Home Tour: Summer Collection

Several folks have asked how we came up with our Summer Collection x Creative Candles. We’re happy to share our thought process and hope you enjoy the tour. It all starts with flowers, of course, playing off the colors we most often use in our home. You know how much Steve loves floral design (I’ll brag, he’s won a national award), hence summer floral is our launching spot for our Summer Collection.

Steve McKenzie floral
Summer Collection floral by Steve McKenzie using Trader Joe’s flowers. This wallpaper by artist
Walter Knabe offers a timeless background for every season.
summer collection
Variety of heights, shapes, and colors with a consistent brass candle holder adds interest to a sideboard.
Art and floral by Steve McKenzie | all photography by Angie Webb Photographer

Our personal home colors are gray, orange, greens and golds, on the softer side. Creative Candles has such a wide variety of artisan colors, it made it easy to gather a gorgeous grouping for summer. While Paris Gray was our year-round favorite in our suburban home, this Summer Collection branched out to embrace Barely Blush, Terra Cotta, Maize, Moss Green, Wedgwood and Roman Bronze. These luxurious, hand-dipped candles come in a variety of lengths and shapes too.

Steve McKenzie summer collection
McKenzie Design Summer Collection works beautifully together

Desert colors, warm summer colors and sunsets also inspired the collection. Look at how the Terra Cotta, Barely Blush and Maize candles play off each other like a summer sunset. Dear Keaton baskets gave this alfresco table some texture and a cute vessel for the kalanchoe flowers. Those extra long tapers added a fun flair to the background monstera plants.

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Table for two on our 25th floor balcony
Steve Jill McKenzie
McKenzie Design duo Steve and Jill McKenzie x Creative Candles

As lifelong learners, be bold and add some new colors to your table settings, coffee table and patio with candles, pillows and plants. Feel free to contact McKenzie Design with any questions and/or design needs. Be well and have fun!

Celebrations Still Happen

baby shower, celebration, McKenzie Design
Celebrations still happen!

I may have mentioned that our son and his wife are expecting their first child in June, a little girl. Right away, my daughters and I started planning a ladies-only celebration baby shower for March to celebrate this blessed event. Well, we all know that life came to a screeching, shelter in place halt in early March. The invitations were mailed, personalized cups and napkins and dreamy candles ordered but off course we cancelled it, keeping everyone safe and at home.

As the baby shower date approached, we decided to go ahead and set the table, making it special for the new mama-to-be via photos. For a refresher, here’s a quick party planning breakdown of what we used and why. First Creative Candles Barely Blush votives were the building block for the color scheme and celebration.

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Barely Blush votive candles from Creative Candles – hand-dipped, dripless, smokeless, unscented
Creative Candles, McKenzie Design
Celebration planning details
Sequins and Lipstick personalized cups and napkins | Creative Candles votive and ball candles |Ikea votive holder | Blabla Kids Josephine the elephant |Wedgwood Edme dishes | Target bed cover as tablecloth

This soft pink and mossy green palette paired beautifully with our Wedgwood Edme dishes. This is pretty pink quilt made a perfect table cloth backdrop for the candle lit setting of sweet nibbles and drinks. Get creative next time you set the table. Is there a vibrant scarf or shawl you can use on the table? Fresh flowers always add to the table too.

Sequins and Lipstick, McKenzie Design
So many napkin colors available with Sequins and Lipstick!
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Virtual celebration with McKenzie Design and family

It’s not the same, we know. But we are making the best of these days at home, finding ways to celebrate the big, and the little, things. Let us know what you are celebrating via email, tag us on Instagram and we’ll see you soon.

All photos by McKenzie Design.

Why I’m Part of the Influencers of Midlife Conference

Steve and I recently reviewed our calendars, looking ahead to the balance of Q1 and the opportunities in Q2. My eyes lit up at the Influencers of Midlife Conference, marked with colorful stars and underlines. It’s happening March 26 – 29 at the Hotel at Avalon, headed up by my dear friend, interior designer, over 50 fashion maven, Robin LaMonte. Steve wondered aloud and asked me why all the happy symbols (literally, in my journal)?

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Grandparents, Steve and Jill enjoying the view at La Fortezza Italy

So I stopped to think, why am I excited about IOM? Here are my top reasons, and I think some of them may resonate with you too.

