Museum Monday: Rodin Museum

C’mon on kids – let’s go to a museum!

The Rodin Museum, an ideal place to visit when looking into family-friendly Paris attractions…


Yes, believe it or not, this classical museum was a wonderful stop for the whole McKenzie clan during previous visits to France.


It’s located in a neighborhood, in a beautiful mansion, that was actually a home, which was lived in and donated for the purpose of being a museum. This allows you to really picture how one lived back when the home was first built.


The Rodin Museum also features some lovely gardens, which provide a perfect place for kids to skip around and let off some steam, in the midst of what may be a busy, whirlwind vacation.

Carter McKenzie enjoying the Rodin Museum on a family vacation to Paris.

It’s also not as fussy as a traditional museum, and the featured artwork is really easy to discuss with family and will encourage the kids to expand their cultural horizons and will hopefully work to inspire them to become even greater art appreciators!


Here’s a bit on the history of the Rodin Museum in the 18th century:

The mansion that now houses the Musée Rodin was built in the Rue de Varenne, Paris, between 1727 and 1737, for the wealthy financier Abraham Peyrenc de Moras (1686-1732). The project, eventually overseen by Jean Aubert, Architect to the King, is a shining example of the rocaille architecture that was fashionable at this time. Constructed on the outer limits of Paris, it was both a town house and a country residence. Abraham Peyrenc de Moras died in 1732, before his new home, notably the interior decoration on the first floor, was completed.


In 1736, his widow rented out the mansion to the Duchess of Maine. While the new tenant did little to modify the exterior of the building, rather more alterations were made to the interior layout. When the duchess died in 1753, Peyrenc de Moras’s widow sold the estate to Louis-Antoine de Gontaut-Biron (1700-88), the future Marshal Biron. The changes he made mainly involved the grounds, which had been since then one of the most beautiful and best-known gardens in Paris. While respecting the typical layout of a French classical garden and the species planted by the original owner Abraham Peyrenc de Moras, Biron had added new features. He doubled the size of the ornamental garden, had a circular pool dug and made part of the grounds into an English-style garden. Peyrenc de Moras’s kitchen garden survived, but was moved to a different part of the estate. The appearance of the gardens during this period is well known, notably thanks to the descriptions and engravings of them published between 1776 and 1778. Marshal Biron leaved the mansion the name by which it is still known today, the Hôtel Biron.

For an expanded history, please visit this page on the Rodin Museum website.


For some other tips on making the most of your family-friendly Paris vacation, check out this “Paris for Kids” Travel Guide from the New York Times.

And if you find yourself in Paris soon, or are planning a visit in the future, be sure to add the Rodin Museum to your list of must-see places; and check out their future exhibitions – we promise you won’t be disappointed!

Flux Projects Presents Nick Cave!

Artistic dance, cultural symbolism, and unique storytelling. That’s what artist Nick Cave‘s latest performance, Up Right: Atlanta is all about.

nick cave _ up right atl

About Nick Cave:

Nick Cave is an African-American artist and dancer, famous for his embellished costumes, called Soundsuits, which he often stages in public spectacle. Though influenced by a vibrant palette of African art, armor, found objects, fashion and textile design, the Soundsuits are rooted in social critique. Cave first created a suit in the aftermath of the Rodney King beatings in 1991, envisioning an emotional shield that protects one’s race or gender while still expressing individuality.

NickCave–Photo by Sandro_011 copy
Nick Cave

And we’re so lucky to have the opportunity to experience the art of Nick Cave in Atlanta! Our friend and talented designer, Kristen V. Cahill, met Nick Cave at Art Basel Miami in 2012 and has been working ever since to bring his work to our city, through Flux Projects.

flux projects nick cave logo

Kristen is a member of the board for Flux Projects, and works with other members to bring new art and cultural experiences for us to enjoy right here in our city!

Here’s some info on Nick’s upcoming performances:

Up Right: Atlanta is a “call to arms, head and heart” for Cave initiates—the lead characters of this work. Through the performance, they are prepared mind, body and spirit to face the forces that stand in the way of self-hood, to enter a world over which they have complete control. Initiates become warriors of their own destiny. Cave is working with T. Lang, assistant professor of dance at Spelman College and artistic director of T. Lang Dance

nick cave _ up right atl 2
Photos by James Prinz Photography. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

And if the ticket reservations and images associated with this performance’s promotion are any indication, it is not to be missed! The performances, starting today and over the next two days at Ponce City Market, are actually already sold out, but, as with many free performances, spaces may become available as reservation holders don’t show up, so consider coming out! In addition, Nick is preparing for future performances at his alma mater, the Cranbrook Academy for Art in Detroit.

