Designers supporting artists, thanks to Serenbe’s Artist in Residence Program!

In partnership with our friends at KMH Interiors, McKenzie Design is excited to participate in Serenbe’s Artist In Residence (AIR) program by donating their time to design and install the interiors of the first two artist residence cottages. These cottages will serve as home base for two talented artists – one being designed with an eye toward painterly arts and the other with a focus on writing/composition.

AIR Serenbe 3

Steve and Marie Nygren (founders of Serenbe) have believed from the beginning art was important to the kind of sustainable community they wanted to create. Recently, a large 40+ parcel of land was acquired adjacent to Serenbe to found the Serenbe Art Farm. The Art Farm and the AIR program, conceived 7 years ago to bring artists to work and share their process and vision and work with the Serenbe community, are non-profit organizations. It is their vision to have a place where artists can live/work and find affordable housing. They have raised money via the showhouse, private donations and the art auction Steve McKenzie participated in, in conjunction with ASID, to fund the building of the first two artists cottages, with a goal of building them on a budget of only $20,000!

View of the picturesque site where the two initial artist cottages will sit.
View of the picturesque site where the two initial artist cottages will sit.

The Nygrens have joined forces with the The Rural Studio of  the University of Alabama to design the first two cottages. The Art Farm at Serenbe is the site for the first wave of 20K Houses built in collaboration with Auburn University’s award winning Rural Studio program, to be used as live-work artist cottages.

The relationship between The Art Farm at Serenbe and Auburn University’s Rural Studio is multifaceted. Serenbe’s institute for arts and culture, The Serenbe Institute, is limited in the number of artists it can bring and house each year and the collaboration with Rural Studio responds to this need. The Art Farm will be built out to house multiple artists and nurture the arts in the Atlanta region.

serenbe AIR cottage groundbreaking 2
Actual Ground Breaking at the site. Pictured from left to right: Rusty Smith, Associate Chair of the Auburn University Program of Architecture and Rural Studio Associate Director, Simon Shell, contractor who is building first cottage at Serenbe and Serenbe founder Steve Nygren.

Rural Studio is very excited about this program because these cottages will be the first two structures they have had built commercially, and not from within the program. The two cottages will serve as a place where artists can come and stay during their time in the AIR program to live and work for a period of time.

KMH Interiors and McKenzie Design are currently working to procure donations from vendors for the furnishings, as they work up their plans for the cottage interiors.

serenbe AIR cottage groundbreaking
Steve Nygren, founder of Serenbe, addresses the crowd at the groundbreaking.

Steve shares that he is “really passionate about this project because as an artist I know how important programs like this are to push your creativity and let you get away from the day to day and focus on your art. As a designer it is thrilling to create a space I know will be used by other artists.”

Original log cabin on the Serenbe AIR property.
Original log cabin on the Serenbe AIR property.

We’re excited for Steve, Kerry Howard, of KMH Interiors, The Rural Studio of  the University of Alabama program, and the Serenbe/AIR teams, to see this wonderful project come to fruition!

Please keep an eye out for future posts, here on the blog for steve mckenzie’s, detailing how these projects are progressing and hopefully, by the end of the year, what the finished cottages look like.

Earn CEUs while having fun with Sherwin Williams & steve mckenzie’s!

Designers – are you looking to up your GA ASID Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for the year?! Have we got an opportunity for you!

The team here at steve mckenzie’s has partnered with the folks at Sherwin Williams to host their fantastic 2016 Colormix CEU on Monday, October 5th.

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This will be our second time working with Sherwin Williams to host their Colormix workshop, the first was such a blast (see the recap here), we knew we’d continue with more of these in the future… Here’s the course description for the upcoming event in our showroom:

This course will take the participant on a visual journey with stimulating images, factual statistics and perceptive research that supports the 2016 forecast for color and design trends. This course explores the drivers influencing future color and design trends that include global, technological, historic, psychological and economic factors with specific information on four dominant color stories for Pura Vida, Mas Amor Por Favor, Nouveau Narrative and Trajectory. 

Not only does this sounds super interesting, but it’s guaranteed to be extremely educational!

To learn about this upcoming event, and how you can join the limited number of participants, please contact the steve mckenzie’s team today!


Modern Atlanta Home Tour 2015 is Here!

Not only is this fabulous home tour, geared toward folks excited about contemporary design, taking place this week, but our own namesake will be leading tours as a docent for the 2015 tours!

modern atl

By now you probably know what a passion Steve has for modern art, architecture and design, and now he’s able to share that love with others while guiding them through an amazing example of this aesthetic.


Here’s a bit of info from the MA team on this exciting event:

Now in its ninth year, Design is Human Atlanta returns for a weeklong series of design events promoting creative knowledge, commerce and culture, featuring talks, panel discussions, film premieres, CEU classes, product launches and more during Design is Human (DiH) Atlanta through June 7, 2015. During the DiH Atlanta, the international design community descends upon Atlanta for a celebration of international design excellence and creative culture.

Bernard McCoy
Bernard McCoy
“We’re excited to share innovative, contemporary, international and local designers and brands with Atlanta,” said MA founder, Bernard McCoy. “I am especially excited for two North American premieres this year – Germany’s Naber Concept Kitchen at the International Design Expo, and BEKA & Partners’ ‘Barbicania,’ the latest film in their ‘Living Architecture’ series.”

This year, DiH Atlanta boasts dozens of international brands at the MA International Design Expo (MIDExpo), new signature events and programming, bold idea sharing, and is bookended by the MA Architecture Tours, including two-weekends of some of the best modern commercial and residential spaces in Atlanta, and satellite locations in Athens, GA, Raleigh-Durham, NC and Asheville, NC. Tickets are available now at and ticket locations around Atlanta on May 15, 2015.


If you are a local design professional, there are many opportunities taking place in conjunction with the DiH events you may want to take advantage of:

MA Day of Design for Professionals at ADAC on June 3.
ADAC, Presentation Room, 1st Floor
351 Peachtree Hills Ave., Atlanta, Ga 30305

Satisfy multiple CEU credits in one day and be the first to see the MA International Design Expo! Featuring free CEU classes from industry leading manufacturers Knoll, Teknion, Arktura and Dornbracht, plus an exciting presentation from Naber on the North American launch of their “n” Concept Kitchen. The day includes lunch and beverages from Octane (for purchase) and a complimentary cocktail reception in the MA International Design Expo. Network with your peers and manufacturer reps and be the first to see the exhibits. Register today. Seats are limited. Attendance is free!

10:00 am – 10:30 am Registration
10:30 am – 11:30 am – Knoll CEU
11:30 – 12:30 Octane Lunch Pop-up – Food & Drinks for Purchase
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Arktura CEU
2:15 pm  – 3:15 pm: Teknion CEU
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm: Dornbracht CEU
4:45 pm – 5:45 pm: Naber “n” Concept Kitchen Presentation
5:45 pm –  7:30 pm: Complementary Cocktail Reception in MA International Design Expo for Design Pros and Press (Space 403) Sponsored by ASID GA

In addition to Steve volunteering as a docent, there will also be a number of furniture pieces from steve mckenzie’s by O&G Studio featured in our space, so keep an eye out! We look forward to celebrating Modern Atlanta with you this week!