Five reasons you should plan a visit to the Cashiers Designer Showhouse…

Late last week, Jill had the pleasure of visiting the Cashiers Designer Showhouse and came away, not only with some fantastic ideas and inspiration, but also enjoyed an all-around wonderful time!

2015 Cashiers Designer Showhouse
2015 Cashiers Designer Showhouse

She shared some thoughts on the showhouse and why you should plan a visit very soon:

  • It’s a beautiful, scenic drive up to the Cashiers Designer Showhouse
  • You get to meet plenty of fun folks, as well as old friends, such as Patricia McLean, who Jill was lucky enough to sit next to on a bus ride* up to Cashiers
  • In addition to the showhouse, you’ll also have an opportunity to visit the Zachary Tolbert house
The Historic Zachary Tolbert House
The Historic Zachary Tolbert House
  • You’ll be sure to learn something you can incorporate into your home; be it a new color combination or ideas on how to style your cocktail table
  • The showhouse is only open until the 30th of this month – so plan a trip soon, it’s an ideal day, or even weekend, getaway!

Here’s a bit of design inspiration Jill found especially exciting…

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Mark Williams & Niki Papadopoulos of Mark Williams Design Associates designed bedroom in the Cashier’s Guest House, which featured an amazing metal framed and agate flanked headboard.  This space highlighted some very soothing colors, ideal for a guest space.

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In this image, Jill found the juxtaposition of abstract art and traditional wallpaper to be exceptional! It was a highlight in the space by Douglas Hilton of DWH Interiors LLC.

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This creative headboard by Gretchen Edwards, of Gilstrap Edwards Interior Design, was a fabulous focal point in the Cashier’s Guest House. It offered such a bright and cheery accent to the room.

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This amazing green chair was only one example of how C. Weaks Interiors used color expertly on the expansive porch of the showhouse.

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Jill so enjoyed this detail of the contrasting tape along the seat and back cushions of this chair in the showhouse space by Cathy Kincaid Interiors.

And there’s so much more to see. We encourage you to make a quick trip of it and check out the Cashiers Designer Showhouse for yourself – you’ll enjoy a refreshing trip to the mountains, as well as plenty of design inspiration for sure!

* Although there aren’t any additional bus trips from ADAC to the Cashiers Designer Showhouse, you can go ahead and make plans to visit the upcoming Serenbe designer showhouse, and take advantage of the bus ride from ADAC – it’s so fun and simple!

Tastemaker Tuesday – Patricia McLean

She’s an absolutely delightful person and award-winning designer… We first met Patricia McLean when she selected some fabulous Grange Napoleon chairs for her space in the ASO Showhouse earlier this year and were immediately smitten.

After learning more about her, and her work, we knew she’d be a wonderful “Tastemaker” to share with you all here! Luckily, she was agreeable, and her “Tastemaker Tuesday” feature is below – enjoy…

Patricia McLean
Patricia McLean

Patricia McLean founded Patricia McLean Interiors, Inc. in 1985. Considered a true, traditional designer, Patricia specializes in the customization of paint colors, finishes and fabrics and layering of antiques and accessories. Guiding clients architecturally through construction to ensure the “bones” are correct for furniture placement and flow is paramount to her design philosophy. A graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science in furnishings and interiors, Patricia was selected to restore the Georgia governor’s mansion ballroom. In addition, she has been featured in the Cashiers, North Carolina Designer Showhouse and the Atlanta Symphony Associates’ Decorators’ Show House for many years.  In 2013, The University of Georgia honored Patricia McLean Interiors with the Bulldog 100 Award for business, ranking 21st. She studied abroad and travels for inspiration but considers herself a true American designer. She takes an organic approach to the design process bringing her refined taste, fresh approach, vast resources and joie de vivre to each project.

