Easy Entertaining Tips

So you did it, you invited some friends or work pals over to your place for some nibbles, beverages, and relaxed conversation. Bravo! Now, read on for some easy entertaining tips from Steve and Jill McKenzie and the team at Mottahedeh China. Your goal? A memorable and care-free evening for all.

easy entertaining tips
Photo credit: Gustav Wilde

Let’s start with a gorgeous Atlanta sunset. Then add an array of colorful Mottahedeh china, and really use it for food, flowers, holding cutlery, and more. Let’s use the good stuff!

easy entertaining tips
Use your low dishes for nuts and olives
easy entertaining tips
Tobacco Leaf on the bar
easy entertaining tips
Pop a grocery store orchid in a cachepot for instant room refresh.

Add some height and soothing candlelight on the buffet table. Steve swears by a variety of candle heights for visual interest and light.

easy entertaining tips
Steve lighting candles just before the guests arrive

Keep the food simple – finger foods and here’s a tip, many larger groceries, like Whole Foods offer catering menus. Don’t forget another of our favorite’s, Aldi’s, for cheeses and charcuterie meats, nuts, and sweets.

Lauren Finney, Clary Bobsyshell
Add some dear friends like Lauren Finney of Modern Luxury magazine and designer, Clary Bosbyshell, and mix!
Steve McKenzie and Lance Jackson of Parker Kennedy Living

That’s it, easy and simple entertaining with friends, flowers, and simple food. Whether it’s celebrating the end of the week or something more like a baby shower, it’s about connecting with friends and loved ones.

Now, who will you invite over this weekend?

It’s a must-see! The Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens… Part 2

Last week, we shared part one of Jill’s Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens tour highlights, and today, we’re excited to share a bit about the remaining spaces – the bedrooms and leisure spaces.

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Phoebe Howard’s master bedroom suite was sumptuously styled and a fantastic take on classic design. We’re ready to move right in!

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One of our favorite design elements in the showhouse was the gilt ceiling in Amy Morris‘ lady’s lounge space. That light fixture hanging from that stunning ceiling was a showstopper.

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Amy Morris’ lady’s lounge
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The feminine touches throughout the dressing room, designed by Alison Womack Jowers and Cheryl Womack, were so well thought out.

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The soft lines and mix of textures in the dressing room were such a lovely fit for the space!

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And Jonathan Savage‘s bedroom and bath were the epitome of “guy glam!” His masculine theme played well with luxurious touches any man would enjoy coming home to.

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The next bedroom we toured took us to an exotic locale. Andrew Brown‘s space really is a true escape and made us want to stay and enjoy the space for a while.

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Next up – a diversion to the game room. Our friend Ginger Brewton created a space filled with personality and we were thrilled to help accessorize the room!

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From one cheery space to another, the bathroom and bath by Parker Kennedy Living is abundant with chic, chinoiserie style!

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The last space we visited was by Mark Williams Design Associates and it was all about texture, texture and more texture! It drew us in and welcomed us home.

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It was a perfect ending to a fabulous home tour!

If our tour highlights piqued your interest, plan a visit to the Southeastern Showhouse & Gardens. We promise – you will not be disappointed!

And don’t forget… be sure to stop by the steve mckenzie’s showroom for discounted tickets. Enjoy and happy touring!!

Just as a reminder, here’s a full listing of all participating Southeastern Showhouse & Gardens interior designers: 
SUZANNE KASLER
CHERYL WOMACK & ALISON WOMACK JOWERS
AMY MORRIS
ANDREW BROWN
BARBARA WESTBOOK
BD JEFFRIES DESIGN GROUP
BETH WEBB
ROBERT BROWN
BRIAN WATFORD
DON EASTERLING AND NINA NASH FOR MATHEWS FURNITURE + DESIGN
GINGER BREWTON
GORDONDUNNING
GRAMERCY HOME
HUFF HARRINGTON HOME
RABAUT DESIGN ASSOCIATES, INC. WITH SOUTHFACE & CHOA
JONATHAN SAVAGE
KAY DOUGLASS
LAUREN DELOACH
LISA MENDE
MARK WILLIAMS & NIKI PAPADOPOULOS
MELANIE MILLNER
MELANIE TURNER & JILL TOMPKINS
MICHEL BOYD
LANCE JACKSON & DAVID ECTON OF PARKER KENNEDY LIVING
PHOEBE HOWARD
RIVERS SPENCER
TRISTAN HARSTAN

