A Sensational Spring Tea – steve mckenzie’s open house recap

It’s time to freshen up our tables – spring is here!  Let’s recap the fun from our recent Spring Tea Open House~

brass, staffordshire dogs, acrylic glass
Vintage Touches

Paige Minear of The Pink Clutch mixed vintage pieces dear to her heart, plus custom monogrammed napkins by Emily McCarthy.

brass, staffordshire dogs, acrylic glass
Vintage Touches
Waiting on Martha, The Pink Clutch
Blogger Power! Mandy and Paige

Waiting on Martha‘s, Mandy Kellogg Rye kept a soothing green palette for her table and incorporated topiaries.

Gien, Le Jacquard Francais
Green Goodness table by Mandy

Erika Preval of Charm Etiquette refreshed our manners – start on the outside for the cutlery, leave politics out of the conversation, etc.  She even offers classes for everyone to enjoy – young people, adults, corporate situations – remember good manners will open doors the best education cannot, as says Clarence Thomas.

vintage, brass, custom, Royal Crown Derby
Vintage Finds

We fell in love with the jasmine tea from Just Add Honey and will add it to our next menu. So many flavors; if you attended, please let us know your favorite!

tea, honey, Atlanta, Sweet Auburn market
This guy knows his teas!

A special thank you to Christi, our ambassador of Gien, Terrafirma, Le Jacquard Francais, Match Pewter and Royal Crown Derby, as she brought in so many delicious layers of textiles and plates for us to play with.

table setting, pewter, Gien
Gray goodness with Gien, Match Pewter, Terrafirma and Le Jacquard Francais table linens
So many choices!
Paige Minear, Jermail Shelton, Jill McKenzie, and Erika Preval
Gien, Terrafirma, Le Jacquard Francais
Charming Paris small plates

Our current Gien special of 20% off all new orders ends on April 26th. Call or email us for more details.

Thanks to all who came out for our Spring Tea Open House! If you couldn’t make this event, visit the showroom soon – spring inspiration abounds!!

Advertisements

Tabletop Tuesday – Mikado Modern

Have we got a tabletop for you on the second installation of our Tabletop Tuesday series! The colors, textures and patterns all blend to create an absolutely delectable setting, which will be ideal for any springtime gatherings from Easter and beyond. Today, we’re pleased to share our “Mikado Modern” tablescape with you..

For this tablescape, we turned to what has become a favorite collection of ours, initially introduced a few years ago by Royal Crown Derby, the Mikado collection. Mikado is an updated, contemporary take on a traditional pattern, first introduce in 1894. The individual pieces tell the story of the beloved opera, The Mikado. Respecting its past, yet appropriate for today’s modern lifestyle, is what we love about this pattern. The bright colors solicit feelings of fresh blooms, crisp spring air and bright sunny walks.

For this tablescape’s floral element, we were able to partner again with Erin Weston of Weston Farms. The timing could not be more perfect for us to incorporate the Japanese magnolia blooms, forsythia and redbuds, all combined with Weston Farms’ fantastic magnolias.

Our antique, French table provided a perfect backdrop for our table setting once again.

A lovely Le Jacard Francais runner was the base of our setting.

The RCD Mikado, in a lavender colorway is the base of our place setting.

We then layered the settiing with a turquoise salad plate and a lime bread and butter plate.

This cutlery is what we have at home and, to us, the ivory evokes the feel of a bygone era.

Clear, stemless glasses for the wine and water were chosen, so as not to compete with all the color we already have going on in our tablescape.

For the main centerpiece, Erin put the RCB Mikado canister in blue to use as a vase. It was then coupled with some blue and white ware with a variety of spring blooms

We even incorporated this beautiful crystal votive, in Green Calcite, by Tish Mills of Harmonious Living  and paired it with only the Stamens and Carpels of the magnolia blossoms.

Next, to celebrate the Asian feeling of the china, we added my favorite 3 Emperors bejeweled by Eric Cortina.

In the end, the table appears set for a king, or at least anyone celebrating the upcoming Easter holiday, or any spring occasion!

The full Mikado collection can be viewed here – the color combinations are absolutely fantastic!!

Will you be incorporating any Mikado pieces into your Easter and spring-themed tablescapes?!? We’d love to hear how you incorporate color and we hope we’ve inspired you to think a bit outside the box with your upcoming tablescapes!

Photos by Rustic White Photography.

Tremendous Tasks of Trays

This year, did you resolve to get organized?! How’s it going so far? If you’ve already fallen off the organizational bandwagon, we’re here to inspire you with one simple item. The tray.

entertaining-serveware-catchall-tray-loop-indigo-11x17-445px-491px-1
Perhaps our favorite option – a catchall tray in Loop Indigo, based on Steve’s fine artwork and textile line. Will add a punch of fun and color to any space!