1. Three words that describe your aesthetic?
Elevated, Enchanting, Enduring
2009 Atlanta Symphony Show House Master Bedroom at The St. Regis Atlanta. Photo by Lauren Rubinstein
2. Would you please share a little about your favorite space/project to date?
One of my favorite projects to date is the Spring 2009 Atlanta Symphony Show House Master Bedroom at The St. Regis Atlanta. I rarely enter design contests. This one did receive an ASID Design
Excellence Award. The palette was a pale green. I mixed the paint color myself and called it Tricia’s Show House green. I had to keep trying it in the high rise because things change when you decorate in the sky light. The cream silk window treatments and gold wooden pelmets were my custom design. I added moldings to the walls and a marble fireplace to the space. The room was large so I was able to designate a bed room, breakfast and living room area. Some visitors said they could live in that one room! The nice thing about that Show House is it lead to a very happy collaboration later with St. Regis Residences on two model home projects for them in 2011 and 2013.
I have been designing Show House spaces since 1995. I can honestly say that no two are alike. I love doing them..
3. What’s the source(s) of your inspiration?
Inspiration is all around us. I believe God designed the world with designers in mind. Nature holds the key to pattern, color, texture, composition. Whether you can travel to far exotic lands or only around your own zip code, there are keys to good design in every part of our surroundings. I am often quoted as saying there are no bad colors, just bad combinations. Working through the palette is the job of the designer. My way of bringing the pieces together for a harmonious whole is enhanced by travel and experiencing new and historic settings.
4. Name three people (alive or dead) you’d invite to your dream dinner party…
Thomas Jefferson – I think we would all enjoy discussing architecture, furniture, houses and History with him! And then I’d invite Steve and Jill McKenzie – I know they are very fun at dinner!
Bleu Azur  Grange Napoleon chairs featured in Patricia’s ASO Showhouse guest suite. Photo by Erica George Dines
5. A piece of/type of furniture you couldn’t live without?
I love chairs. I think of them as the holder of the people and their placement can often determine how the conversation flows. It is also the occasional chair that can add the most spice to the room because it gets used when the conversation really gets going and you need more seats! But standing alone it can be a show stopper with stand out fabric, color or both as was the case with the pair of bleu azur Napoleon chairs by Grange Furniture I borrowed from steve mckenzie’s for the 2015 Atlanta Decorator Show House.
6. Do you follow a particular set of rules when mixing textures, finishes, etc. – how do they work for you?
My rule is to stay true to my eye. Over the years I have realized that not everyone sees things the way I do. I remember telling  a group in a talk that I could see the colors in my head and remember them forever once I saw them. I had one friend that never forgot that and would quote me on it. People would offer me fabric samples or paint chips to take with me and I would just say I didn’t need them. I thought that was how everyone saw color. I always do paint samples on boards with clients. Fabrics are my favorite and getting the mix right requires use of various textures and pattern.  It’s all experimentation with each job. I guess my one rule would be don’t force anything.
St. Regis Atlanta Private Residence
7. Trending… What is something you are currently “into” and something you are “over?”
I love antique tortoise boxes (not trendy, just a favorite of mine) and de Gournay hand painted wall panels.
I am over bad furniture compositions. Everything does not work. It is sad what passes for good design these days.
Patricia’s ASO Showhouse Guest Bath. Photo by Erica George Dines
8. How does artwork fit into your designs?
It is often the starting point. It helps establish the mood and/or color palette. It can also be the finishing touches that bring the room to life. I actually have the artwork commissioned for some of my projects. I work with artists that understand what I need and are able to paint, draw or watercolor render what I want in certain spaces. The 2015 Decorators Show House had a collection of paintings and water colors on one wall.  I commissioned the art and the hand finished custom frames for that room. The effect was charming. It seemed as if the owners had collected the art over time. And the frames complimented the fabric palette beautifully.
9. What would be the one thing you would have if you were stranded on a deserted island?
No brainer- iphone. I could call for help, be tracked by GPS and keep myself entertained and stay in touch with family/friends while waiting!
2013 ASO Show House Living Room featured in “Scalamandre’ Haute Decor.” Photo by Emily Followill
10. Please share a piece of advice you’d offer to someone looking to break into the interior design industry.
What my father taught me in business – which is just good manners. Treat everyone with respect no matter their station. Many days I interact with a myiad of people in the trade. I have been dealing with some them for over 30 years. Every job is a collaboration and I so appreciate those that help me get there. Also, encourage new business but always appreciate your existing clients.
If that interview and those images aren’t enough to inspire you, we don’t know what will! Patricia’s spaces are all so graceful, but offer unexpected touches that truly make a statement. Each time we’re in one of her rooms, we see something we haven’t seen the time before. Magic.
Thanks so much to Patricia for agreeing to let us feature her as a Tastemaker, here on the blog for steve mckenzie’s! To learn more about her, and her interior designs, visit Patricia McLean Interiors here.