It’s a must-see! The Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens… Part 1

This past Saturday kicked off the first open house for the Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens. And it’s amazing! Jill was fortunate enough to tour the house – all 20,000 square feet of it – a day early and shares a bit about her experience here with us today…

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This fabulous house, designed by architect Dietrich T. Logan of Logan Design Group International and  built by Bill Preston, president of Atlanta-based Paradise Builders Inc., is an amazing addition to the Buckhead area.

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SUZANNE KASLER

The lovely and hugely talented Suzanne Kasler served as Honorary Chair of the interior design team behind the Southeastern Showhouse. The other designers who worked to make this home such a stunner are listed at the end of this post and can also be seen here.

Detail shot of Suzann'e showhouse dining room.
Suzanne’s showhouse dining room.

Suzanne’s dining room in the showhouse features fabulously lacquered walls and ceiling – a fantastic treatment for a formal space!

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Lacquered ceiling detail.

Next up is the study. Robert Brown is the creative mind behind this fantastic space.

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Robert Brown’s showhouse study.

You know we love a good library, and this one doesn’t disappoint. The combination of neutral colors textures, and that dramatic artwork created a memorable space.

Barbara Westbrook‘s showhouse great room was equally as memorable due in large to her artwork selections. The scale was spot on for this generous room.

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Barbara Westbrook’s showhouse great room.

The black and white color scheme in the great room felt fresh and new and was pleasantly unexpected!

Our friend Lauren DeLoach‘s showhouse kitchen design became a fast favorite. And her attention to detail – as evidenced in the next two images – is spot on.

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Fine art in the kitchen… Yes, please! It was a space that was difficult to move on from.

But move on we must. And Kay Douglass‘ morning room design made it a bit easier, as it spoke to us on so many levels.

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Not the least of which was her use of this beautifully “crusty” mid-century chair and her sleek green upholstery.

At this point, we’ll move on to GordonDunning with Lloyd Flanders‘ serene outdoor space, which even in the rain was positively inviting!

Even in the rain, we'd fancy a poolside lounge here!
Even in the rain, we’d fancy a poolside lounge here!

Those umbrellas – perfection in our books!

And that’s where we’ll have to retire part one of the showhouse tour. We’re saving the bedroom and leisure spaces for part two of our post, in which we’ll highlight even more fabulous designer spaces. Please keep an eye out!

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Another important item to note about the Southeastern Designers Showhouse & Gardens is that a portion of the ticket sale proceeds will benefit Safe Kids Georgia, the safety initiative of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA).

We urge you to plan a visit to this spectacular showhome. And to sweeten the pot just a bit, we have tickets for sale at the steve mckenzie’s showroom for just $25/ticket, which will save you $5 off the at-the-door price of $30.

As promised, here’s a full listing of all participating Southeastern Showhouse & Gardens interior designers:
SUZANNE KASLER
CHERYL WOMACK & ALISON WOMACK JOWERS
AMY MORRIS
ANDREW BROWN
BARBARA WESTBOOK
BD JEFFRIES DESIGN GROUP
BETH WEBB
ROBERT BROWN
BRIAN WATFORD
DON EASTERLING AND NINA NASH FOR MATHEWS FURNITURE + DESIGN
GINGER BREWTON
GORDONDUNNING
GRAMERCY HOME
HUFF HARRINGTON HOME
RABAUT DESIGN ASSOCIATES, INC. WITH SOUTHFACE & CHOA
JONATHAN SAVAGE
KAY DOUGLASS
LAUREN DELOACH
LISA MENDE
MARK WILLIAMS & NIKI PAPADOPOULOS
MELANIE MILLNER
MELANIE TURNER & JILL TOMPKINS
MICHEL BOYD
LANCE JACKSON & DAVID ECTON OF PARKER KENNEDY LIVING
PHOEBE HOWARD
RIVERS SPENCER
TRISTAN HARSTAN