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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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’.
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!
Have fun with this! Art is good for the soul, mind and home. Show us what you find with the hashtag #inspiredtailoredauthentic.
On Fridays, we review the highs and lows of the week, pause to ponder, and then plan for the next few weeks.
This Friday, we are loving the buildup of excitement for the upcoming Fall Design Events at AmericasMart and ADAC, the Southeast’s most comprehensive dual-venue design resource, and Steve was tapped to highlight the collaboration between these two trade shopping destinations. Over the past month, he thoughtfully created luxurious curated vignettes at each location which will be open to the trade. AmericasMart is open from Sept. 23-25 and Discover ADAC is set for Sept. 24-26 – hope to see you there!
We love dahlias…that’s our September obsession, as you can tell from Steve’s instagram account. Thanks to the sustainably-grown flower and fruit farm, 3 Porch Farm, dahlias have graced our table for two weeks. Maybe we’ll see you at the Freedom Farmers Market on Saturday. While you’re there, pick up some fabulous heirloom tomatoes too, and then make Southern Living’s Tomato Pie recipe, a real showstopper.
Finally as we pause and look ahead, the holidays (can you say Hallmark movies) will be here before you know it. We have company coming this year and thankfully we are ready for guests anytime with our beautiful American Leather Sleeper Sofa. It really is superb because there are no bars, no springs, stylish and comfy. Find out more at Verde Home, and remember to #shoplocal.
Today is National Dog Day. Another made-up holiday? Perhaps, but let’s take minute to love on our furry friends, and our family favorite dogs is the English Springer Spaniel, a cheerful, intelligent, attentive dog. Read on about our three ESS loves…
When we moved from the Chicago area to Atlanta in 1990, we added our first Springer, Oreo to the family, and soon thereafter our son, Carter. That sweet dog let Carter and then baby sister, Mimi learn to walk by holding onto her fur and toddling along with them. When Oreo was done, she gave them a lick, making them squeal with giggles and let go, and then tucked herself into her kennel, her safe place. I can’t say enough about our Atlanta award-winning breeder, Karen Foster. She interviewed us, giving us the pup best suited for our lifestyle, and she was spot on with Oreo. Tip – Ask you breeder lots of questions about their processes as it could save you lots of time and heartache.
As Oreo aged, we got another puppy to bridge the gap, Biscotti or Bisi. And was she every busy! She could find a tennis ball in anyone’s yard. This cute girl was a star in our Traditional Home story too. See her peeking in the front door?
After Oreo’s passing, it was just Bisi and our three kids. So… 8th grade daughter, Mimi, sat Steve and I down for a powerpoint presentation on why we should adopt another English Springer Spaniel from Springer Rescue America. Guess what the answer was? You guessed it. Duke joined us one month later.
Why do we love our dogs? They comfort us just by being there. We look forward to coming home to that wagging tail. My dog teaches me to be more patient. My dog teaches me to find joy in the little things. Dogs lift our spirits, they are natural mood elevators. They keep us socially connected at the dog park, running into a neighbor on a walk around the block. Whether you take your dog to a “yappy” hour at a local dog-friendly spot, or just give your pooch some extra love, celebrate time with your furry friend!
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!
Then you move outside to this cool, sexy space by Tish Mills Kirk –
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.
Now we’ll move upstairs for sunsets, canopies, 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.
Need a creative recharge? Who doesn’t?! How about an Italian abstract painting workshop? Complete with lodging, instruction and all supplies, and no previous experience necessary, just bring your enthusiasm for art, Italy and creativity.
Steve McKenzie is leading an abstract painting workshop at Annette Joseph’s magical La Fortezza in northern Tuscany on Sept. 19 – 24th. Inspiration is everywhere!
We were lucky enough to visit Annette earlier in May. The magic begins as you approach the home, and up on the mountain sits Annette’s fortress.
Annette, styling expert and author, has created beautifully appointed living and working spaces, as well as incredibly comfortable guest quarters for the students that are unparalleled. It feels a little like a visit to a monastery where furnishings and the views take you to a place of contemplation and inspiration. We’ll do a bit of shopping too, as part of the class, visiting the local market and antique shops.
These cozy places, coupled with a superb cocktail, and nibbles, encourage congregation and conversation.
We were greeted in typical Annette fashion with a delicious, as well as beautiful, Aperitivo of Negroni and nibbles, taken straight out of her new book Cocktail Italiano. A delicious dinner of pasta and salad followed, just reminding me of what a talented cook Annette is.