That’s right – as in those pretty serving pieces sitting in your cabinet that only come out during certain meals… Believe it or not, but trays can do so much outside of the kitchen. They can help you become stylishly organized!

original_lynda-quintero-davids-teacup-drawer-jewelry-organizer_s3x4-jpg-rend-hgtvcom-616-822
We love the idea of using beautiful trays and even overlooked pieces from your china collection in drawers for organizing small items such as jewelry, spare change, makeup, cuff links, tie pins, etc. So many options!

Simple trays can handle the tremendous task of keeping us organized. Set on a console, nightstand, end table, or even inside a drawer, trays are a fantastic way to compartmentalize all those small items we’re so often digging through our catch-all drawers for!

royal-crown-derby-mikado-taupe-sandwich-tray-445px-491px
This Royal Crown Derby Mikado Sandwich Tray, in Taupe, is a real showstopper! This stunning piece would be a gorgeous spot to place on your foyer table and collect keys, spare change and other loose items.

And you know those small items you reach for most – wouldn’t it be helpful if you could just leave them out in the open for easy reach? Thanks to the tray, you can do that in a stylish way.

round-tray-nutmeg-finish-445px-491px
This woven rattan round tray is actually a little larger in scale and would be a brilliant place to collect television remotes, decks of cards, or even add tall glasses to the top and fill with makeup and brushes for the bathroom or silverware for a stylish addition to your next buffet.

As you can see, we offer some pretty fabulous options for organizing small trinkets. Reach out to the steve mckenzie’s team today and we’ll be happy to help you achieve this resolution and become more organized in no time!!

Another Memorable AmericasMart Experience!

This past weekend at AmericasMart was such a whirlwind for us! We were so honored to be selected to participate in their exciting “Retail Meets Design” vignette exhibition, which highlighted the talents of a fantastic group of retailers who are also designers, or vice versa. We were simply blown away by everyone’s creativity!

IMG_4079

Steve took this opportunity to add a little glam into his designs and we couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome! In addition, just about everything was sourced from within AmericasMart, and the items he didn’t find there are all available through steve mckenzie’s.

The vignette Steve designed for McKenzie Design was centered around a banquette table and chair arrangement, with the focal point being that amazing hammered metal pedestal table from Bliss Studio.

IMG_4087

As you’ve probably deduced by now, tablescapes are a specialty of ours here at steve mckenzie’s and Steve’s tabletop design for his vignette certainly portrayed his appreciation for fine wares. Here’s a rundown of Steve’s sources for his tablescape:

IMG_4083

The bar cart, found via Golden Oldies Antiques, was actually an old Viennese pastry cart, which was repurposed, and it acted as the perfect end cap for the banquet – sourced through Lee Industries. The bottom of the bar cart featured a glass cabinet, which was filled with antique brass camel bells. The shield back chairs were found at Aidan Gray, and the nailhead trim on the chairs worked beautifully with the detailing on the banquette seating!

IMG_4077

The console table space was perhaps our favorite moment within the vignette. That table, also sourced through Bliss Studio, is a true work of art, and the bejeweled Buddha perched atop it is as well. After all, it was crafted by THE Eric Cortina. And the floral on the console is by Diane James.

IMG_4078

The lighting above the table and the sconces above the console are all from Currey & Co., each of those pieces added some needed modernity. The vertical artwork was sourced from Wendover Art Group and the horizontal piece is from Art & Frame Source.

You may recognize the wall covering, as it’s based off of Steve’s art and textile design, was transferred to grass cloth and transformed in to wallpaper. It is so exciting to see the loop art used in this way!

IMG_4081

The banquette pillows offered their own touch of glitz and glam and were found via D.V. Kap.

IMG_4090

And that etagere, which added the perfect amount of style and storage was found via Gabby, as were all of those stunning accessories used to style it.

The rug also deserves a mention all its own… The luxuriously soft and beautiful floor covering Jaipur Living, and it was a showstopper!

We also have to share a little shout out to all of the other amazing retailer/designers who designed some brilliant spaces for the “Retail Meets Design” vignettes:

– Kristin Alber of FOUND

– Nina Nash and Jared Hughes of Matthews Furniture + Design

– Susan Victor and John Ishmael of Natina Home & Design

– Rozanne Jackson of The Iron Gate

– Ann Huff, Meg Harrington and Sam Jones of Huff Harrington Home

– Paige Schnell, Beth Nash and Anna Kay Porch of Tracery Interiors

In addition to designing the exhibition vignette, Steve was also invited to speak on a panel about the retail and design business and how to bridge the gap between them, as well as promoting the dual businesses. Kristin Alber of FOUND, moderated the panel and was such a delight to get to know during AmericasMart!