Renew, recharge and replenish!
  • Hanging out with like-minded women for a whole weekend! Women who are life-learners, hard workers, active, and eager to share, and know where I’m coming from. My kind of peeps…
  • Learning from these women, everything from wellness to fashion tips to business advice. Midlife is a pivotal transitional point in our lives, many of us experience a spiritual and emotional renaissance.
  • I see myself through a different lens with these ladies. So much potential!
  • Sharing in a spirit of growth, support and kindness to each other and ourselves.
Speakers from all over the US

Quick peek at some of the fabulous speakers ~ Mitzi Beach, Vicki Gladle Bolick, Rhoda Vickers, Janet Coon, Linda Holt, Tonya Parker, myself and more. I’m making a list of all the questions – You Tube, podcasts, blogs, influencers – being intentional about learning from this fabulous tribe.

Design Bloggers Conference
Jill McKenzie Robin Lamonte
Jill McKenzie with Influencer of Midlife Founder, Robin LaMonte at the Design Influencers Conference

We’re in charge of what we do the rest of our lives. Invest in yourself at the Influencers of Midlife Conference this March!

Click here for ticket information. Hope to see you there~

How to Buy Art for Your Home

Now that the Christmas garland is stored away for another year, you may be staring at your walls and want a fresh look in 2020.

Perhaps adding art has been on your list, so maybe now’s the time. Then it occurs to you, how do I find some art for my home? As an artist and art collectors, we get this question a lot. I guess when your walls are full, and I mean chock full, of art, I guess it’s an obvious question. We’ve got some easy tips for you, breaking it into actionable pieces.

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Gallery wall in our living room as seen in Atlanta magazine HOME. Photo credit: Anthony Masterson Photography

Where do I find art for my home?

First tip, start local, explore your city. Now get out your calendar (digital or paper), as you have an amazing opportunity this month to see over 350 select artists in one spot at Spotlight on Art at Trinity school. Preview night is Monday, January 27 from 6 to 9pm. Another tip, make it a date night…it’s a very fun evening.

Many artists will be there (including Steve McKenzie), so as you are perusing the art, introduce yourself to them, ask about their process, say ‘tell me more about this piece’. 

Steve McKenzie art
Cirque by Steve McKenzie which will be at Spotlight on Art

When I visit a gallery or show, I like to make a full run through of a gallery, then circle back to stop and ponder the ones that caught my heart. And that’s what it’s all about. What speaks to you. Don’t worry about investment, is it going to be worth something later – it’s about bringing joy into your life and home.
Two other favorite galleries are Huff Harrington Fine Art in Buckhead and Kai-Lin Art in midtown west. Sign up for their emails and get yourself out there, expand your horizons and see some new things.

Ready to go? Make a list…

Before you start shopping, make a list of places where you would like a new piece of art. Take measurements, even take a photo of the space. Does it need to run horizontally? Should it be a vertical? Could it be 3 dimensional? Keep this in mind as you look at art and remember you could always frame a small piece to be bigger. See how we added this vivid painting by Elias Rivera in an otherwise empty space!

Jill with a favorite painting by Elias Rivera. Photo Credit: CatMax Photography

Have fun with this! Art is good for the soul, mind and home. Show us what you find with the hashtag #inspiredtailoredauthentic.

Southeastern Showhouse – Explore Design

If you haven’t visited the Southeastern Showhouse yet, make plans to do so right now! Your senses will be delighted with design, inside and out. I had the privilege to tour the Southeastern Showhouse, thanks to Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, and will share some highlights. There is so much to take in, you need to take the time and visit for yourself, relish in these design details.

Built by Southern Gentry Homes, this 6 bedroom, 7 bath, 12,000 square foot home flows effortlessly on this scenic property.

The kitchen and keeping area took my breath away. Yvonne McFadden is a master of natural materials, yet balances the mood with a sophisticated tone. Definitely a fan of the open shelving design!

design showhouse
Yvonne McFadden is a master with natural materials.

Then you move outside to this cool, sexy space by Tish Mills Kirk –

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Tish Mills Kirk creates an outdoor oasis.
design showhouse
Robert Brown Interior Design masterfully mixes patterns, textures and art.

The design community gives us such richly layered rooms, so many details to absorb and enjoy. As a designer, it’s a privilege and responsibility to bring out the best of a space and experiment a bit, like Steve did in the Macon Showhouse in 2017.

Here are some glimpses into the masterful bedrooms, beginning with the master bedroom designed by Huff-Dewberry.

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Huff-Dewberry updates the classic wall of blue and white china.
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Off the master bedroom, Huff Harrington creates a restful outdoor retreat.

Now we’ll move upstairs for sunsets, canopies, and more…

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Holly Phillips and her ode to a Moroccan sunset.
Honey Collins Interiors came home to Atlanta to design this special bedroom.
Ashley Gilbreath showed up with all the textures, metal details and more.

There’s no better way to ignite your creative spirit than by visiting special hubs of design, like this one. Where does your eye go first? What does your eye linger upon? Whether you incorporate these details now or later, remember how they make you feel.

