Houzz = THE Social Media Site for the Design Minded

We recently joined the rest of our friends in the design community and opened an account on Houzz for steve mckenzie’s. And, let us tell you – we are having so much fun sharing our projects and communicating with other design-lovers through this fantastic site!


For those of you who may not know as much about Houzz, it’s an online community for all things related to interior design architecture and decorating. If this is your first time visiting the site, heed our advice and carve out a bit of time in your day for perusing the site. It can become addictive.

Houzz page
steve mckenzie’s on Houzz

For designers, it’s a wonderful place to share products and resources and connect with others in our tight-knit community. For consumers, it’s a great place to get inspired and find information on spaces they wouldn’t have been able to access before there was a social media site geared toward decorating. We can all ask and answer questions and have conversations about the spaces we see on Houzz all with a simple click of the mouse.

But beware… Houzz can become a serious instigator of interior design want. The projects featured on the site are just dreamy and there’s so much to motivate you to get going with your own home projects.

In addition to sharing projects and inspirations, Houzz also offers folks an opportunity to rate and review providers they’ve utilized for their own home projects and businesses they’ve worked with before, offering consumers looking for companies to work with a bit of assurance when researching.

Are you on Houzz?!? If so, we’d love to connect with you – just leave a comment letting us know! And, if you’re not already on Houzz, check it out and see what all the buzz is about…

Please Join Us at the Opening Reception of Urban Abstractions, an Atlanta Celebrates Photography Show, Featuring Steve McKenzie & Linda Omelianchuk


Take a moment.

Look around.

In the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, how often do you just stop what you’re doing and survey your surroundings? If you’re like most people, probably not often. But, if you’re like Steve McKenzie and Linda Omelianchuk, those moments of peace – even in the midst of a hectic day in the city – provide the most clarity.


In an upcoming show, Urban Abstractionsfeaturing the collaborative photographic works of Steve and Linda, you’ll be able to experience those moments, captured in stunning images, usually in places one doesn’t always notice.


Urban graffiti found on boxcars, winding their way through Atlanta – turned into fine art.

Abstract photos taken by simply looking UP in a busy metropolis.


It’s all there, right under our noses. Or, in some cases, above our heads, and all we need to do is take notice, as Steve and Linda do so beautifully in their images, on show through Urban Abstractions in the steve mckenzie’s showroom from October 2 – November 5.

Help us kickoff this fantastic show at the opening reception, this Thursday, October 2, from 5 – 8PM, taking place at steve mckenzie’s. At this event, guests will be invited to become artists themselves, and contribute to a new piece of urban art!


As part of Atlanta Celebrates Photography‘s 2014 Festival, Urban Abstractions reunites Steve and Linda in the form of photography, a new medium in their creative relationship, which spans more than 25 years.


We look forward to celebrating Atlanta’s photographic arts and the Urban Abstractions show with you this Thursday evening!

steve mckenzie’s Featured at The Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles 2014 Designer Showhouse at Serenbe!

Earlier this week, we gave you a head’s up about the first ever Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Designer Showhouse at Serenbe – and hopefully enticed you to visit. Well, if you haven’t set the date yet, hopefully you will after seeing some of the steve mckenzie’s items featured throughout the home!

As Steve shares, “The Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Decorator Showhome at Serenbe is unique to most showhouses, as it’s design’s cohesiveness is so obvious. The home flows seamlessly through each space; it’s as if a family really lives there.”

The team here at steve mckenzie’s was thrilled to either loan or provide products, which are highlighted throughout this spectacular home, not the least of which, a fabulous custom charcoal pinstripe textile, used as the drapery fabric in Yvonne McFadden’s, of Y. McFadden LLC Interiors, master bedroom space.

Y. McFadden LLC Interiors’ Master Bedroom at the AH&L Serenbe Designer Showhouse

It was actually these paintings, on showcase in the home’s master bedroom closet, also designed by Yvonne, that inspired this unique fabric.

Paintings by Steve McKenzie, which inspired the charcoal pinstripe fabric featured in the AH&L Serenbe Showhouse master bedroom.

This stunning vignette in Yvonne’s master bedroom space offers a more detailed look at this custom fabric…


Moving to the other side of the bedroom, a reading nook welcomes weary visitors with just about anything they’d require for a peaceful moment. Steve’s ready to move in right now!


