable spreaders from Le Sabre, fabulous for serving up dips and other party favorites! We could go on, and on, but you really need to come in and see for yourself…
Those yellow R. Wood Studio plates would certainly make a statement on the table at just about any summer gathering! And speaking of yummy 4th of July food, we thought we’d take this opportunity to share our favorite recipe for one of the South’s most iconic party dishes – Pimento Cheese – and how sweet would it be served up in a vintage dish with a few of those Le Sabre spreaders?!?
steve mckenzie’s Jalapeno Pimento Cheese
2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated (we sometimes mix it up and do a cup of white chedder and a cup of the extra sharp (orange) cheddar)
1/8 cup cream cheese (softened)
1/4 cup mayonaise (Blue Plate or Duke’s – we’re in the south, after all!)
1 4oz jar diced pimentos, drained
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (optional – add a bit more pimento if you forgo the jalapenos)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp cayenne
dash of Tabasco (or other hot pepper sauce)
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients into a medium bowl, stir to combine. If you like a smoother texture, you can even blend in a mixer, using the paddle attachment. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly. Enjoy!
We love setting this out with crackers or pita chips and nice, crisp veggies at a party. The leftovers make fabulous sandwiches when spread between two layers of classic white bread – yum.
What are some of your family’s favorite foods to have for the 4th of July???