Y’all. This month’s Tastemaker is a doozy… An interior designer whose spaces make a profound statement. When you see a room of his, you know the designer behind it – even if you can’t explain how that’s possible. He has a Rolodex of celebrity clients and is a phenomenal TV personality to boot. You may have even seen him hosting some of our favorite HGTV specials. This month’s Tastemaker for the blog for steve mckenzie’s is Brian Patrick Flynn!
Check out this fantastic video all about “Who is Brian Patrick Flynn.” Not only will you gain great insight into who Brian is, but he offers a bit about what makes him tick and all that goes into his business and designs:
Steve first became aware of Brian and his immense talent (and equally large personality) back during his tenure with Larson-Juhl, when the company worked with Brian to provide art and custom framing for some of his makeovers for TBS’ “Movie & A Makeover.” Now, being active members of Atlanta’s design industry, Steve and Jill have the pleasure of visiting with Brian Patrick Flynn at many local industry events and always find his projects so inspiring!
We invite you to read on and learn a even more about this exciting Tastemaker – and if you don’t love him already, we know you will at the close of this Tastemaker post…
1. Three words that describe your aesthetic?
American, Collected, Comfortable
2. Would you please share a little about your favorite space/project to date?
My favorite project to date is the 2016 HGTV Dream Home. It’s a 3,600 square foot home located on the water in Florida, where I’m from. We went against traditional Florida waterfront style and took an un-cliche approach. Kind of Hamptons meets Florida. I’m really proud of all that was achieved with this house and this new style I’ve been playing with.
3. What’s the source(s) of your inspiration?
Anything Thomas O’Brien has ever done and all of his products.
I’m also inspired by anything out of Scandinavia, Norwegian design, the palette of Iceland – it makes me rethink neutral.
World travel with an American spin also plays a role.
I love thinking of new ways to use the red, white and blue color palette.
Finally, mid-century modern design with industrial, rustic touches.
4. Name three people (alive or dead) you’d invite to your dream dinner party…
Tina Fey, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Mark Zuckerberg
5. A piece of/type of furniture you couldn’t live without?
I always love to include on beat up, worn wooden chair in every space – even a bathroom. There’s something about an old chair stacked with books or towels. A vintage country, wooden, Americana chair is it.
6. Do you follow a particular set of rules when mixing textures, finishes, etc. – how do they work for you?
Yes, for every smooth surface brought in to a space, I add a combination of super warped, nubby textures to tone the shiny down with the dull. I do this even in glamorously styled spaces. This helps make it more livable.
7. Trending… What is something you are currently “into” and something you are “over?”
Into = using blush tones for interiors. It’s fun and hasn’t been so popular to be worn out.
Over = I’m toning down the use of chevron and zigzag until that trend dies down.
8. How does artwork fit into your designs?
Artwork is the most important aspect of of any space. It’s always the one thing I’ll splurge on. The element of something completely original on the walls elevates everything else up in the space. A close second, in terms of importance in a space, are window treatments; they’re a great way to bring together colors in a room.
9. What would be the one thing you would have if you were stranded on a deserted island?
WiFi. I can’t live without any connection – without it I’d go berserk. Next on the list would be a super comfy down stuffed pillow. We literally have like eight amazingly fluffy down bed pillows.
10. Please share a piece of advice you’d offer to someone looking to break into the interior design industry.
Never ever, ever compare yourself or your work to another designer. Some designers have bigger budgets, some cater to one aesthetic – there’s a place for every single one of is. The same person that hires me wouldn’t have hired someone else. No one’s vision and no one’s work is alike. We all have different design philosophies.
We appreciate Brian’s advice for sure – and it’s something that can be a real challenge in our industry. It’s so easy to compare your work to other designers, but if we can all appreciate each designer’s unique voice, there will be a place for all.
Thanks to Brian for being our latest Tastemaker, and inspiring us with each new space he creates!!
This past Saturday kicked off the first open house for the Atlanta Homes & LifestylesSoutheastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens. And it’s amazing! Jill was fortunate enough to tour the house – all 20,000 square feet of it – a day early and shares a bit about her experience here with us today…
The lovely and hugely talented Suzanne Kasler served as Honorary Chair of the interior design team behind the Southeastern Showhouse. The other designers who worked to make this home such a stunner are listed at the end of this post and can also be seen here.
Suzanne’s dining room in the showhouse features fabulously lacquered walls and ceiling – a fantastic treatment for a formal space!
Next up is the study. Robert Brown is the creative mind behind this fantastic space.
You know we love a good library, and this one doesn’t disappoint. The combination of neutral colors textures, and that dramatic artwork created a memorable space.