On another wall in the master bedroom space hangs a collection of antique frames Yvonne discovered throughout her trips to Europe. Collections like these, found over time and with a passion, are what make a space something truly special!


Although we hate to tear ourselves away from this enveloping master bedroom space – thank you Yvonne – we had to give you a glimpse at some of our other favorite spaces in the home.

We are truly in awe of the home’s chic, modern office space, designed by Julie Witzel of J. Witzel Interior Design.

Yes, you spy a steve mckenzie’s exclusive thick leather satchel, gracing the side of the desk in the showhome’s stunning gentleman’s office.

In addition to the leather satchel accessory, other key elements in this space include the overall art selection and custom light fixture by Sarah Atkinson of Grey Furniture – wowzas!


Oh, and we cannot forget about the handbags on show in the office bookcase – they’re handmade in Bali and just fantastic – visit the steve mckenzie’s showroom today and see them for yourself!


Oh, and on the way to our next space, why don’t we take a glimpse into the powder room…


Wow – the wallpaper in James Wheeler’s, of J. Wheeler Designs, is seriously such a showstopper! We love it so much, we had to ask James about it, so we could share the details with you. It’s de Gournay ‘Fishes’ Blue Pearl design colors on realsilver gilded paper with De’sargenter Pearlescent antique finish and hand painted fish motif. Now, who wouldn’t want to powder their nose with these fishes???

If you visit the showhouse, one area you’re sure not to miss is Kerry Howard’s, of KMH Interiors, stairwell, where you’ll see this funky grouping of art pieces by Rebecca Wood, who’s currently on show in the steve mckenzie’s showroom.


The view from the top of Kerry’s beautifully designed stairwell…


And these Mitchell Black pieces, also available at steve mckenzie’s, are on display in the Serenbe showhome’s stairwell:


The last space we’ll share with you is the terrace level artist retreat designed by Niki Papadopoulos of Mark Williams Design Associates. This is where it got especially real for Steve. It was almost as if this room was designed around him…. If only we needed to be closer to Serenbe.


This would make a phenomenal artist’s escape – take it from Steve. From the small accent pieces, to the gallery wall grouping, this room is perfection. Niki even utilized art books and brushes from her father’s collection to emphasize the room’s unique personality.


Doesn’t it look as if some great artist just stepped away from their workspace for a moment?!?

Phew! If you’ve made it all the way to the end of the post with us – thank you. Now, get to that showhouse and see it for yourself!

If you require even more convincing, you’ll be happy to know that proceeds from the showhouse go to support Serenbe’s Art Farm, which is a collaborative project between Serenbe and Auburn University’s Rural Studio, whose goal is to raise the funds to create affordable artists’ housing on-site at Serenbe. Now your visit will not only provide you with unlimited visual inspiration, you’ll also be giving back to the Serenbe community.

2nd Anniversary Party Details – We’ll See YOU There!

As you know, we’ve got our second anniversary party coming up this Thursday evening and we are in the midst of party prepping. But, we thought we’d take a moment and share a few details about the upcoming soiree…

2nd annivesary

First and foremost, we need to give our friends at Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles a BIG shout out, as they’re sponsoring our event – and we’re looking forward to celebrating with many of our community’s design tastemakers, thanks to them!


In addition to yummy southern-themed bites, we’ll be offering guests our party’s signature cocktail, the “Buckhead Betty,” thanks to the folks at American Spirit Whisky.

ASWWe’re almost as excited for this cocktail, as we are that Amercian Spirit Whisky will be relocating their distillery to Atlanta! Welcome to our new neighbors!

Although the company, food and drinks are sure to provide a lot of fun, we’ll also be previewing several new lines steve mckenzie’s is now carrying. This includes a fantastic brand of modern outdoor furnishings, Kannoa


And a line of stunning nature-inspired accessories, by RabLabs, which includes unique photo frames, like this one:

photo (2)

The team here at steve mckenzie’s has also recently acquired some stunning antique French mirrors and objets you just have to come in to see!

Finally, Steve’s new art studio and the new McKenzie Design Services studio will be on preview as well!


