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.

NYC + Friday Favorites

It’s been a busy few weeks in NYC, baby-duty for our precious granddaughter, as our daughter is back to work.  The days are full of kisses, bottles, diapers, cooking, walking, reading books aloud, singing songs, and all around family fun!

Here’s a peek into what we’ve done, seen, eaten or discussed this week on the Upper East side –

Art – The Met and Heavenly Bodies:  Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.  Granddaughter has seen the exhibit three times now : )

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Versace jacket in the Heavenly Bodies exhibit at The Met

 Food  – Hooray for neighborhood newcomer, Van Leeuwan Artisan Ice Cream – *bonus tip*  Get the sundae with three scoops and all the trimmings.  It costs less than getting three scoops on a cone.  Oh, and the strawberry tastes just like freshly picked strawberries!

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Artisan ice cream

New parents have got to keep up their energy, so we’ve been cooking lots – new favorites like no-cook Energy Balls and old favorites like Jamie Oliver’s Salmon Packets.

And can you guess what’s in this photo?

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Any guesses?

If you guessed homemade chicken stock, then you’re correct!  Our s.i.l. (son-in-law) has perfected Instapot chicken stock and found these fun blue silicone freezer molds so you can freeze the stock, then stack the frozen blocks in a zip lock baggie.  Pull out a delicious, homemade one cup serving at a time.  Check out the NYTimes recipe from Melissa Clark, Instapot cooking guru.

Baby girl clothes and bows – All the favorites like Gap, Carters, Little English, Baby Bling hair bows, Starry Knight shoes, onesies painted by artist Papa Steve!

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Precious sleeping baby

Best board books –  (Go straight to Saturn Booksellers and they’ll ship all the latest to you or a loved one).  My new favorite is The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli.  Chomp, chomp, chomp! What’s your favorite read-aloud child’s book?

Not only have we (hopefully) helped our adult kids ease into family-work-life balance, but we’ve gotten to dote on them and this precious baby girl.  For that, we are very thankful for the time, love and support from our friends and family.

 

 

September Painting Workshop in Italy

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!

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Inspiration abounds at La Fortezza

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.

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La Fortezza up on the hill

 

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.

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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!

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Simply Scrumptious Pasta
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Stylish Kitchen Vignette

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.

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Vineyard View for Plein Air Painting. Photo credit: Jill and Steve McKenzie

 

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.

La Fortezza Floral Arrangement

 

I can’t wait to return and share all the fabulous experiences with my students during the workshop September 19-24, 2018.

Ask Steve why he is holding this boar head!

 

There are only a few spaces left, register today, and as they say in Italy, Ciao!

 

 

 

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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Motivation and an Update

Sometimes We Need a Little Motivation

This year, we are motivated to be present in the moment, thanks to a recent sermon from   our minister, Dr. Bill Burch.  Present in the moment means focusing your attention on your companion, your conversation, your surroundings, and not checking your phone.  All kinds of good things happen when this happens – better listening, better thinking and better relationships.  The 2018 focus for our church is “All In”, based on the book All In by Mark Batterson.  I plan to read it purposefully and mindfully.

On the flip side, sometimes you can’t be present with someone because they aren’t here.  Perhaps they moved across the country, moved on with a new job, or are gone forever.

You may remember our post last spring about our son’s fraternity brother, Weston Lee, who was killed in action.  This young man is sorely missed by his family and friends.  That’s an understatement, I know.  Now here’s the update — our son, Carter, is running the Publix Half Marathon on March 18th in memory of Weston with a GoFundMe and all money donated will benefit the University of North Georgia  scholarship in Weston’s memory.

The irony of this? Carter admittedly hates running, which he readily admits, and hopes to motivate others to keep Weston’s spirit and his dedication to service alive.  He knows Weston would be urging him on as he doggedly trains for this race.

Another reminder to cherish the time with your friends and family…

That’s what life is about, isn’t it? Connecting, making friends, having adventures together,   motivating each other to be your best self.

On a lighter note, preparations are underway for our son’s wedding in two weeks!  We’re motivated by love to host the rehearsal dinner for this wonderful couple, their supportive friends and family.  Casual, comfortable and special is the mantra for the evening with the Southern Crust food truck, table decor by Steve and more surprises.  Stay tuned for details!

