The 5 Best Valentine’s Gifts for Guys

Some may say the guys have it easier come Valentine’s day… Flowers, chocolates, a romantic dinner. Although many may argue that point – perhaps your significant other is a bit more picky?

But we think buying a gift for the guy in your life may be a bit more challenging. Lucky for you, we’ve sifted through all our wares here in the steve mckenzie showroom and have selected what we think are the 5 BEST Valentine’s Gifts for Guys:


  • Field Notes – perfect for writing those love notes, these small notebooks offer BIG versatility. They also provide a perfect pocket fit. Each book is bound with a heavy duty saddle-stitch process and measures 3.5″ x 5.5″


  • Engraved Pewter Flask by Salisbury – the quality and craftsmanship in these classic flasks will not go unnoticed by the man in your life. It’s the perfect vehicle to accompany him to those tailgate parties and bonfires… Add a modern, masculine monogram, or engraved name, and give him a gift he’ll always treasure.


  • Taki Watch – show your guy how fabulous, funk and funky he is without putting a big dent in your pocketbook with a Taki watch. Both Steve and Jill wear these timepieces just about everyday. They make checking to see how early you are for your next client meeting so much more fun 🙂 Click here to view a full Taki watch feature post.



  • sm’s Signature Leather Wrap Bracelet – for the fashion savvy man in your life; casual yet chic, our triple wrap leather bracelet is a fantastic foundation for your guy’s arm candy. Made exclusively for us in the USA, he’ll appreciate the thoughtful leather choices along with the steve mckenzie’s signature orange stitching for that little something extra. Bracelet is 1/2″ wide.

As you can see, this list features something for every guy – from super practical to fun-loving – and for every budget. Stop in today to get ahead of the game and pick up something special for your someone special. We’ll even throw in the gift wrapping!

Tastemaker Tuesday – Allison Paladino

A breath of fresh air… That’s what we think of when we think of Allison Paladino and her fabulous interiors and products. And if you don’t know her already, we think you’ll think the same thing when you meet Allison, who’s our latest Tastemaker here on the blog for steve mckenzie’s!

Allison Paladino

Based in Palm Beach, Allison Paladino is as well known for her exquisite residential and commercial interiors, award-winning licensed products and art as she is her fun-loving, outgoing personality that brings clients from around the globe to work with her. More often then not, these clients become close friends of Allison, her team and her husband Dave. When the economy crashed in 2008, Allison had to lay off 6 employees and close her shop on Worth Avenue – it was at that point, she turned her main focus to her love of interior design. She found relaxation in sketching and soon formulated her first licensed furniture collection with EJ Victor. Now, nine years later, she’s added a hand-tufted custom rug collection with New River Artisans, based in North Carolina. Most recently, she’s launched an art line showcasing her photography from around the world, as well as graphic art, with Wendover Art Group in Largo, Florida.

  1. What are three words that describe your aesthetic?

Tailored, Classic, Comfortable

Favorite space 3 of 3

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

My favorite space is a kitchen/family room/breakfast room space contemporary home in Palm Beach we gutted and re-space planned.  The house had amazing bones, it just needed an update from its original 1980’s décor.  White glossy formica kitchen with the usual pastel trim – yikes!  Also the most popular room in everyone’s house is typically the kitchen! What was really great about this project was the more informal type of clientele in Palm Beach that’s recently been surfacing.  They wanted an open floor plan with no formal dining room and adjacent to the kitchen as well as the family room.  We took down the walls of the kitchen and it made an enormous difference.  The style of the kitchen is dramatic with a combination of  textured black, white glass and stainless cabinets.  The counter tops are white Caesar stone and a 7” thick oak bar ebonized and cerused.  The family room features one of my favorite sectionals by Donghia in an outdoor velvet.  My Key rug design echoes the geometrics in the room and offers a wonderful tactile contrast between the wool loop and the cut silk.  I love the sculpted Holly Hunt swivel chairs and organic tables.  The dining area has a lot of style but super comfortable.  My Post Modern rug softens the space.

