Tastemaker Tuesday – William Peace

For many in our industry, this week’s Tastemaker required no introduction. It’s our friend, William (or “Bill,” as many of your may know him) Peace of Peace Design. You know a Peace Design when you walk into one of his amazing spaces. While they may be standouts, they always have a timeless feeling and a nod to the individual function of the space and its inhabitants. We’re thrilled to share a bit about Bill with you today and are grateful to him for agreeing to be a Tastemaker here on the blog for steve mckenzie’s!

William Peace

William Peace is known for his sophisticated, approachable interiors that are clearly defined. Founder of Peace Design, a full-service interior design firm with offices in Atlanta and Bozeman, Peace has created interiors for signature residences, destination restaurants, museums and select showrooms throughout the country.  His striking interiors have been featured in the pages of Architectural Digest, Veranda, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles and multiple luxury publications including, Ranches of the American West and Rustic Elegance.  He is also a frequent guest speaker at various design events within the design community both in the Southeast and Rocky Mountain regions.

1. Three words that describe your aesthetic?

Collected, Curated, Timeless (there’s also textural and comforting!)


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

A space I favor is filled with warmth of hearth, rich in texture, personal treasures and is comfortable in serenity and times of celebration with family and friends. When these elements thrive whether it be a rustic lodge, modern high rise apartment or elegant southern farmhouse it will be captivating.

3. What’s the source(s) of your inspiration?

Inspiration comes from traveling to unique places, the art and artisans I encounter, nature and a sense of place.  I also draw directly from my clients’ interests and desires for a truly special home.


4. Name three people (alive or dead) you’d invite to your dream dinner party…

Rudolf Schindler for architectural inspiration 

Elvis Costello for lyrical conversation 

Jack Nicholson….just because he’s Jack!

5. A piece of/type of furniture you couldn’t live without?

I am drawn to a sense of history in a unique piece of furniture. A beautiful walnut 17th century Italian Baroque Credenza with authentic patina can hold its own against most anything, although I could say the same about a modern classic chair designed by Jean Michel Frank designed in the early 20th century, and I believe they can compliment one another in the same room beautifully.


6. Do you follow a particular set of rules when mixing textures, finishes, etc. – how do they work for you?

The combination of layered texture found in nature…stone, wood, leather, steel, silk and cotton can allow subtle contrast in architecture and interiors that will remain timeless and classic.

7. Trending… What is something you are currently “into” and something you are “over?”

Quality is the only trend I believe is worthwhile. Quality is classic, luxurious and comfortable!

8. How does artwork fit into your designs?

Artwork is personal! I feel that art whether painting, photography or sculpture add soul to a space. I am passionate about my own collection and enjoy working with clients to assist with creating a meaningful body of work. I also feel a thoughtful lighting design and proper framing program will enhance any collection.


9. What would be the one thing you would have if you were stranded on a deserted island?

A deluxe machete would be helpful! 

10. Please share a piece of advice you’d offer to someone looking to break into the interior design industry.

Research and interview with a number of design schools and find the best fit. Explore architecture, fine art, photography and of course business classes and then find an internship with a great firm….work hard and good luck will find you!

Just brilliant! And that may be one of the most unique responses to our desert island question thus far. Leave it to Bill. Smart, practical, but his own unique style. Cheers to Bill Peace and his willingness to share a bit of himself with us!

Tremendous Tasks of Trays

This year, did you resolve to get organized?! How’s it going so far? If you’ve already fallen off the organizational bandwagon, we’re here to inspire you with one simple item. The tray.

Perhaps our favorite option – a catchall tray in Loop Indigo, based on Steve’s fine artwork and textile line. Will add a punch of fun and color to any space!

That’s right – as in those pretty serving pieces sitting in your cabinet that only come out during certain meals… Believe it or not, but trays can do so much outside of the kitchen. They can help you become stylishly organized!

We love the idea of using beautiful trays and even overlooked pieces from your china collection in drawers for organizing small items such as jewelry, spare change, makeup, cuff links, tie pins, etc. So many options!

Simple trays can handle the tremendous task of keeping us organized. Set on a console, nightstand, end table, or even inside a drawer, trays are a fantastic way to compartmentalize all those small items we’re so often digging through our catch-all drawers for!

This Royal Crown Derby Mikado Sandwich Tray, in Taupe, is a real showstopper! This stunning piece would be a gorgeous spot to place on your foyer table and collect keys, spare change and other loose items.

And you know those small items you reach for most – wouldn’t it be helpful if you could just leave them out in the open for easy reach? Thanks to the tray, you can do that in a stylish way.