Library Friday – Jackson Pollock: A Biography

For this Library Friday feature, steve mckenzie’s team member, Xavier Neuner is back – and this time he brings a debate!

Xavier Neuner
Xavier Neuner

Xavier selected “Jackson Pollock: A Biography,” as his choice this Library Friday, and offers some unique insight into the work of this timeless artist…


Hello avid steve mckenzie’s readers, This week’s Library Friday topic brings us a debate that has been going on for years –  Jackson Pollock! Is his work a breath-taking, original idea, or a product of a lazy man’s way to fame?

I personally believe Pollock’s work is ground breaking for the time. The definition “to paint” is to cover a surface or object with paint.  Nowhere did the definition state that an artist needs a paintbrush to apply paint on a surface.

Jackson Pollock was the first artist to fully grasp this concept.  As his painting styles evolved he began to experiment with dripping the paint onto canvas.

Jackson Pollock – One Number 31, 1950

My friends and family know how I act when we go to a museum or art gallery.  Rarely do I stop and stair at artwork during an exhibit, unless I am engulfed in the technique of the piece.  When I saw Pollock’s “One Number 31, 1950” for the first time, I felt like Cameron Frye, Ferris Bueller’s best friend.  I couldn’t help but observe how many layers of paint make up the texture on the canvas. He truly understood in order to paint all a person needs is paint and a surface.

We love learning Xavier’s take on some of our favorite works in the steve mckenzie’s library! What are your thoughts  – do you agree with Xavier, or have an alternate point of view?! Please share in the comments, we’d love to know your thoughts!

Jeremy Brown at Kai Lin Art

Jill and Steve recently attended an exhibit of Jeremy Brown’s art at the local Kai Lin Art gallery and were quite taken with this “graffiti-guided” artist! So much so, we thought it would make a great blog post for those of you who could attend the show, to encourage you to plan a visit, and for those who may not be able to make it to a viewing, an opportunity to learn more about Jeremy Brown and his fantastic work…

Our friends at Kai Lin Art were so gracious when we requested to feature the show, they even had Jeremy answer a few questions from us for all of our blog readers out there!

Jeremy Brown
Here’s a bit about Jeremy Brown’s exhibition at Kai Lin Art:

LOVE marks the spot is a solo exhibition featuring graffiti-guided Jeremy Brown. This is Brown’s first solo show he explores passion, energy, and drive through the act of creation. His artworks are layered tiers of color fields, inspired thoughts, and abstracted shapes depicting unconditional love encapsulated in physical form. Through Jeremy’s work, love marks the spot.

And here’s our Q&A with artist Jeremy Brown:

How long have you been making art? Since I was about 15 years old, replicating a Mark Rothko painting for my mother. 

Do you have formal training? No, self taught. A lot of trial and error. 


Tell us about your studio where it is what it is like. How does the studio impact your work? My studio is located in the Inman Park/ Old Fourth Ward area. It’s an industrial space with a large roll-up door, yet clean and modern. Fresh white walls, modern contemporary furniture, concrete floors & bright colored artwork. The only wall that is not white, is the wall that I hang my canvases on while I paint, that wall is covered in many different colors. I think having a minimal, white wall interior, inspires my use of bright colors, adding a little pop to the surroundings. 

Does the Love theme always emerge from your work or was it just this body of work? Where did you pull your inspiration for this current work. Thus far the Love theme has always been the focal point of my artwork. It come directly from my view of unconditional love, as well as romantic love being the greatest for of art there is.



Do you have a favorite piece in this current show at KAI LIN ART? My favorite piece would have to be “Even diamonds start as coal”. I even have that phrase tattooed on my chest, written backwards so that I can read it in the mirror..  Everyday is an opportunity to better yourself To become a better son/daughter. A better artist.  A better husband, even to become a better stranger. 

The work is really moving I thought of it as Visually Expressed Urban Poetry, how would you describe your work? I like that description. I’ve always been better at expressing my thoughts & emotions through my actions/artwork, and I’m definitely inspired by the use of text by one of my favorite artists Jean Michelle Basquiat.