I am excited that a cooking lesson in the commercial kitchen will be part of our fall workshop. Can’t wait to cook on her La Canche stove!
I strolled over to the La Fortezza vineyards with Annette and Jill. The beauty of this location really spoke to me and inspired me to paint en plein air. During the workshop we will take a picnic lunch out here and paint, eat and drink. The colors and vistas are one of the most inspirational places I have visited.
On the stroll back to the house, I filled the market basket with wild flowers from the property as well as colorful roses from her rose garden. The most beautiful arrangement quickly came together in a beautiful pitcher from Annette’s copper collection. We will incorporate a quick floral arranging lesson during my workshop as well.
I can’t wait to return and share all the fabulous experiences with my students during the workshop September 19-24, 2018.
There are only a few spaces left, register today, and as they say in Italy, Ciao!
Change is always happening in the world and we want to let you know about some changes at steve mckenzie’s. Before we get into the changes, we want to thank you for your loyal dedication to our business. When we began this endeavor over 6 years, we had no idea how many friends and supporters we would come to know. We are eternally grateful for all of our friends we have made in the Atlanta design community and all of the consumers who have fallen in love with our product offering in the store.
We recently began an evaluation of our entire business model and have made some decisions about the next steps for our business. Therefore we have made a decision to close the retail portion of our business. However, you can’t get rid of us that easily.
Steve will continue with the McKenzie Design interior design business as well as producing his art and fabric, licensing for his art, rugs for Verde Home, stationery, and more. Also stay tuned for his first licensed furniture collection. Steve will also continue the classes that have become so popular (and sell out so fast). In fact, his design and art studio will remain at our current address and he loves visitors, always.
Verde Home, our fantastic business neighbor, will take over our retail space and will also continue to offer the Selamat Designs furniture and lighting line. Jill will join Verde Home as sales and outside sales to interior designers, thus expanding her offerings to include the full complement of Verde Home lines plus Selamat and Steve’s fabrics and wallpapers.
Now the majority of our current products need to be sold, and we will begin the sale March 7th.
However as a thank you to you, our loyal customers, please visit us before then for best selection and know we’ll pass on our best price.
We will continue to sell in the space through April 30th. Verde Home will officially take over the space May 1st.
In closing, know that we sincerely appreciate your support. We ask that you spread the message of Steve’s growing interior design and art business. If you are one of our trade customers, look for Jill to contact you soon to share all the lines she now represents and if you need to see her sooner, please contact her.
Many paths have opened on this amazing journey and we are grateful for each of you along these paths, and hope you celebrate this next chapter with us. We look forward to seeing each of you soon.
Jill and Steve McKenzie
Atlanta’s food scene has a new player, Annie Mae’s Pantry just off Northside Drive and Interstate 75 in Atlanta, and put it at the top of your list. Guided by her own culinary philosophy, Andra Hall (she also owns CamiCakes, a well-known bakery with 5 Atlanta and 2 Jacksonville, FL locations) presents a menu based on “The Four S”es: “Simple. Soulful. Savory. Sweet.” Here she pays homage to her late paternal grandmother, Annie Mae Norton and is reflective of Hall’s rural upbringing in Monticello, FL, a lazy town situated 30 miles northeast of Tallahassee.
Think regional food, like fresh seafood, garden vegetables and “sweets”, as Andra’s family called dessert.
At our table, it’s a toss up between the Yard Bird (chicken), Fishing Pole Finds (top contender here is Annie Mae’s signature Fried Fish and Grits), Brown Bag Sandwiches and Sweets. These cakes and pies are definitely worth the splurge!
Whether you carry out or enjoy the comfy bistro setting, linger longer as you enjoy these homemade meals with your friends and family.
Annie Mae’s Pantry is located at 1700 Northside Drive, Atlanta, GA, just north of our showroom. See you soon!
Happy Saturday! Your honey-do list may be a mile long, but if you can, treat your senses to a stop at The 2018 Cathedral Antiques Show and Flower Festival. Get ready for breathtaking art, antiques, and florals featuring over 25 highly-regarded dealers from around the country. Take a peek at some favorite bright spots gathered from my Thursday tour.
Today is the last day! The address is Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30305.
Did I mention FLOWERS?! Breath in this breath of fresh, spring air. Happy Weekend!