This woven rattan round tray is actually a little larger in scale and would be a brilliant place to collect television remotes, decks of cards, or even add tall glasses to the top and fill with makeup and brushes for the bathroom or silverware for a stylish addition to your next buffet.

As you can see, we offer some pretty fabulous options for organizing small trinkets. Reach out to the steve mckenzie’s team today and we’ll be happy to help you achieve this resolution and become more organized in no time!!

Tastemaker Tuesday – Tamara Eckles of Jem of the South

Oh do we have a delectable post for you today… Our featured Tastemaker is Tamara Eckles of Jem of the South, a dessert media company. Yes, dessert – as in cookies, candies, cakes and SO much more. Tamara, is an expert in sweet treats and events revolving around them!

This past fall, we attended the Black Southern Belle Collective, where we met Tamara (who’s just as sweet as her desserts!) and we knew we had to share a bit about her and her devotion to desserts with all of you. Plus, not only is she a southern entrepreneur, she’s a neighbor of ours, just north of the city. We know you’ll enjoy this little taste into the life of a dessert enthusiast, who’s made a career out of her passion.

Tamara Eckles

Tamara has been baking since she was a teen and began Jem of the South in 2010 as a way to share her creativity through baking. This adventure has led to her own radio show, hosting dessert events, producing dessert guides and her soon-to-be-launched first cookbook, “Let’s Have Brunch!” 

1. Three words that describe your culinary point of view?

Classic, doable desserts. 


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

My favorite and most challenging project to date is my first cookbook. I am self publishing and I’m doing just about everything. Recipe development, styling and photography. I’ve learned in this process that I can do more than I thought I could ever do with my business!

3. What’s the source(s) of your inspiration?

I find inspiration in so many places. Starting Jem of the South I was inspired by both of my grandmothers. But as I’ve grown my business over the last 7 years I’ve been inspired by both of my parents and my brother and many other creatives out in the social media landscape.

4. Name three people (alive or dead) you’d invite to your dream dinner party…

I’d invite both of my grandmothers so they could see the dream come to life that was inspired by them. I can’t think of a third person.

5. A piece of/type of food (favorite sweet?! :-)) you couldn’t live without?

I couldn’t live without ice cream. I love it and eat it almost every night!

6. Do you follow a particular set of rules when creating recipes – how do they work for you?

When I’m working on recipes I really follow what my heart says. I don’t follow a certain trend. I like classic recipes and also recipes that can actually be made in someone’s kitchen. I like being adventurous too, but I also ask myself before I put a recipe on my website, would this recipe be something I’d make if I didn’t have my website? If it seems over the top or unrealistic, then I don’t put it on the site.


7. Trending: What is something you are currently “into” and something you are “over?” In regards to cooking/food…

That’s a good question. I’m into baking breads from scratch. I’m into bread baking every year and I’ve yet to bake as much bread as I’d like to. Oh and making candy. I love making candy. Not really over anything because there is always a way to make something that is old new again.

8. What would be the one thing you would have if you were stranded on a deserted island?

Is there wifi? LOL! Okay, I’d need my bible, pictures of my loved ones and an unlimited supply of ice cream.

9. Please share a piece of advice you’d offer to someone looking to break into your industry.

I’d say stay true to your style and the goals you are wanting to accomplish. Some may want to open bakeries, others may want to write and develop recipes. Do what you feel is right or works for you and don’t let someone else veer you in a direction that isn’t the one you want to go into.

Three cheers for ice cream! Ha! We love Tamara’s favorite treat and are all about a little scoop to put an end cap on a busy day. And we must give kudos to Tamara for keeping it real and accessible. Y’all – check out her Instagram and tell us you can exit uninspired. It’s impossible! Oh my, those peach tarts, homemade marshmallows, sweet potato donuts… what?!?

THANK YOU Tamara for allowing us to tap into your sweet world. At least enjoying your lovely photographs and lusting over the recipes won’t give us a cavity :-)) Looking forward to more treats this year!

A lite bite for the New Year!

For many of us the New Year means detoxing from all the rich foods enjoyed over the holidays and shedding a few of those extra pounds. But, one of the trickiest times to stay focused on healthier eating – at least for us – is snack time! How easy and (temporarily) satisfying it is to pick up a bag of chips, grab a pastry at the coffee shop or snatch up a handful of candies running to your next appointment.

At least that’s our story… If yours sounds similar read on for some relief.

We’ve found a wonderful solution to those quick snack times that won’t weigh you down – quick pickles!