While AmericasMart can be a crazy time, and this year was no exception, it’s always a phenomenal source of inspiration and  a wonderful time to meet and greet with all of our industry friends. And we’re so appreciative of all the praise the vignette exhibit has been garnering on social media – just check out #retailmeetsdesign to get an idea of all the excitement!

Here’s to AmericasMart 2017!!

A Sensational Summit with The Southern Coterie

Steve and Jill attended and presented at The Southern Summit, hosted by the folks over at The Southern Coterie, last month in Charleston – and it was an absolute delight!

summit1001

A highlight for them was the luncheon workshop they hosted, in conjunction with Atlanta Magazine: Home editor-in-chief Betsy Riley, where they shared with guests the basics one needs to effortlessly achieve gracious living and how to tailor seasonal tablescapes without breaking the bank.

IMG_9015

During this workshop, Steve and Jill offered participates a list of items that should always be on hand to create a warm, memorable design for their tabletops. This way, they’d be ready to host with only a moment’s notice.

IMG_9024

Grocery store flowers were taken from “meh” to magnificant during the workshop, in a centerpiece makeover, which guests really seamed to enjoy.

IMG_9026

Four tablescapes were designed for the presentation, one for each season. The summer table setting closed out the luncheon gathering, and wase used as inspiration for the next day’s luncheon for all 325 summit attendees.

IMG_9037

Together, Steve and Jill designed all of the tables for the summit’s feature luncheon, which took place at the beautiful, historic William Aiken House.

IMG_9048

But, as you know it takes a village to achieve such stunning results and a number of vendors came together to make the luncheon space so lovely. They include, Vietri dinnerware, Dot and Army linens, Royal Crown Derby fine china, Le Jacquard Francais table linens, Sasha Nicholas dinnerware, and The Vine, who provided an array of glorious succulents for the centerpieces.

093B29271-634x422

The Southern Coterie is an impressive gathering of Southern entrepreneurs and tastemakers, and we were elated to have been in such esteemed company at The Southern Summit! Some of the other presenters were Eddie Ross, Libbie Summers, Mandy Kellog Rye, Kristy Tiglias of Southern Living, Brian Hart Hoffman of Hoffman Media, Julianne Taylor and Holly Hollingsworth Phillips. Many on this list are friends of our ours, and some have even been tastemakers here, on the blog for steve mckenzie’s – such a fantastic group!!

Steve with Mandy Rye
Steve with Mandy Rye

Mandy Rye – of Waiting on Martha fame – presented on building your brand with social media (a personal highlight for Steve and Jill), and she will be doing an intensive social media seminar here in Atlanta. It’s very limited, and one day only (June 17), so sign up ASAP if you’re interested. steve mckenzie’s will be hosting a kickoff cocktail party the evening before Mandy’s seminar, so put it on your calendar… Details forthcoming.

IMG_9031

If this sounds like fun, that’s because it was! And next year, you should be a part of it! Thanks to all of our friends – new and old – who we enjoyed at The Southern Summit, and thanks to The Southern Coterie for inviting us to participate in this memorable event. We left feeling energized and inspired!

Four Reasons to Register your Wedding Gifts with steve mckenzie’s

Get engaged over the holidays? First of all… Congrats! Second, where will you register?!? It’s a question you’ll hear a lot between now and the big day, and deservedly so. Your loved ones want to gift you with that something special, when each time you see it, you think of them.

We encourage you to give your loved ones an opportunity to gift you with items you’ll treasure forever, things you can’t find in a big box store – all while shopping small and local. Register with steve mckenzie’s!

Gien earthenware
Gien Pont aux Choux in Taupe

Why? Here are four reasons we think you’ll be just as head-over-heels for steve mckenzie’s wedding registry as you are with your fiance:

  1. Unique offerings – steve mckenzie’s carries items you won’t see at every chain store. Everything we offer is painstakingly selected by Steve and Jill McKenzie, our own husband and wife team with loads of homemaking and entertaining experience.

    An assortment of R. Wood Pottery, handmade in Athens, GA.
    An assortment of R. Wood Pottery, handmade in Athens, GA.
  2. People LOVE to give special gifts – We make it easy for you to select truly special items for your registry, which your guests will love gifting! steve mckenzie’s offers so much more than tableware – let your loved ones give something as unique as you and your fiance for your big celebration!