Favorite space 2 of 3
3.  What’s the source of your inspiration?
I can honestly say one of my favorite spaces is the Holly Hunt showroom in Miami.  Their architect Alison Spear’s is so good at what she does!  We took the client there and she was equally impressed.  We selected some key pieces from there and the overall feeling of the showroom with all the light that pours in communicated very well with the client’s home! The more structured lines definitely related to the contemporary atmosphere of the home.
4.  Name three people (alive or dead) you’d invite to your dream dinner party…
I would love to have dinner with the well know, French Art Deco designer, Emile Jacques Ruhlmann, because I am crazy about his work.  I would invite Thomas Pheasant not only because he is my mentor and I adore his work, but because he loves Rulmann too! Lastly, I would invite Barbara Barry because from the time that I was in design school I have admired her work! My first cocktail table and nightstands were from Barbara! Now that I am a product designer, I admire her even more and the huge empire she has created!  If I could invite four, I’d add Frank Lloyd Wright because I admire his work… But, as rumor has it he wasn’t very friendly anyway!!!!
5.  What’s a piece of/type of furniture you couldn’t live without?
I love this custom table I designed for my living room!  It is a combination of a parchment color carved panel with a Deco motif, walnut supports with carved polished nickel brick supports and a thick glass top!  It makes me smile every time I pass that room in my home!
balancing act allison
6.  Do you follow a particular set of rules when mixing textures, finishes, etc. – how do they work for you?
I think balance is the key.  In other words, if you have a luscious chenille sofa you might want to do a lighter linen on chairs so the room doesn’t feel heavy.  We’ve been using a lot of Perennials outdoor fabrics because they offer linen-looking fabrics that wear like nails!  I don’t mind mixing finishes as long as they are complementary to one another.
7.  Trending… What is something you are currently “into” and something you are “over?”
I love to have a little sparkle or “bling” in a room.  I went through a real organic phase which I still love but a little silver or gold leaf gives a nice relief to woods and upholstery!
I am not a big fan of mid century modern!  I much prefer French Art Deco!
Art in my intriors
8.  How does artwork fit into your designs?
I absolutely love art, whether it is a painting, print or photo. If a client has a strong art collection we are extremely cognoscente of this from the beginning.  The color palette tends to be neutral which allows the art to be the main focal point. I developed an inexpensive line of art with Wendover Art Group.  Part of the collection is more graphic in nature and you can customize the color combinations, mat and frame.   I also have photography that can printed on acrylic, matted and framed or printed on canvas. Most clients don’t want to spend a fortune in secondary areas and initially that is why I created this collection that is customizable.  Photography has now become a hobby and I really enjoy it!
Here is another shot of my tulips from Wendover’s High Point Showroom introducing my art line with my husband!
Allison introducing her art lint at High Point with her husband.
9.  What would be the one thing you would have if you were stranded on a deserted island?
A chef and plenty of food!  Oh and a babe (meaning my husband of course!!!) Ha!  Oops that is two!
10.  Please share a piece of advice you’d offer to someone looking to break into the interior design industry…
Run fast and hard!!! Don’t go toward the light!!!  All kidding aside, it is a great profession and extremely rewarding! There is nothing like seeing your creativity come to reality and making a client happy!  I think it is a misconception that all an interior designer does is fun and creative 24-7!  It is a business and the creative part is probably 20% of the job! I love my job because everyday is different!
A great, big THANK YOU to Allison Paladino for being such a fun Tastemaker to feature in our series! We love her work and her licensed products are certainly impressive. She’s got a fantastic eye for design that certainly goes beyond just creating a pretty space.

The Four Best Ways to Create a Warm Home this Winter

While we’ve been enjoying some unseasonably lovely days here in Atlanta, it’s sure not to last and the bitter days of winter will be upon us once again.

So, we decided to share some of the best ways to keep warm and cozy when the weather is anything but.

Our first bit of advice is get a warm beverage going on the stove, or even in your crock pot. Keep a ladle and group of mugs at the ready and your family and friends can help themselves throughout the day.