Yes, we said pickles. Homemade pickles. There’s nothing like ’em! If the thought of making your own pickles sounds a tad overwhelming, we promise they’re beyond easy. And this recipe we’re about to share is totally fool proof, not to mention quick. After all, the recipe isn’t named “Quick Pickles” for nothing!


Quick Pickles

1/2 cup white vinegar, eyeball it
2 rounded teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon salt
1 clove cracked garlic
1 teaspoon dried dill or 2 tablespoons fresh dill leaves, chopped or snipped
1 bay leaf
4 kirby cucumbers, cut into 1-inch slices on an angle

Heat small saucepan over medium high heat. Add vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, salt, and garlic to the pan and cook until it begins to simmer and sugar dissolves. Toss the dill, bay leaf, and sliced cucumbers together in a heat-proof bowl. Pour the simmering liquid over the cucumbers and stir to evenly coat. Allow to cool to room temperature or chill before serving.

Here’s the original recipe by Rachel Ray, in case you want to check out the reviews (spoiler alert – they’re all glowing!).

One small change we make is to cut the cucumbers into thick medallions, we prefer those to the angled slices. Also, use fresh dill if you can, it works so well in pickling recipes! But, we leave our dill fronds fairly full – no need to chop them up too small. You may even consider making a double batch; we promise these go quick!!

You’ll satisfy your snacking cravings with these quick pickles and can you believe you’ll have homemade pickles in practically no time?!? It’s true. Give them a try for yourself and let us know what you think. Happy New Years!

What’s Steve up to now?

A LOT. That’s what! Early 2017 is shaping up to be a very busy season for our namesake, and we know Steve would love to see you out and about at the many industry events lined up in and around Atlanta in the coming weeks… So, we thought we’d give you all a little rundown of what Steve will be up to in hopes for a happy meet up with any of you!


First on the agenda is an event at AmericasMart, “Home for the Holidays: Setting the Trends in Tabletop & Seasonal Decor.” Steve is speaking alongside some topnotch industry tastemakers, including Julia Reed, Bonnie Mackay and our great friend, Annette Joseph – not to mention the presentation will be moderated by Eugenia Santiesteban Soto, Senior Style Editor of Better Homes & Gardens. This is a not-to-be-missed event is taking place THIS Thursday. And keep in mind, it’s never to early to start planning for your next spectacular holiday season!


Next up is the ADAC January Tour, “Interior Perspectives: A Tour of Palettes to Pillows with Cindy Bargainer,” in which Steve will be a featured artist in the Martin Nash showroom. As Cindy leads the tour, she’ll be introducing designer/artists in a number of showrooms where they’ll have an opportunity to share their creative process and how their artworks translate to wall coverings, textiles and the like. This event will take place on January 26th from 10am-noon and it’s sure to leave you inspired!


In the midst of these exhibits and presentations Steve is also painting a bathtub. Yes, a bathtub. The Kohler Signature Store of Atlanta, in partnership with Kallista, is holding the Circe Artist Event CEU and a raffle for a Kallista Circe freestanding tub! This tub is to be painted by our very own Steve McKenzie and proceeds from the auction and event will go to the United Way of Greater Atlanta charity! Phew – talk about the pressure. It’s on… So keep an eye out for this fine piece of art for your bathroom!!

Finally, early February brings on one of our every favorite events of the year, The Southern C Summit!! This year’s Summit is taking place on Sea Island (swoon!) and together, Steve and Jill will be presenting a seminar titled, “Plan B: Reinvention and Multiple Revenue Streams.” You may remember first learning about The Southern C when we introduced you to founders, Cheri Leavy and Whitney Long, in a Tastemaker post from this past year. Needless to say, we’re tickled to have an opportunity to participate in this year’s Summit!

Okay – so, where will we be seeing you over the next month?!? We’re looking forward to the networking, inspiration and fabulous times these events are sure to bring!

2017 Color of the Year + Selamat Designs = Greenery

So you’ve probably seen the Pantone Color of the Year ” Greenery” by now.  You might also be wondering how this zesty yellow-green shade applies to your surroundings, as you may not be ready to swap out all of your furniture.

Let us show you how to incorporate some home accessory items from Selamat Designs  in your home, re-vitalizing your palette, much like updating your wardrobe with a new trendy necklace or coat.

pillows chairs green
Revitalize your home with shades of “Greenery”!

Visit the showroom or email us for more details.  Looking for more assistance with your interiors?  McKenzie Interior Design is at your service!

Have a wonderfully fresh week!