We’re so thrilled for our big event coming up, and look forward to celebrating with you Thursday!



Not To Be Missed – Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Designer Showhouse at Serenbe

The steve mckenzie’s team is so happy to be a part of the first ever Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Designer Showhouse at Serenbe! The showhouse opened it’s doors last week to visitors of the picturesque Serenbe community, located just south of Atlanta, and will offer tours through the 28th of this month.

A rendering of the inaugural Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Designer Showhouse at Serenbe

At the Showhouse Preview Party Friday, September 12, Steve and Jill were able to glimpse the spectacular spaces making up this amazing designer showhouse – they assure us it’s worth the short drive for the inspiration and eye candy alone!

steve mckenzie’s is proud to have been able to either loan or provide products to these fantastic showhouse designers: KMH Interiors, J. Hirsch Interiors, j witzel interior design and Y. McFadden LLC Interiors. But, we’ll have more to share about this in another blog post coming up soon, so keep your eyes peeled!

serenbe party
Jerry & Yvonne McFadden (of Y. McFadden LLC Interiors) with Steve and Jill at the Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles 2014 Designer Showhouse Kickoff Party

As longtime fans of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles magazine, we’re not surprised at the surefire popularity of this fabulous designer showhouse – and the partnership between the magazine and Serenbe community comes as a natural pairing.

If you’ve never visited Serenbe before, take this opportunity to experience some amazing designer spaces and enjoy the community while there. It’s an easy place to make a weekend vacation out of – or at least a wonderful visit and meal at one of Serenbe’s restaurants, which feature fresh, local ingredients. A treat for all of your senses indeed!

If you’re able to make it out to the showhouse (or, if you’re lucky enough to have already visited), please share what your favorite spaces are – we’d love to hear from you!

And, if you’re interested in taking your home from nothing special to showhouse spectacular, consider contacting the McKenzie Interior Design team today!

Coming Up: Rebecca Wood Art Show

We’ve been fans of Rebecca Wood’s work for many years now. And certainly, you’ve heard us mention our favorite pottery from R. Wood Studio. Located right up the road in Athens, GA, R. Wood Studios brings us some of our most popular dinnerware pieces.

In addition to her pottery, Rebecca has also agreed to share some of her beautiful art pieces at a show in our new space! Going September 18-20th, the Rebecca Wood Art Show at steve mckenzie’s will feature some of her most mesmerizing botanicals.




What may appear so simple in nature is anything but. And we invite to you to take a look for yourself. Just read Rebecca’s artist statement below and you’ll learn just a little about how she comes to create such wonderful works of art:

growing up, i spent all my days in the woods around my home. i was always exploring creeks and observing nature and all its variety. i grew up ‘looking’,and that has informed all my art. i still take long walks in the woods observing the beautiful patterns and colors in nature,and derive most of my inspiration from the abundant southern flora. ideas for shapes, textures and colors are everywhere in nature.
thus, it was natural to be drawn to red clay and reproducing the varied colors in our southern landscape with my pottery. drawing and photography are my ways to study the forms and colors in nature. but nothing is as primal as drawing from life, really looking and really studying a flower or a branch is a learning experience that is very satisfying. i hope through my work that people will gain their own understanding and appreciation of the beauty that exists all around us here in the south.

~ rebecca wood

We hope we’ve inspired you to stop in soon and experience Rebecca’s art in person!

And, please share – what space in your home could you see a Rebecca Wood original fitting in?

Suburb to City… We’ve made the move!

As we shared in our recent “empty nest” post, the youngest McKenzie, Mimi, has flown the coop and we’re now beginning the next chapter of our lives. While we have plenty going on with the new showroom, expanded design business and our last child beginning college, we thought why not add to the excitement? Let’s take the plunge from our home in the suburbs to city living!

And that’s just what we did – right in the midst of our showroom relocation. Phew! What a hectic time!

store dogs
The McKenzie dogs – Bisi and Duke. City living naturals…

But, it’s been so worth it! Our commute couldn’t be better, and we’re adapting to city life almost as well as our pups, Bisi and Duke. Not only do they love their daily walks to the park, they’re loving life as shop dogs.