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Photos by James Prinz Photography. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

If you’ll be missing out on this performance, Flux Projects is always working to bring innovative and captivating art-centered events to Atlanta, so be sure to subscribe to their mailing list. And mark your calendars for the next Flux Night, a night of art and experimentation, taking place October 5, 2015.

flux night

Here’s Flux Project’s mission:

Flux Projects produces exceptional and surprising temporary public art to galvanize Atlanta’s cultural curiosity.

We aspire to produce the most innovative art experiences in the world. We provide contemporary artists with financial, production, and marketing support to create aesthetically and conceptually rich work. These projects engage people in their daily lives, outside of traditional arts venues, and instill a sense of wonder. Our projects last from a few hours to a few months and demand the scale, duration, and visibility required to have a meaningful impact on a broad audience.

We seed Atlanta with creativity to foster cultural curiosity and a spirit of experimentation. We shift perceptions of people inside and outside the city to see the creative energy that is already here and imagine a future where that creativity is central to Atlanta’s official identity. We seek an ecosystem of risk-taking artists and an engaged audience that desires and supports innovative works of public art.

We’re all about that – a BIG thank you to Flux Projects for introducing us to the work of Nick Cave and for all you do for Atlanta!

The 45th Annual Atlanta Symphony Decorators Show House

45 years, can you believe that’s how long the Atlanta Symphony Decorators Show House has been going on?!? It’s got quite a history, and we are so thrilled to be able to participate, by providing some items to designers for use in their show house spaces!

We were lucky enough to preview this amazing home, and the 2015 show house, err… chateau, at 14,000+ square feet, does not disappoint!

The 2015 ASO Show House – Chateau Soleil

We snapped photos of some of our favorite spaces and vignettes and are so excited to share them with you:


The theme of the home is classicism in a modern context. And for us, this tone was set with the bold black and white striped cushions on the outdoor furniture.

Parker Kennedy Living

The show home’s study, designed by our friends, Parker Kennedy Living, featured a lovely mix of chinoiserie, books, books and more books! That wonderful wallpaper is by Fromental.

Melanie Turner
Melanie Turner Interiors

The first floor bedroom in the show house by Melanie Turner took on the “more is more” approach with a fantastic color palette of blue and white with fantastic pops of yellow! The abstract art was the ideal addition to a beautiful space!

Douglas W. Hilton
DWH Interiors

Douglas W. Hilton, of DWH Interiors, designed the foyer/landing area and grand staircase. Here, fabulous art provides a warm welcome and invites one to enter the home. The wall color is from the Williamsburg paint collection.

Michel Boyd
Smith Boyd Interiors
Michel Boyd (1)
Smith Boyd Interiors

Drama abounded in the living room by Michel Boyd, of Smith Boyd Interiors (one of our previous Tastemakers!). The art, the lighting, and of course, furnishings all added layer upon layer of luxury.

Stuart Pliner (2)
Stuart Pliner Design
Stuart Pliner (1)
Stuart Pliner Design
Stuart Pliner
Stuart Pliner Design
Stuart Pliner Design

The amazing butler’s pantry and dining hallway, by Stuart Pliner Design connected the rooms beautifully with the repeat of this gorgeous peacock wallpaper. The amazing hand painted rug highlighted the deeper stain on the herringbone pattern wood floor.

Vern Yip
Vern Yip Design

This dining room by Vern Yip continues the blue and grey theme we noted throughout the show house.

Ann Wisniewski
AJW Designs

Check out this superb wallpaper featured in Ann Wisniewski’s (of AJW Designs) kitchen powder room – wow! We’re in love!

Pineapple House Interior
Pineapple House Interior Design

Steve McKenzie art sighting! We’re so grateful to Stephen Pararo and Seble Bebe Mengistu of Pineapple House Interior Design for using one of Steve’s paintings in their beautiful upstairs retreat!

Patricia McLean Interiors
Patricia McLean Interiors
Patricia McLean Interiors (1)
Patricia McLean Interiors

Regal window treatments, a fantastic floral documentary print, fantastic paint and more make up one of the show house’s guestrooms by Patricia McLean Interiors. Those Grange Napoleon chairs, available at steve mckenzie’s, fit perfectly in the space, especially when paired with that fun Duralee fabric!

