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…

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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.

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How to Easily Elevate Your Next Party with Napkins

From a relaxed rehearsal dinner to a special bridal shower to a themed party, Dot and Army offers an easy, simple custom napkin program that will make your special event sparkle!  Recently, their napkin rental program added the perfect elevated touch to our rehearsal dinner with a variety of coordinated custom fabric napkins at each table.

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Ready for Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First a little background on this family business located in beautiful Brunswick, GA, Dot and Army‘s owner, Jennifer Zamudio’s charming store front offers a full variety of kitchen and table linens plus other local treats, while the workroom (and piles of gorgeous fabrics) are housed in the rear of the downtown building.  At steve mckenzie’s we’re in love with their seersucker cocktail napkins, Unpaper Towels, denim cocktail napkins.

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Colorful Seersucker Cocktail Napkins, eco-friendly Unpaper Towels and Denim Cocktail Napkins with contrasting edging

Back to the rental program…All rentals are customized.  They rent everything from their seersucker to cotton prints to linens with metallic edging.  The rented set can be entirely the same, from one fabric, or mix and match.  We sent them a Pinterest mood board for our event including some inspirational floral images.

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Napkin choices from Dot and Army

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Floral inspiration

Here’s how easy it is to choose your custom napkins:  pricing discussion is via email, and Dot and Army emails images of samples.  Want to see a fabric in person? Easy, they’ll mail it.  We chose the edging colors, sent the deposit and voila, 60 custom napkins arrived at our doorstep.

And you know what else? Return the napkins to them without washing.  Again, easy and no laundry for you!

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Ready for the Rehearsal Dinner! Designed by Steve McKenzie
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Party ready!

Take this tip and add it to your Party File, and as always, steve mckenzie’s is ready to help you make your next event extra-special and easy, be that custom fabric, floral design or table settings.  Stop in or to start the conversation!

 

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Who you NEED to Meet: Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke of Madcap Cottage

We’re looking forward to a fabulous fall working with the equally fabulous duo behind the magic that is Madcap Cottage – Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke! Keep an eye out for some exciting happenings between steve mckenzie’s and Madcap Cottage, taking place soon. In the meantime, enjoy getting to know one of the madcaps, Jason Oliver Nixon in our latest “Who you NEED to Meet” installment…

John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon are the dynamic duo behind North Carolina- and New York-based interior design firm, Madcap Cottage. Known for their whimsical use of color and pattern, the Madcap gents—along with their pound-rescue posse, Jasper, Weenie, and Amy Petunia—scour the world for eclectic finds that capture their unique and gimlet-eyed viewpoint. Imagine a British country house that pairs Granny’s antiques and a spirited dash of Chinoiserie chic with a dash of Morocco-meets-India élan. Shake, stir, then pour.

steve mckenzie’s: Will you please share a bit about your background/how you and John started Madcap Cottage and how you gained the courage to break out on your own?

Jason Nixon: John and I both come from backgrounds as magazine editors and television producers, we really see ourselves as storytellers. In our previous lives, we produced, styled, and wrote stories, and at a certain point we asked, Why are we writing about everyone else? We started the design business and the first project we crafted was snapped up by a magazine, and the phone started ringing and we were off and running. We kept the day job as long as we could, and then took the plunge. We are thrilled to have 4-5 interior design projects each year and to have moved into the realm of product development–from fabric and bedding to window treatments, wallpaper, and wall art.

sm’s: What inspires you and John/your work? 

JN: Travel is a huge part of our world, and we carry sketch books and diaries when we travel and document our adventures. We find inspiration everywhere we go–from Iowa to India. We also lap up great homes and gardens as well as vintage movies and design books. The legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland once said, “The eye has to travel,” and we couldn’t agree more.

sm’s: What is your vision, not only for the Madcap Cottage brand, but also the individual designs/products you create??

JN: We want to create designs that make you dream–but that are also attainable and affordable. We believe that good design should be available to all. Everything that we do is hand touched, sketched, and painted, whether that is a 40,000-square-foot home or a bedding collection for Home Shopping Network. Our goal is to be a lifestyle destination such as Laura Ashley back in the day.

sm’s: Do you have any “mainstays” in your work – is there something you’re always drawn to? 

JN: Of course, we are smitten with prints and patterns and offer opportunities for consumers to bring florals, graphics, stripes, and more into their lives–from baby steps to all-in. Think a classic, relaxed American sensibility paired with an English vibe, and that’s our vibe. Timeless. Sophisticated. And fun. We always have vintage and antique pieces in our design projects and offer surprise-and-delight details such as contrast welting and buttons, unexpected matting and frame treatments, and more.

sm’s: What are the differences in your collections – i.e. how do you create such unique pieces that remain a part of the Madcap Cottage family?

JN: John and I craft colors and patterns that run between our various fabric collections to give tools that allow designers and consumers to connect the dots easily. We layer-in new colors in each collection that adds a further storyline and moves the adventure forward. Each collection takes you on a new journey: We think of each collection as a chapter in a book that moves the story along.

sm’s: What do people need to consider when looking to purchase a Madcap Cottage design?

JN: Nothing! Dive in. We give you the tools to bring the adventure home.

sm’s: What’s on the horizon for you and John/Madcap Cottage?

JN: Lighting! Rugs! Fashion accessories! Paper products! And maybe a TV presence. And we would love to start another book project.

sm’s: As artists/business people how do you recharge?

JN: We love hanging out with our three pound-rescue pups and lounge about with them and read books on the weekend. We also love having friends over for long, boozy dinner parties. And gardening is our favorite hobby

sm’s: Anything else you can think our readers would enjoy learning about you and John/your business/designs? 

JN: We believe that design should be fun and put a smile upon your face.

Smiles and fun are absolutely what design should be about. Cheers to the men of Madcap and all the fun and smiles we have planned in the upcoming months! And a big thank you to Jason Oliver Nixon for participating in our “Who you NEED to meet” feature!

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