Mother’s Day + Magnolia

Happy May! That means Mother’s Day is soon, and we have a beautiful way to celebrate with Mom – a magnolia wreath class with Erin Weston of Weston Farms.

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Make this evergreen magnolia wreath!

On Saturday, May 11th, join us for the morning class and make your very own lush, full circle magnolia wreath. A light lunch is included, so bring a friend or Mom to make it a memorable time together. Class starts at 10am and tickets are $150 with limited space. Click here to get your tickets.

Mother's Day, magnolia, diy
Parris Magnolia Bowtie is the afternoon class

In the afternoon class, from 2pm – 3:30pm, you’ll make the famous Parris magnolia Bowtie swag. Perfect for the table, above a piece of art, or as a gift to mom on Mother’s Day. Tickets are $50 and available here.

Mother's Day magnolia

Did you know these magnolia pieces will last for up to a year, sometimes longer?! That means you will enjoy them for all the seasons. Maybe you’ll tuck some fresh seasonal flowers in amongst those velvety leaves, or a bit of sparkly ribbon for Halloween and Christmas. The possibilities are endless!

It feels good to make something with your hands, and as a mom, a hand-made gift is so much more special. We hope to see you at one of these fun-filled classes!

And when you visit the Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens, snap a photo in front of Weston Farms magnificent magnolia wall! Get details on this ever-popular spring showhouse here .

Happy Spring!

Best of the Week for Friday, October 26th

After a super busy week last week, we’ve had time to breath this week and read a bit, work a lot, relax a bit.  Enjoy some of our “Best of the week” thoughts for this pre-Halloween season.

best of the week

Best of High Point Market – Hands down, the Selamat Designs showroom won!  Full of texture, shapes and natural materials, there’s something for everyone.

best of the week
Selamat Designs, founded on family, is shown at Verde Home in Atlanta.

Best of TV this week – The Great American Read finale on PBS was Tuesday night, with a countdown of the America’s most-loved 100 books. Check and see how many you have read. What do you think is the #1 book? And no, it’s not H.P...

best of the week, book, read, PBS
Where do you think HP is on the list?

Best of Podcasts this week – Ohhh, doesn’t an captivating podcast make time in the gym fly by faster?!  Jill’s enjoying the Jennifer Allwood show, Building Your Creative Business and Happier with Gretchen Rubin.  Our good friend, Effie’s Papers lists her favs on a recent blog post too.  Variety is spice for your ears!

best of the week
Kaylyn and her favorite accessory

Best of Shopping this week – We are seriously making our Christmas shopping list now, to take advantage of the Camp Twin Lakes Partners Card.  Get your card at any number of local retailers or save $10 and get a mobile card online, then use it from Oct. 26 to Nov. 4 to receive a 20% discount on 450+ participating retailers and restaurants.  You’ll be helping a local non-profit provide camp experiences for children with serious illnesses, disabilities, and other life challenges.

best of the week, camp twin lakes
Support this local non-profit, Camp Twin Lakes

Cheers to the weekend, and feeling good and doing good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Thrifting Day + 5 Top Tips

National Thrifting Day may be a made-up holiday, but we are all in!  Or junking, or antiquing, or whatever you call it, it’s the hunt for something special, something with patina, something that evokes a childhood memory.  Why would I want to go thrifting, you may ask?  How do I start?  Here are 5 proven tips and strategies for your flea market fun.

It’s fun!  Whether you’re with your partner, an adventurous friend or quality time with your self, we all benefit from literally getting off the computer, out of our routine, and exploring with our eyes, hands and minds.

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A vintage Christmas postcard is given a new life in a new frame

After 35 years of exploring flea markets, estate sales, junk stores together, Steve and I have developed a strategy.  There are the categories we’re always drawn to, pretty linens, dishes (yes, I know we don’t need anymore), ephemera (see postcard above), and small pretty ashtrays or saucers for Steve’s paint brushes.  You’ll find you gravitate to the same types of pieces as you explore.  Then we’ll hunt for any specific pieces for ourselves or design projects.

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Score! Keep your eyes open for that perfect gift while thrifting.

Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.  Touch stuff, turn it over, get out your flashlight to examine the nooks and crannies.  Pack a small flashlight to examine any marks or repairs, and tape measure.  You know the old saying, measure twice…

thrifting, interior design
Flea market finds~rulers, classic bust, gold frame~incorporated on Steve’s desk

Next, look under the tables, inside the boxes, inside the baskets (another fav category).  Sometimes the best stuff hasn’t been unpacked yet.  Thrifting is a responsible way to shop too, as you are recycling old pieces into a new life.