Is there a favorite place you like to go to for inspiration? I attend a Buddhist monastery in Brookhaven from time to time, for their guided love and compassion meditation. The colors inside the monastery and teachings of the monks are always a great source of inspiration for me.

Who or What would be your dream collector? Honestly. Anyone who is inspired or touched by my work. 


What is next for you following this show? There has been a great response to the pieces and message of this show, so I’d love to keep it going. To keep creating pieces that spark positivity and inspire unconditional love.

We hope his words and works have inspired you to view Jeremy Brown’s outstanding exhibition at Kai Lin Art before it comes to a close! We left energized and inspired and know you will too…

If you’ve already visited the gallery for this showing, did you have a favorite piece? Perhaps you’re imaging one of Jeremy’s works in your own home? We’d love to hear what others thought about the show!

Art on the Beltline: Lantern Creative Session at steve mckenzie’s

Each year, a fabulous lantern parade lights up the Atlanta skyline in preparation of the Art on the Atlanta Beltline event… And this year, steve mckenzie’s is excited to participate by hosting a Lantern Creative session!


Join us Saturday, August 29th at the steve mckenzie’s showroom to decorate a paper lantern for the Atlanta Beltline Lantern Parade, taking place September 12th.


Xavier Neuner, our resident paper & party expert will guide you through the lantern creation process.

Xavier Neuner
Xavier Neuner

You’ll get a paper lantern, a battery operated light to hang inside the lantern, a rod for hanging your lantern, and decorating supplies.

When you leave, you’ll be ready to participate in the parade!


It’s an evening unlike any other, with a true sense of magic humming through the city.


We hope to see you soon, ready to make your own paper lantern and look forward to walking the parade route with you and your fantastic creation! Click here for lantern creative session tickets – they’re going quickly!

Please contact the steve mckenzie’s team with any questions about this fun event.

Mixing It Up With Eddie Ross

The team here at steve mckenzie’s is absolutely thrilled to share the upcoming launch of Modern Mix,  a fabulous book about curating personal style with chic and accessible finds, by Steve and Jill’s longtime friends, Eddie Ross with Jaithan Kochar.

Steve with Eddie at Scott's Antique Market, on a previous visit.
Steve with Eddie at Scott’s Antique Market, on a previous visit.

Here’s a bit about this exciting book launch, which will take place September 1 – available at steve mckenzie’s and also online:

From an unabashed hoarder of all things beautiful comes a fusion of color, creativity and inspiration in Modern Mix.


In this richly illustrated style guide, design editor and entertaining expert Eddie Ross reveals his insider secrets to creating exciting interiors, table settings and parties with chic and accessible finds that celebrate who you are and what you love.

Featuring never-before-published photographs of Eddie’s own homes—his eclectic apartment in New York and Pine Hill Farm in Connecticut—Modern Mix cracks the code to navigating thrift shops, yard sales and flea markets with confidence. Funny and insightful, Eddie is like a trusted friend on the front lines of flea markets and thrifting, telling you what to look for, where to find it and how to restore it. Then he shows you how to use color and pattern to infuse your finds with a fresh, playful spirit, combining high and low, new and old, classic and modern elements into a warm and inviting style that expresses your personality.


Each of the book’s eight chapters—Inspire, Discover, Acquire, Restore, Curate, Mix, Style and Entertain—begins with hand-illustrated titles printed in black foil on tipped-in half-pages, revealing surprises at every turn. The essential insights Eddie shares throughout the book culminate in a gorgeous grand finale of gawk-worthy rooms, table settings, bars, buffets and parties.


With more than 350 full-color photographs, time-saving tips and real-life shortcuts to decorating and entertaining beautifully on a budget, Modern Mix will open your eyes to the extraordinary possibilities within your reach and inspire you to live every day colorfully and creatively.

We’re also excited to share that in conjunction with the launch of Modern Mix, steve mckenzie’s will be hosting a book signing with Eddie Ross in our showroom – on Thursday, October 8th from 5-9pm. Mark your calendar to meet the authors!

Congrats to Eddie and Jaithan for taking on this amazing project, and seeing it through to fruition, we’re so happy to be able to celebrate this wonderful book with all of our friends, clients and colleagues!

Featured on Annette Joseph Style!