Cathy Rhodes Interiors
Cathy Rhodes Interiors

This fresh, graphic wallpaper in the lower stairs/terrace level landing by Cathy Rhodes Interiors adds an excellent touch – even more so when matched with the Lee Jofa chair fabric and artwork by Stephanie Wheeler!

Phew! And there you have the tidbits of the 2015 Atlanta Symphony Decorators Show House that stood out most to us… There is so much design inspiration to enjoy, we encourage all to take the time to plan a visit and support the Atlanta Symphony Associates!

The Wonders of Wallpaper

If you’ve been out of touch for a while, you may not have heard… Wallpaper is back in a BIG way. Chances are, you already know this and have been seeing the wonders of wallpaper just about everywhere you look.

We were inspired to share the wonders of wallpaper with you, thanks to a fantastic article in the April 2015 issue of Atlanta Magazine featuring an absolutely enviable space by our friend Kelly of Kandrac & Kole Interiors.

photo by Emily Followill

While blue and white is a classic combination, the addition of a bold wallpaper to a bathroom space is totally refreshing, and truly eye-popping! It’s no wonder this space was selected as Atlanta Magazine‘s April “Room Envy” space.

photo by Emily Followill

In addition to this wallpapered bathroom, we’er seeing lots more action with wallpaper in general…

Below is an image of a room in the 2015 Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Showhouse, which we previewed last week. This is a fabulous powder room space designed by our new friend Beth Kooby, which features “Petal Pusher” wallpaper by Oh Joy! and we think it’s so much fun!


While wallpaper does add instant drama, you don’t have to use it throughout an entire room to successfully incorporate wallpaper into a space. In fact, we’re loving the idea of using wallpaper as an accent. Whether it’s used to line the back of bookshelves, or add a fun pop of color and pattern to a piece of furniture (as seen in many of the Grange pieces carried at steve mckenzie’s), it’s a surefire winner!

Are you ready to experience the wonder of wallpaper for yourself? If you think you’re ready to take the plunge, but don’t quite know where to start, reach out to the team here at steve mckenzie’s and we’d be thrilled to help make a fantastic design, featuring some fun wallpaper, happen for you!

Museum Monday: Atlanta’s Inaugural Museum Week

Exciting news for our local blog readers… This Saturday marks the start of Atlanta’s first ever Museum Week! And we say, it’s about time!!!


There are so many wonderful places to visit in and around our very fine city, and a week-long celebration, including discounts to many of our favorite haunts may be just what some folks need to leave their neighborhood and check out some of Atlanta’s most culturally diverse activities.

36 of our favorite institutions are participating in Atlanta’s Inaugural Museum Week, including:

Callanwolde Fine Arts Center


Atlanta botanical gardens
Atlanta Botanical Garden


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Booth Western Art Museum


Georgia Aquarium


Fernbank, Dinosaurs-L
Fernbank Natural History Museum & Science Center

And so many more wonderful places are a part of Atlanta Museum Week! To see the full list, and learn more, click here.

Hopefully, we’ll be seeing you at the museum next week!


Part 3: Get Ready for Outdoor Living

This third and final installment of our “Outdoor Living” series on the blog for steve mckenzie’s, focuses on the eating/entertaining side of outdoor living. Our previous two posts focused on outdoor furnishings and ideal outdoor textiles, so this subject should round things out pretty well. But, if you still have questions about creating the perfect outdoor living space for your home and family, please feel free to share a comment or even reach out to the team here at steve mckenzie’s!

Bold outdoor tablecloth by Le Jacquard Francais.

We’re so excited to offer some fabulous new coated table linens by Le Jacquard Francais. The colors, textures and quality are just unmatched and they’re sure to elevate any event, from a casual family cookout, to a grand outdoor meal for twelve to a whole new level!

Another lovely new table linen by Le Jacquard Francais in a rich blue hue.

A few other outdoor table linen options from Le Jacquard Francais:



Think of all the uses you’d have for these weather-ready linens – wrap them around pitchers to soak up condensation, layer a tray with glasses of fresh lemonade, leave a table covered with a fabulous new outdoor tablecloth – topped off with fresh flowers or a lush planter, and so much more!

An amazing outdoor entertaining set up, made even more magical with the addition of this beautiful Le Jacquard Francais tablecloth.

Don’t forget about all of the wonderful acrylic drink ware available for your perusal now in the steve mckenzie’s showroom! Glasses, pitchers, and other items all ready for your next outdoor meal!