Of course we couldn’t find a turn-key condo for our new empty nest lifestyle; we want to put the steve mckenzie’s spin on it! So, we’ve found a fantastic space, with an even better view, to make all our own.

view from new condo
This view from our new condo will never get old.

There’s untapped potential, which we’re thrilled to unveil with some clever designs and reworking of the space. We’re currently in the midst of our renovation and, as usual, things don’t always go according to plan. We’re already on “Plan B” with one project, but know it’ll be a fantastic space to share with family and friends when complete.

new condo progress
Renovations underway at the new McKenzie condo!

In the meantime, we’re living in another condo, temporarily, which has turned out better than expected. There are some advantages to living in temporary housing; it’s a bit like a vacation, we just turn the key and walk out, and there’s no maintenance or yard work. This allows us to focus on the new home and relax a bit. About time!

We know many people are in the same boat as us and are downsizing and starting their next life chapter. Here’s some advice from our family, post move to temp housing, which we hope comes in handy for others BEFORE their move:

  • Keep a bag of essentials in your car, so you’ll have them from the last moment you leave your old home to the first moment in your next space. Put these items in there now, even if it’s a month ahead of time.
    • We learned this the hard way and didn’t keep the items we use throughout a typical day in our household out for continued use. Our dog food and toys were packed up, even though we were there with the moving company! Poor, pups, we had to run out and get them their basics…
    • These items are personal to you and your family, but ask yourself: “What do you really like to live with?” i.e. What are the things you would miss most, and what are the things you don’t want to have to go out and buy again because you have plenty stored away?
  • Suggested items to keep with you:
    • tupperware
    • cloth napkins
    • dog toys
    • dog food
    • dish towels
    • favorite laundry staples (detergent, dryer sheets, etc)
    • YOUR alarm clock
    • YOUR pillow
    • YOUR favorite throw or quilt
  • And here are a few things we got right and kept with us at all times through the move to our temporary condo:
    • passports
    • ALL spare car keys (and we needed one already)
    • tax papers
    • current bills, paperwork
    • stapler
    • valuable jewelry
    • dogs’ vaccine records
    • spare eyeglasses
    • favorite spices & cooking oils
We hope this helps other’s moves go as smoothly as possible, and from one new empty nest family, to many others – congrats!

Product Spotlight: Juls Candles

Of our five senses, we think our sense of smell can be most transportive. A scent can take you back to grandma’s kitchen, a tropical vacation, or just a special, peaceful moment. And although you may not be able to see a scent, scents do play a role in interior design. A steve mckenzie’s interior wouldn’t be complete without a signature smell that reflects the space.

That’s why we’re thrilled to have partnered with Juls Candles – a candle atelier located just north of Atlanta in Suwannee, Georgia! The scents Juls creates are absolutely extraordinary and the love and care she pours into each item is absolutely evident.

juls candles shop
Where the magic that is Juls Candles happens…

Jill stumbled upon Juls Candles back in 2002 while driving near our old neighborhood one day and couldn’t pass up the old, quirky farmhouse, which is constantly surrounded by eclectic garden items, without going in. And we’re so glad she did! An immediate affinity for the gal behind this unique shop, Julie “Juls” Green, was obvious and an appreciation for her fine candles wasn’t far behind.

THE Juls behind Juls Candles!

A true artisan, Juls spends countless hours crafting unique blends from perfume grade oils – the purest essential oils available for candle-making.

The Juls of Juls Candles
A glimpse into Juls Candles’s shop and studio. Ever so eclectic!

When she lands on a winning smell, Juls works on an assortment of candles ranging from tiny votive candless to large, custom pours using special vessels brought in by clients. What began as a hobby for Juls, progressed to a basement-based business, and has now bloomed into a full-fledged candle making operation!

Just-poured votive candles in Juls’ studio.

It’s no surprise Juls’ business has flourished. More than 12 years ago, Jill was an early customer of Juls Candles, and now we’re fortunate enough to work with Juls to create candles and soaps in her addictive scents, just for steve mckenzie’s!

steve mckenzie’s offers Juls Candles scents in both medium (8oz) and large (13 oz) size jars.