Barbara Westbrook‘s showhouse great room was equally as memorable due in large to her artwork selections. The scale was spot on for this generous room.
The black and white color scheme in the great room felt fresh and new and was pleasantly unexpected!
Our friend Lauren DeLoach‘s showhouse kitchen design became a fast favorite. And her attention to detail – as evidenced in the next two images – is spot on.
Fine art in the kitchen… Yes, please! It was a space that was difficult to move on from.
But move on we must. And Kay Douglass‘ morning room design made it a bit easier, as it spoke to us on so many levels.
Not the least of which was her use of this beautifully “crusty” mid-century chair and her sleek green upholstery.
At this point, we’ll move on to GordonDunning with Lloyd Flanders‘ serene outdoor space, which even in the rain was positively inviting!
Those umbrellas – perfection in our books!
And that’s where we’ll have to retire part one of the showhouse tour. We’re saving the bedroom and leisure spaces for part two of our post, in which we’ll highlight even more fabulous designer spaces. Please keep an eye out!
Each year we celebrate Earth Day and use this day to recognize all we can do to protect our Earth and its natural resources. This day may also bring about overwhelming thoughts of how much there is to be done to ensure we leave our Earth a better place for future generations.
Although it’s easy to get lost in the big picture, there are small things you and your family can begin doing today to make a more positive impact on the Earth. As one person, you may not be able to save the rain forests, but you can work to share small changes with those around you and together, you can make this Earth Day count!
A few of our favorite, simple, “green” practices are:
Use Cloth Napkins
We’ve talked about the benefits of cloth napkins before, but could always use a refresher! Not only are cloth napkins a more eco-friendly option, versus paper napkins, they’re also beautiful.
Many times, you won’t need to wash your cloth napkins after every use – each family member leaves their napkin at their place at the table – which increases the eco-friendliness of these napkins. When you’re ready to launder them, don’t devote an entire load to napkins, simply toss them in with another laundry load, and line dry, if it’s a nice day out.
Consider Natural Solutions Using Lemons
Recently, Limoneira shared some excellent tips, reminding us of all the wonderful uses for lemons around the house. Some of those uses include…
Cleaning copper – make a paste with lemon juice and salt. Rub copper using a rough cloth, rinse and dry to see shine.
Insect repellent for stored clothes – take a lemon and use a knife or nail to make small holes all over. Push cloves in those piercings. Hang the lemon outside in the sun to dry. It may take 4 days or a week to dry, depending on the weather conditions. When it is completely dried, it becomes a natural insect repellent. It works the best when kept in the wardrobes, cupboards, and suitcases containing clothing. This does not only repels the insects but also takes away the stale odor from the stored clothing.
All purpose cleaner – add an equal amount of lemon juice and water to a spray bottle is an effective kitchen and bathroom cleanser.
So many of these natural lemon solutions take the place of chemical cleansers and other not-so-Earth-friendly options. If you could incorporate only one or two of these ideas into your lifestyle, you’ll be well on your way to becoming more “green!”
These ideas can help you live every day as if it were Earth Day, and will hopefully inspire those around you to do all they can do become more eco-friendly. Happy Earth Day to all!
As a thank you for designing these artist cottages, Steve and Jill, with Kerry Howard, of KMH Interiors, were invited to enjoy a weekend in the Art Cottages. The group took Serenbe up on this generous offer this past weekend… It was such a lovely time, we thought it would make for an excellent “Wanderlust Wednesday” blog post!
Here are a few photos from the weekend. We hope they inspire you to plan a visit to Serenbe – the Inn at Serenbe offers fantastic accommodations and give visitors the opportunity to be totally immersed in this idyllic community.
Beautiful wild flowers Kerry plucked from the grounds at Serenbe for the group’s Saturday evening cocktail table.
Above is a view of the counter at The Blue Eyed Daisy – a fantastic spot to enjoy breakfast and/or lunch while visiting Serenbe. Be sure to plan a dinner at The Farmhouse as well.
While visiting Serenbe, plan on attending a performance at the Serenbe Playhouse. This past weekend, the show Carousel was taking place, and they actually hosted an actual fair for which the actors to perform amongst! For an upcoming production of Miss Saigon, they’ll bring in a real helicopter!
Ahhhh… Serenbe dreams. Such a wonderful place to be! We hope you all will be able to plan a visit to enjoy this gem, just south of Atlanta.
Want to gift the newest little one in your life with something that will stand the test of time and grow with them? Look no further than the selection of beautiful baby gifts at steve mckenzie’s!
While these items may not be typical to a traditional baby registry, they are gifts the parents, and in a few years, the young person will truly love and appreciate. These are absolute treasures, and classic baby gifts never go out of style.