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Top 3 Tax Organization Tips

One of our very favorite bloggers and organizational-guru is here for Tastemaker Tuesday and we couldn’t be more excited to share her feature post here with you today!

Carrie Peeples, of Neatsmart is a witty and wonderful person. We become fast friends at last year’s Southern C Summit, and she even worked her organizational magic in the steve mckenzie’s Interior Design workspace., Carrie listens to your organization needs and expertly create memorable combinations we’d never think of pulling together.

Read on to learn about Carrie’s top tax tips from the organizational point of view, saving you time, headache and maybe even some money!  I’ve added some cute home office ideas at the end too.

Continue reading “Top 3 Tax Organization Tips”

New Year’s Sale on ALL Holiday + More

Happy 2018 to all! Kick off the new year with a big sale, 70% off all holiday and more.  That’s right – 70% off ALL Holiday and more, now through Saturday, January 6th.

This includes discontinued patterns from Royal Crown Derby, April Cornell and more.  Call or email for details.

See you soon!

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As always, we’ve got our eyes on new products and trends, bringing you the best and latest in design and home.  Follow along on our blog and Instagram as we scope out AmericasMart and Maison et Objet this month.  Cheers to a fabulous month!

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Merriest of Christmas Greetings!

Merry Christmas dear friends, family, clients, customers and team members!! We wish you the happiest holiday and pray you spend the day with your loved ones, enjoying this special time together.

And don’t forget, take a minute to put your feet up, relax and be IN the moment…

“Black” Friday Shopping Fun

          Friday                                  noon – 5pm

#ShopSmall Saturday   10 – 4pm

Plus some of our fashion favorites are on sale…we hope you enjoy!

Burberry – Balmoral Packaway Hooded Shell Trench Coat – Black • Burberry • $795Bp. Foldover Crossbody Bag – Black • BP • $39
Women’s Wit & Wisdom Ab-Solution Stretch Ankle Skinny Jeans • Wit & Wisdom • $68
Women’s Sam Edelman ‘Penny’ Boot • Sam Edelman • $149.90
Women’s Michael Michael Kors Cowl Neck Sweater • MICHAEL Michael Kors • $58.96
Women’s Steve Madden ‘Ecentrcq’ Sneaker • Steve Madden • $59.95

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The Top THREE Ways to Spruce Up Your Home for Holiday Guests

Hosting holiday guests may seem daunting, but we’ve got three easy ways to refresh your home for guests – and they’re all 30% OFF right now, at steve mckenzie’s, so they won’t break the bank!

  1. Pillows. New pillows can instantly- and beautifully – update any sofa, chair, bed, chaise, settee, etc…. you get the picture. And has steve mckenzie’s got a fantastic selection for you! Here are a few of our current favorites:
This “Southern Toile” design, by Adam Trest, is an absolute stunner in person and available at a fantastic price point – especially given our current promotion! And it’s offered in a range of colorways, including this delicious cranberry red, ideal for the holidays.
Add a touch of sparkle with this sequin and linen pillow in a greek-key inspired design. A design like this will go with just about any decor and will be a memorable touch for guests!

    These polka dot linen pillows, based off of Steve’s fine art, will add a sense of fun a whimsy to a space!

Lamps. Not only will a new lamp help brighten a dim space, they can provide a bit of sparkle in a room, jewelry for your current home decor ensemble, if you will. A fantastic lamp can also provide a stunning sculptural element and add needed height on tables which may be lacking. But, a good lamp can be hard to come by. Good thing you have access to the experts, and a glorious selection at steve mckenzie’s; including these:

Blue and white is a timeless combination for interiors and when done in the chinoiserie style, looks effortlessly stylish!
A desk lamp perfectly placed in a guest room offers such a warm, thoughtful touch. And the gracious lines of this lamp are sure to add a designer touch!

Throws. Much like pillows, a new blanket or throw can do so much for a space. It can add the perfect pop of color to your bedding, offer loads of texture when draped over the corner of a sofa or provide softness and warmth set over the back of your Adirondack chairs near the fire pit. Here are a few fabulous options currently in stock:

And remember, all of these – plus SO many more – are available at steve mckenzie’s, 30% off now, through the end of the holidays! Please stop in today for best selection and let one of our team members help make selections both you, and your holiday guests will adore.

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