Can it be repurposed?  These vintage chairs got a thorough inspection for stability and reimagined with a fresh finish and updated steve mckenzie’s fabric.

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Thrifting score! Updated these chairs with new fabric and finish.

Make a pile, walk around another loop, then give everything a second look.  Does it speak to you?  What else can you do with it?  Check for any damage and repairs that might rule it out.  When ready to purchase, be prepared to pay cash as sometimes cash sales get an extra discount.

Don’t know where to go?  Besides Scott’s Antique Market, check out this listing of Atlanta’s best flea markets on Yelp.  Another treasure trove are the Goodwill stores.  Keep your eyes open for neighborhood garage sales and estate sales.  *Bonus Tip* Sundays are usually 1/2 price day at estate sales.

Show us what you find on Instagram or Facebook with the tag #stevemckenziesfinds and go have FUN!  As always, thank you in advance for the follows, likes and sharing this blog post with your friends.

Why You Should Make Camp Plans Now

But it’s barely April you’re saying! Why should I look at summer camps near me now? Your kids will be home for the summer before you know it, asking what are we doing next?   Do yourself and them a favor, flip to your family summer calendar, and plug your kids in a fun and innovative summer camp, thanks to MODA, Museum of Design Atlanta.

Always forward thinking, MODA believes kids make great designers! They see through fresh eyes, love wacky ideas and are brave enough to think anything in this world is possible. campMODA teaches kids to use design thinking in combination with STEAM (science, technology, engineering,art/design, and math) skills to solve problems and address real-world challenges.  Believe me, these camps fill up quickly.  You’ll learn so much from them too.

summer kids calendar camp near me
campMODA from May 28 – July 23

Do you have budding engineer or computer game coder?  What about your teen activist?  There’s a spot for everyone.  Join one of MODA’s week-long full-day or half-day camps for kids and teens
(Pre-K through 11th grade) at one of four locations​: MODA’s Midtown home,
Georgia Tech College of Design, First Presbyterian Preschool and The Lovett School
in Buckhead/Vinings. Full-day camps (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) are $495 per week, and
half-day camps (9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) are $250 per week. MODA members receive
10 percent discount.

summer camp kid calendar near me
Each campMODA ​2018 session features one of these innovative themes: Designing
with LEGO Robotics; Adventures in Blockly; Designing and Coding with Minecraft;
Craftivism; LEGO Robotics for Filmmakers; Architectural Design with Minecraft;
Circuits and Robots; Playground Engineering and Career-Building Design Studio
Field Trips. ​Reserve your spot to ensure placement in the camps of your choice.

summer camp kid calendar
Robotics, science, design and more

Registration for all camps is available at:
museumofdesign.org/campmodasummer

Have you looked at a family membership?  Not only can you save on summer camp, you’ll have access to adult lectures, classes and exhibits, perfect for family field trips and date nights.

 

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Sugar Sweet Baby Girl Shower

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Banner from Thimblepress

February was a fabulously  fun and busy month for us!  First, our son’s rehearsal dinner and beautiful wedding at The The Stave Room (stunning photo backdrop, thanks to ASW Distillery) and then we hosted a baby girl shower for our oldest daughter who is expecting their first child very soon.

So, please enjoy some moments of pink and gold happiness from the Atlanta and NYC Baby Girl celebrations, perhaps taking some notes on recipes and decor for your next celebration.

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Balloons by Thimblepress

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CamiCakes cupcakes, floral by Steve McKenzie

Topping off the light chicken salad luncheon, guests had their choice of delicious CamiCakes cupcakes or pretty pink sugary sweet iced butter cookies.  Some of us had to taste both!

 

 

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Sugar succulents by Nicolettsy and cupcake toppers by SmashCaked, both on Etsy

Aren’t those sugar succulent toppers the cutest?!  It’s amazing what you can find on Etsy.

cocktail, cups, straw, mint julep cup, pink, girl, baby, shower
Pink and gold decor on the bar with cups and napkins by our fav, Sequins and Lipstick

In keeping with our baby girl pink and gold theme, our dear friend and tastemaker, Paige Minear of The Pink Clutch suggested the perfect rosemary, grapefruit cocktail recipe from Australian blogger, Tell Me Tuesday and you can get it here.  Pretty and pink!

Remember to look in your cabinet for serving pieces as shown by the mint julep cup holding the gold and white paper straws.

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Parents to be, Molly and Jim

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Do you know Atlanta-based Blablakids? The cutest, softest stuffed animals ever…here is Rivier the elephant, all ready to welcome Baby Girl!

We’ll keep you posted on upcoming developments as there’s nothing like a new baby to bring joy to our world.