    A smaller-scale original work of art by Steve McKenzie - ideal for beginning your family's collection.
    A smaller-scale original work of art by Steve McKenzie – ideal for beginning your family’s collection.
  3. One of a kind art gifts – Our team spends a lot of time creating and curating original artworks that would help to make any house feel like a home. Pick pieces you’ll love forever and add them to your registry. Even small works of art can be the jumping off point for your home’s design. Give someone an opportunity to give your new family the gift of art.
  4. It’s easy! – Registering and shopping registries with steve mckenzie’s is so simple! You’ll work with our team, who will help guide you through the registry process, selecting items you’ll use – and possibly pass down for generations. When it’s time to shop, your guests are welcome to peruse our store, or simply call in to place an order. steve mckenzie’s offers complimentary gift wrapping, and has even been known to make hand deliveries.

    A classic mint julep cup by Match Pewter - use for cocktail hour, a petite vase, or even utensil holder for your buffet!
    A classic mint julep cup by Match Pewter – use for cocktail hour, a petite vase, or even utensil holder for your buffet!

We hope you’ll consider working with our team to create a truly unique registry for your upcoming wedding celebration. Please contact us today with any questions or to get started!

How to Add Color… Effortlessly

So many of our design clients come to us looking to add a splash of color to their space. Many of these people have fantastic taste and collections of timeless pieces that will easily fit into a new design. However, these savvy folks always shy away from color… Why?

add color

It seems like many people understand the value of starting with a neutral base for any space. And while we think neutrals are a necessity, we also believe in adding personality, drama and even a bit of pizzazz with some very bold color. Be it in an amazingly bright wallpaper, a brilliant hued upholstery job, or funky custom pillows with contrast piping, there are unlimited ways to effortlessly add splashes of color to your neutral spaces!

photo 12

Petite glass vases, like these hand blown pieces by Blenko, available in a rainbow of colors and sizes at steve mckenzie’s. And don’t forget what an impact a few cut flowers, or even a bit of greenery can add to a space. Not only does it add color, it also adds the perfect soft touch.

TC45

These vintage surplus pillows from All Souls Mercantile are sure to add the perfect subtle touch of color. They’d be ideal in a lake house, or space with a bit of western flare. But, don’t let our ideas limit you – there are so many ways these pieces can add personality to a design!

photo 16

Your tabletop will truly come to life with a bright napkin, bit of colorful Royal Crown Derby china by Mikado and even a vibrantly colored acrylic glass, which is just as durable as it is attractive!

photo 23

The team here at steve mckenzie’s are rockstars at textile pairings, and creating memorable pillow arrangements, thanks to colorful fabrics and trims. If you’s like to achieve a similar look, but don’t quite know where to start, reach out to our team today!

Now, who needs a pair of shades to give their eyes a rest after enjoying such a color rich post?!?

Tablescape Thursday: Love is in the Air

We had so much fun pulling together these Valentine’s table settings, and we think you’ll have even more fun pulling them off for yourself and surprising your loved one with a special dinner at home this holiday!

Sure, there’s something about a night on the town, but does it have to be on Valentine’s day? The crowds, prix fixe menus… We suggest saving the big night out for another evening and celebrating at home. After all, it’s more cozy and comfortable and with the right tablescape, you can set the mood however you like!

We’ve created three designs here – one more casual, another a bit fancier and a third setting that sets the stage for a true holiday celebration:

DSC_0081

First up, a casual supper setting.  Perhaps you’ve just started dating, so you don’t want to go overboard just yet. This place setting featuring Libeco linens, a Match Pewter Dinner Plate, R. Wood Studio Dessert/Salad Plate all topped off with a silver heart ornament (could double as a sweet gift!) by Eric Cortina, offers a sentimental feel where a classic french bistro meal such as croque monsieur and a simple salad would be perfectly suited.

Also featured in this setting is an R. Wood Studio Small Scallop Bowl, Two-Piece Salad Set, in red glitter, a Tart/Pie Server, also in red glitter, a simple red spreader, an Acrylic Dolce Vita Water Goblet and Tumbler and Vintage-Style Flatware.

DSC_0006

 

With this setting, things are getting a bit more serious… Although they’re kept casual with the Acrylic Lente Tumbler and Highball glasses and white Vintage-Style flatware. The le Jacquard Francais tea towel, turned place mat and Libeco Linen napkin, both in tones of strawberry and red give a nod to the holiday celebrated. But it’s really the Match Pewter Convivio dinner and salad/dessert plates that elevate this setting. The three heart ornaments by Eric Cortina offer a little something special, while also doubling as a gift.