Pewter Baby Cups
Made by Salisbury in the USA, these stunning pewter baby cups are exceptionally styled and feature fine quality handcrafted details. A monogrammed baby cup is a forever gift, and with our quick turnaround time and complimentary gift wrapping, a lovely gift to give and receive.
Alpaca Baby Goods
Made by Alicia Adamas Alpaca, these beautifully crafted baby items are supremely soft and will become instant favorites of the new parents… Baby will sleep soundly swaddled in a sweet alpaca baby blanket, or look ever so cozy in an alpaca onesie or cute pair of booties. And again, you’ll be pleased with the quick turnaround time of these items through steve mckenzie’s.
Handcrafted Baby Cards
A special delivery calls for an equally special card, and our selection of artfully designed greeting cards will add an ideal finishing touch to any baby gift. Your card from steve mckenzie’s will make it into the baby book for sure!
If you’re shopping in celebration of a new baby, please stop by – or call – steve mckenzie’s today and we’ll help you select the perfect gift, which will become a lifelong treasure!
Earlier this year, we shared a bit about how we use Pinterest – both professionally and personally – to inspire our designs and lifestyle.
We had so much fun revisiting our pinboards for that post, we thought we’d bring it back and focus on our “Loft Living” board for another Pinspiring post.
Loft living is such a desirable concept for so many. But, in reality creating a space that’s both beautiful and functional within an open loft space can be quite a challenge. When revisiting our “Loft Living” Pinterest board, we discovered quite a few common threads that were weaved throughout some of our favorite images…
A huge perk of loft living are amazing, oversize windows and/or skylights. However, these windows may only be along one wall in the loft space. Make the most of those industrial windows by using light and airy colors in the largest components of the space – like the ceilings, walls and floors.
Staircases are another element that can really be played up in a loft space. Think of it as a sculptural feature, which often have multiple purposes. Sure, they’re a means to an end. But, they can also act as storage, a room divider, and so much more. Don’t settle for something basic when this one element can be made in to something truly amazing.
Traditional lofts can feel cold and sterile with their copious amounts of concrete and exposed piping and duct work, but vintage elements, such as exposed brick walls and hundred year old wood beams offer loads of warmth. If your space doesn’t already offer those components, add them! And then add those necessary soft items – a vintage rug and fun floor poufs (extra seating!) will be oh-so-inviting for your guests.
Although there’s so much more to designing a fantastic loft space, hopefully these tidbits will provide a bit of inspiration – or should we say Pinspiration – to your dreams of living the loft lifestyle.
Recently, Jill went to NYC to visit she and Steve’s oldest daughter, Molly, who lives and works in the city with her husband. While there, the duo visited the Whitney Museum, which is now located in an amazing new building (designed by Renzo Piano) in the Meatpacking District, at the start of the High Line.
Some of the highlights of the museum/their visit…
It’s not too big, not too small – an ideal size to feel as if you can take the time to enjoy everything, while still making a bit of a special trip.
The museum features American art, along with public exhibits that will change out. While there, Jill and Molly enjoyed Laura Poitras’ “Astro Noise.”
There are lovely outdoor spaces, where you can experience the neighborhood, which includes One World Trade and the Empire State buildings.
Fantastic for families for all of the above, plus food is available within the museum with several food cart options right outside on the street.
It’s very accessible for all – including those who use wheelchairs or strollers.
There are plenty of very pleasant and knowledgeable staff members circulating throughout the Whitney Museum, who are happy to answer any questions.
It’s not just any Friday, It’s April Fools Day!! To pay homage to this international day of light-hearted pranks and jest, I selected a particularly cleaver read, “Paul Smith: A to Z” (Paul Smith in conversation with Oliver Wicker).
Although small, this book is filled with interesting and fun facts about Paul Smith, the British fashion designer whose brand goes far beyond his first line of tailored menswear suits. Now he has a women’s, children’s, and even home accessories lines. Oliver Wicker’s book is designed similarly to a children’s alphabet book, A is for Apple, but replace “Apple” with “Abby Road, for example, and include a brief description on why it is important to Smith.
As you flip through the pages, you find Smith is a very fun and carefree personality. He talks about so many aspects of his life, from his childhood hero to his chaotic mess of an office. The illustrations are artistic as well. Photos of graffiti walls, collection of wind-up toys, and family photos surround each description of the Paul Smith alphabet.
You will find yourself smiling and thinking, “I know someone like this!” I’m sure y’all will think of a friend or family member who will immediately enter your mind when you start “Paul Smith: A to Z.” To all of you who love to smile, take a peak into this book.