Because Juls has SO many wonderful scents to choose from, the team here at steve mckenzie’s has taken the opportunity to curate a selection of scents to offer to our clients. These include:

  • Black Tie – Steel Magnolias, sun kissed Raspberries and ripened Georgia peaches.
  • Twisted Sage – Year round Sage and a twist of Citrus. Not too floral, not too sweet, just down right clean.
  • Georgia – Rendered by the Romantic hills of Georgia; Tangerine, Sage, and a splash of Fir, Balsam and Pine spiced infused with a hint of Tobacco.
  • China Rain – Rain drops glisten over a field of wildflowers dancing in the breeze. Fresh and Peaceful.
A freshly-poured tub of Juls Candles’ Free Spirit scent, coming soon to steve mckenzie’s!

And… coming soon to steve mckenzie’s, Juls Candles’ Free Spirit (Mint leaves drenched in Jasmine and pine. Bring the outdoors in.) and Man Cave (A place of peace and pleasure… Patchouli oil 60’s style.  Sandalwood and Sage bring unisex style and a spa-like feel to any room.) scents. Come in soon to smell them for yourself!

juls soap
Handmade, hand-cut soaps from Juls Candles are also available at steve mckenzie’s!

In addition to all of the wonderful Juls Candles available at steve mckenzie’s, we are also thrilled to offer handmade, hand-cut soaps in the same assortment of scents as our candle collection. Talk about luxury – each time you lather up, you’ll be transported with these fabulous smells!

Twisted Sage candle, by Juls Candles, available at steve mckenzie’s.

Check out the various Juls Candles products we offer on our website, or stop in today and pick up a little something special for yourself, or even as a gift. Don’t forget, we do gift wrap in-store, and these are an ideal surprise for someone deserving in your life.

If you’re interested in learning more about not only the transformative ability of scents in a space, but also the power of great interior design, reach out to the McKenzie Interior Design team today and get your project started!

Our Own Grown & Flown Story

We interrupt our usual design-themed posts for a bit of a personal blog… A slant on a lifestyle post if you will.

A few weeks ago we moved the youngest of the McKenzie clan, Mimi, to college. She’s out of the house, and in this time of transition (not only to empty-nesters, but also from one showroom to another and from one home in the suburbs to a new life in the city), one of our favorite blogs, Grown & Flown, has been such a help as we navigate this bit of uncharted territory.

How we think of Mimi at times – a sweet little girl enjoying The American Girl Cafe on a trip to Chicago about a decade ago. Where does the time go?

In fact, our new friend, Mary Dell, a blogging partner at Grown & Flown, shared a few posts that are relevant to our family during this time. We thought some of you may also appreciate these smart articles…

The first, focused more toward Mimi, and other college students, offers the absolute best advice for college freshmen, as it’s written by a college professor. We encourage all college students, no matter how senior, to take a look at this post – and take their advice! Another post offers advice for freshman from a different perspective – advice to new college students from recent college graduates. Mimi – take note!

The final post she shared has been a great comfort to us as parents, as we experienced moving our youngest out of the house. Not only did it help prepare us for the big move-in day in the traditional sense, it also helped to get us in a good frame-of-mind. Read Grown & Flown’s “Kids Going to College: Getting Your Heart and Head Ready” post to take advantage of some sage advice.

Mimi putting her personal touch on her new dorm room!
Mimi putting her personal touch on her new dorm room!

And a favorite tidbit from the McKenzie family for college move-in day: Bring some personal touches from home. Of course Mimi had to have a beautiful piece of art for her room; it’ll make it feel homey for her! And, let them do it themselves. Sure, we’ve all been there and done that, and even though we’re designers, she’ll know what’s best for her. It’ll mean more for them because they’ve created the dorm room they’ve envisioned.

Now that move-in day for Mimi has come and gone we can step back and see what life will look like for us as newly minted empty-nesters. One thing’s for sure, we’re feeling especially grateful for the business we’re building. It’s been so exciting and rewarding to focus on the business of steve mckenzie’s. And, while it’s been hectic this summer helping two of our children move, along with the showroom move and a move for ourselves into the city, it’s been a wonderful way to transition into this new chapter of life!

We welcome you to this next chapter – thank you for joining us! We look forward to continuing to share our thoughts on design with you and appreciate all of the support our friends, in real life and virtually, have shown steve mckenzie’s!