Acrylic Pitcher-Federica Blue

As a little bonus, here are two of our favorite recipes to share at outdoor gatherings – both winners, guaranteed! Just click on the image for the recipe…

Artichoke and Tomato Panzanella by Giada De Laurentiis.
Artichoke and Tomato Panzanella by Giada De Laurentiis.
Curried Chicken Salad by Ina Garten.

So, are you ready for an outdoor feast?!? Our mouths are watering just thinking about it! Not to mention the relaxed and comfortable atmosphere that comes along with any time spent in a lovely outdoor living space. It’s heavenly and we’re ready for a spring and summer full of great times spent outdoors!

Happy Easter from steve mckenzie’s!

Warm wishes from our family, here at steve mckenzie’s,
to yours on this beautiful Easter holiday!


We hope you enjoy spending a special day with family and friends
and look forward to celebrating spring with you next
time you stop by the steve mckenzie’s showroom.

“Woman in Gold” and Art Around Us

A few nights ago, the newest member of the steve mckenzie’s team, Xavier Neuner, had the opportunity to attend the preview of the new movie, Woman in Gold, which will be out in theaters tomorrow.


Here’s a preview of the film, if you haven’t yet seen it:


As you can see, it’s a  heartfelt tale of justice, in terms of determining a piece of art’s rightful owner – a tale right up our alley!

Here’s what Xavier has to share with us about his experience previewing Woman in Gold…

Art around us:

Tuesday evening I had the privilege to see preview of the film “Woman in Gold” staring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds and directed by Simon Curtis.  The film is based on the true story of Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), a spitfire elderly Jewish refugee, who took on the Austrian government to recover a Klimt painting of her aunt that rightfully belongs to her family.


Working with the McKenzies, I recently had the opportunity to visit their beautiful home and learn the stories behind the artwork they’ve collected over the years:  paintings and sculptures Steve’s friends created for him; Steve’s own work that his children forbid him to sell; Family heirlooms that are perfectly placed on gorgeous antiques. I could not imagine, soldiers coming into your home and taking your keepsakes from you, distributing them all over the world and never seeing them again. Think what that may feel like…


This emotion driven “David vs. Goliath” story portrayed in this movie really opened my eyes to the fact that not only friends and families were uprooted but they were also separated from their priceless possessions. I walked out of the theater wondering how we as a society take art, architecture, and music for granted. Next time you find that special something to add in your home think about its history. Where did it come from? Who owned it before you? Why was it made? You never know what you might see.


To quote Helen Mirren’s character, Maria Altmann, “People see a masterpiece of one of Austria’s finest artists, but I see a picture of my aunt, a woman who use to talk to me about life.”


Thanks to Xavier for his fantastic write-up about this intriguing film! He strongly recommends it and shared that it was a real roller coaster of emotions and reflection on crimes against humanity.

Here’s to the movies!

Collectibles: An Easter Tradition

As a child, Jill received some very special eggs from the Easter Bunny… Specifically, beautiful German paper mâché eggs!


They were filled with chocolates each year, and Jill’s date back to before 1918! Although the chocolate was not vintage :-))


Here’s a fun blog post about them on My Vintage Childhood, if you’d like to learn more about these unique collectables…

Looking back, the Easter Bunny, aka Jill’s dad, went on buying trips to Europe for their family’s Scandinavian furniture store, The Wooden Soldier, and that’s when she believes her father acquired these little treasures.


These eggs became an annual tradition for Steve and Jill’s own kids, Molly, Carter and Mimi and now add a very special decorative touch for the holiday season, tucked away on shelves or used in a buffet display or even an Easter centerpiece.


Do you have any childhood memories or treasures attached to the Easter holiday? Perhaps it was an activity your family enjoyed together, a favorite recipe, maybe an Easter egg hunt with your cousins, or even dying eggs each year, then figuring out what to do with the cooked egg?!? We just love this time of year, and would love learning what memories you tie to the Easter season!

seafoam salad

And speaking of recipes, there’s a recipe that was always on Jill’s family’s Easter table, thanks to her great Aunt Miriam (Mimi’s namesake!) who always brought it to family gatherings: Seafoam Salad. Yes, it’s a creamy, dreamy, fruity, delicious dessert disguised as a salad – it’s fabulous! Here’s a link to a recipe, similar to that of Great Aunt Miriam’s, if you’d like to add it to your Easter menu as well!

Let us know if you give it a try. And happy Easter planning to you all!