What a highlight for our week, last week – steve mckenzie’s was featured on the Annette Joseph Style blog this past Thursday!


And we couldn’t have asked for a better description: “A Home Store with Heart & Soul.” They get us. A big shout out to writer, Nicole M. Letts, the gal behind the fabulous blog Probably Polka Dots, who authored this post – thank you Nicole!

We had such a wonderful time sharing a bit about us, the business and what makes us special, and we couldn’t have asked for a more thoughtful post featuring steve mckenzie’s!


In addition to really “getting” us, and our aesthetic, the post features a bit about our store merchandising and some of our favorite products, carried in the showroom…


Please click here to read the full post and check out the Annette Joseph Style blog – it’s one to save for your regular blog perusal!

And if you haven’t been to the showroom recently, we invite you to come check out everything we have going on. We’ve been working on re-merchandising the store, with new merchandise arriving weekly, and would love to see what you think about it!

Exploring Atlanta: Old Fourth Ward Splash Pad

Recently Jill’s brother, sil (sister-in-law) and 3 young children came to town for a fun summer visit. As you all probably know, Atlanta is not at a shortage for fun activities for kids of all ages, but in our search to find things we’d all enjoy and haven’t done before, we discovered the fabulous Old Fourth Ward Splash Pad!


If you’re not already familiar with Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward Park, here’s a bit about this fantastic local amenity:

Historic 4th Ward Park was one of the first redevelopment projects undertaken by the Atlanta Beltline, Inc. The park connects directly to the future 22-mile Beltline loop and has become a catalyst for additional redevelopment and reinvestment within the surrounding community. The brownfield sites were transformed from a barren contaminated site near Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthplace into a vision for sustainable redevelopment. The area was redeveloped into civic open spaces complete with open lawns, flowing walkways and a city greensward, a splash pad and playground, a recirculating stream, wildflower meadows, a multi-purpose recreation field and Atlanta’s first skate park. In addition to all of the amenities, the park also demonstrates the value of sustainable, collaborative design, and positive social, environmental and economic impact it can have on a community.

At Old Fourth Ward Park there are tons of family-friendly surfaces, benches, and pergola shaded areas. Not to mention restrooms conveniently located near the play park and splash pad – a necessity when enjoying the park with little ones!
The ground cover was also well thought out – someone certainly considered wet kids running over to the playground area barefoot and had a super soft, cool surface material installed. So smart! The splash pad really had something available for all ages and abilities to enjoy the water, and when we were there, there had to have been a half-dozen birthday parties taking place – brilliant!

A few tips – bring your own towels and maybe a camping chair and/or picnic blanket, as the benches fill up quickly. Consider bringing your wagon for hauling kids and supplies, since there’s a bit of a walk from parking to the splash pad and playground. GO EARLY! Parking and features fill up quickly.

We hope you’ll have an opportunity to enjoy this fun splash pad before summer comes to an end – and please let us know about your favorite Atlanta activities for little ones, we’re always looking for great ideas for when family comes to town!

Give Back = Earn Savings this Back-to-School Season

This August, one USB flash drive will earn you 15% savings at steve mckenzie’s!

Have you met our neighbor, Dress for Success?  This organization does a tremendous job of providing interview suits, confidence boosts, and career development to low-income women.


Dress For Success is in need of USB drives, as they’re a great place for their job-seekers to safely and easily store resumes and other documents needed throughout the job search and interviewing process.  Knowing our clients have generous hearts, and many of you are already in the midst of back-to-school shopping, we came up this combo…

During the month of August,
bring in one (or more) jump/flash drive and
we’ll give YOU a coupon for 15% off your next purchase, INCLUDING special orders!

Compact, pink and on sale at Target!


Bright green and on sale at Staples!

What will you do with your 15% off coupon? Well, to whet your whistle, here are few of our NEW lines – Selamat Designs, Dunes and Duchess, Cotton + quill fabrics plus our new fabric collection, Garden Bouquet.


Okay class, to recap:  During August, bring in a new 4gig flash drive and you’ll receive a coupon for 15% off your next purchase.  Includes special orders. Not valid on discounted/sale merchandise. Tax and shipping not included.  Must be used by 10/31/15.

Thanks in advance for your business and support! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the steve mckenzie’s team.