Our current favorite is a hot mulled cider… Simply tie together cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, orange peel and some allspice in a bit of cheesecloth and warm it slowly with your cider. Not only does it taste delicious, but your home will smell like a winter haven and everyone will be greeted with the aroma of the cider as soon as they walk in your front door. If you’d like to make an adult version of this beverage, add a bit of rum for a kick or use a nice red wine and make hot mulled wine – they’re both winners!

Alicia Adams Alpaca shot

Another must have in any winter-ready home is a selection of cozy throws, such as these alpaca throws, by Alicia Adams, which are available in a rainbow of colors (as well as soft herringbone patterns) in our showroom now. Have them scattered throughout your home to create an insanely inviting environment. Toss on on the back of the sofa, on the ottoman in your reading nook, at the end of a guest bed – even in an adirondack chair near an outdoor fireplace. But beware… your guests may never depart when surrounded by the comfort of these luxurious throw blankets.


Another great way to add instant warmth and comfort to a space is to light a few candles – especially if you don’t have the option of making a fire. This takes practically no effort, but can immediately enhance the ambiance of your room. We carry an assortment of hand-poured candles by Juls Candles, and the scents are simply scrumptious.


Okay, and although this tip may not be for your home, it’s so chic, it’s earned a spot on our list. If you must go out and brave the cold weather, why not drape a cape and create a look of elegant sophistication while you’re at it? Available at steve mckenzie’s, this option by Alicia Adams offers great lines, which can be dressed up or down. It would also make a fantastic gift (ahem, did someone say Valentine’s Day?!?), with complimentary gift wrapping, of course.

Well! If that list didn’t make you want to cozy up with your new alpaca throw and enjoy a warm beverage as you hibernate away some of the upcoming cool days, we don’t know what will! Be sure to stop by the steve mckenzie’s showroom today and let our team help prepare you and your home for the cold weather ahead!

Creating an Engaging Registry

With the close of the holiday season and start of the New Year comes much more than added pounds and a new found determination to check items off your to-do list… There are holiday engagements to celebrate!

The magic of the holiday season must really wear off on the couples out there who were recently engaged – we’re sure it has something to do with bringing family and friends together and celebrating a joyous time. It’s just the perfect time for many to begin the next chapter in their lives!

sm's wedding registry

In addition to celebrating your recent engagement, the start if the New Year also signifies the start to the wedding planning. And with that comes a very fun activity, creating a wedding registry.

Here at steve mckenzie’s, our unique registries (which aren’t just for weddings!) are comprised of:

mitchel black
New pieces from Mitchell Black Art available at steve mckenzie’s now!


  • One of a kind artwork
Add your monogram to any of our pillows or linens for a custom creation!


  • Monogrammed anything, especially napkins, a pillow with the married couples’ initial, throw blankets, etc.
Tracy Glover Studio 'Pear Lamp' in gray glass
Pear Lamp in grey glass by Tracy Glover Studio


match flatware
Match Pewter Flatware


  • Match pewter flatware – unparalleled quality matched with stunning good looks; made to be enjoyed ever day
To start a registry with steve mckenzies, simply visit our showroom and we’ll work together to create a list of items you’d love to have – anything from furniture and dishes/flatware to glassware, bar ware, table linens, artwork and even coffee table books!
Miami Beach Coated napkin – Limited Edition in Blue Aqua
We understand you’ll want a practical registry with items that are able to be transformed from the every day to special occasion. With our reputation as “Atlanta’s Best Tabletop,” the team here at steve mckenzie’s has the expertise and unwavering sensibility to work with you to select pieces you’ll love for years to come and will look forward to pass down to your children.
Once your registry has been compiled, we can prepare an order that can be e-mailed. Couples are also encouraged to list steve mckenzie’s as a preferred store, which guests can contact by phone, e-mail, website or in-store to select gifts.
Contact us today, so we may begin designing a custom registry to celebrate your upcoming nuptials, or any other event. You’ll love living with these special items from steve mckenzie’s!

steve mckenzie’s Receives Best of Houzz 2015 Award

steve mckenzie’s has been awarded “Best Of Houzz” for Customer Satisfaction by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. Our business was chosen by the more than 25 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 500,000 active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.


Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2014. Check out our “Best Of Houzz 2015” badge on steve mckenzie’s Houzz profile here.

Remodeling and Home Design

“Houzz provides homeowners with a 360 degree view of home building, remodeling and design industry professionals, empowering them to engage the right people and products for their project,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of industry marketing for Houzz. “We’re delighted to recognize steve mckenzie’s among our “Best Of” professionals as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

sm's on houzz

We’re delighted to have been recognized withing the Houzz community and urge you to check out this fantastic home design site for yourself, if you’re not already familiar with it – and don’t forget to follow steve mckenzie’s on Houzz!

Museum Monday: Morris Museum of Art

A little over two short hours from our city is a fantastic, small museum, situated in Augusta, Georgia. The Morris Museum of Art has actually been listed as one of 30 “Must-See Art Museums” by The Art Career Project, and despite its small size, this museum packs a punch!


Here’s a bit of info on The Morris from the fine folks at The Art Career Project:

morris Museum of Art logo

One of the smallest museums on this list, the Morris Museum makes up for its lack of size by being the first and best collection of art and artists from the American South. The museum opened to the public in 1992 and has already amassed an unrivaled collection of art ranging from the Civil War period to more contemporary works. If you are from the South or just a fan of its rich culture and complicated history, this museum will be a fun trip.

Three to see:


The Infantryman by William Gaul

The watercolor of a lonely soldier lighting his cigarette is exactly the type of art that is the Morris’ forte. There is plenty of skill evident in the work, but it derives its importance from the story it tells about life as a soldier during the Civil War and the portrait it paints of the men who fought.


Southern Landscape by Benny Andrews

Andrews grew up in rural Georgia and liked to paint what he knew, which, in this case, is a minimalist portrayal of what life was like for black family making their living in the rural south.  The details are purposefully blurred and the background intricacies are scarce, but you still get a colorful glimpse at a slice of the everyday life for black farmers.


Hoover and the Flood by John Steuart Curry

Originally created for a magazine, this action-packed oil painting depicts the 1927 flood of the Mississippi River in all of its tragic glory. You can see President Hoover and the news crew following him on the right but what will really catch your eye is the obvious anguish that is starkly shown throughout the photo, making it one of the more dramatic works in their collection.

In addition to these three must-see images in The Morris’ permanent collection, they have some really exciting exhibits currently on display. Including…

art by john mellencamp

sculpture by brian dettmer

civil war drawings

So, are you ready to play a day away to Augusta and visit The Morris?!? We sure are – nothing’s quite as inspirational as a visit to an art museum!

Steve Featured in The English Room’s “Artist Spotlight!”

We are so honored to share that our very own Steve McKenzie has been selected as an artist to spotlight on a favorite blog of ours, The English Room!


The very sweet and talented Charlotte-based Designer, Holly Hollingsworth Phillips reached out to Steve with a list of questions – some of which really made him think – and she’s shared his responses in an “Artist Spotlight,” published earlier this week…

Holly, in her fabulous office space.

Click here to view the spotlight post on The English Room and learn a few things about Steve you may not have known already; for instance, what’s his dream commission? Dream trip? And much more!

A hint of Steve’s dream commission…


A fantastic space of Holly’s design, recently published on

A big thank you to Holly for featuring Steve in this very fun blog series – we’re all big fans of yours, and your work and it’s such a treat to see Steve’s work and words published on The English Room!


Our Best Year Yet. And it’s all because of YOU.

Thank YOU.

For making our 2014 so memorable.

For supporting us during all of our moves – including the move of our showroom.

For attending the various events we hosted throughout the year. They’re for you!

For the unwavering friendship of all our industry friends.

For giving us so much to look forward to in 2015.

new years 2015

Cheers to the New Year!