A creamy lemon shrimp risotto would be an ideal compliment to this setting, and would certainly impress your loved one! Take a bit of the stress off your plate by turning to a local bakery for dessert…

DSC_0038

Finally, with our third setting, we’re looking at a proposal-ready tablescape, so beware! This is your classic Valentine’s surf and turf place setting… It’s grounded by a tea towel place mat by Le Jacquard Francais and an April Cornell Essential Napkin in pink. The dinnerware is a combination of Match Pewter Viviana Dinner and salad/dessert plates and a bread a butter plate in Royal Crown Derby‘s Mikado pattern. This tablescape’s crowning glory is the Royal Crown Derby, Mikado coffee/tea service – it’s even more stunning in person!

Also featured in this table setting are the Acrylic Dolce Vita Water Goblet and Wine Goblets, and Vintage-Style Flatware in Black. Add a few flowers and some candles, and this tablescape will be over the top!

And there you have it – three table settings that are sure to knock your loved one off their feet! Plus, those recipes = a guaranteed success of a Valentine’s dinner! Pop into the steve mckenzie’s showroom today to pick up a few of these items to help create your perfect holiday tablescape, and maybe even the perfect card for your special someone…

Place Settings for Every Thanksgiving Table

No matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving, there’s a good chance there’s a great meal involved… And a great meal deserves a great place setting. After all, they do say, you eat with your eyes first!

Now, we’re not necessarily talking about a super-formal setting, with eight pieces of flatware that you have to be an etiquette expert to know how to use, we’re suggesting you simply think about your meal and the style gathering you’re hosting, and create a place setting you and your loved ones will be comfortable with.

To help with this, we’ve created three different place settings to share as examples – one for a casual buffet style Thanksgiving dinner, another for a nicer, family style feast, and the final one, which lends itself to a more formal meal:

Buffet Style Thanksgiving Place Setting

tg 1

This place setting is ideal for a casual, buffet-style meal and features acrylic Mario Luca Guisti drink-ware – perfect for those more clumsy relatives; 🙂 no broken crystal here! A Match pewter charger and R Wood plate, in our exclusive Red Clay colorway, adds a festive touch. And that fabulous Road salad plate is only $10! To mix it up, and bring in a fun, seasonal element, we’ve added a pair of vintage turkey salt and pepper shakers from Steve and Jill’s personal turkey collection (pretty cute, right?!?). The TAG place mat and napkin will transition beautifully to Christmas – we love double duty items like these!

Family Style Thanksgiving Feast Table Setting

tg 2

If you’re planning a meal that’s more family style in nature, you can get a bit more detail-oriented with this place setting, as everything’s done at the table, i.e. your family and friends won’t be milling around filling their plates and glasses. This setting features a Match Pewter charger, salad, bread plate, and glasses, which all add a bit of sparkle to your table. The plate and coffee cup are by Royal Crown Derby Mikado, in their cantaloupe colorway, which brings in some needed warmth to the overall look. The placemat is a round shagreen acrylic placemat, which makes for easy care – something we can all use more of around the holidays! Finally, the napkin is Libeco linen. Here, we’ve added a special touch of whimsy with another Vintage turkey item from the McKenzie’s collection, and “planted” a faux orchid in it to bring some life and greenery to the table.

A Fabulously Formal Thanksgiving Table Setting

tg 3

Here, we’re really setting the stage for a spectacular meal with a place setting that will be equally as fantastic. We’re using Julie Wear China, inspired by their home state of Kentucky; the salad plate is from their Bluegrass line and the dinner plate and charger are part of the Cheval collection. Agate coasters from Rab Lab make the perfect perch for some special glassware. Even with our most formal setting, we’ve taken the opportunity to introduce one of those vintage turkeys Jill and Steve love so much, this one bringing out the deep tones in this beautiful china. To help set off the darker brown of the linen napkin and place setting, we opted to go with a tan, round acrylic place mat (who says fancy dinner cleanup can’t be made easier?!?).

And there you have it, a place setting for each type of Thanksgiving meal!

If you’re looking for more inspiration for your Thanksgiving table, the folks at Veranda magazine published an article a while back all about setting the perfect table. You can find it here. It offers an organized way to consider the overall tablescape, and which elements make the most impact.

Finally, we’re in the midst of finalizing our own holiday menu, but wanted to share a delicious sounding recipe for a stuffed mushroom appetizer, from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa’s Thanksgiving 2.0 episode – click here for the goods.

BX0210H_sausage-stuffed-mushrooms_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscape

YUM – we can’t wait to taste those! Let us know which new recipes you’ll be trying this year.

We hope these place setting ideas inspire you to create something beautiful for your loved ones this year – and help to make your meal even more special… And from our steve mckenzie’s family to yours, happy Thanksgiving everyone!