Pinewood Forest Idea House Perfection

New urbanism and exciting design are just two good reasons to visit the  Pinewood Forest Idea House.  This Fayetteville 34 acre development emphasizes walk ability, diversity, connectivity, sustainability, and exceptional architecture.  You can catch a glimpse of the nearby neighbor Pinewood Movie studios too.  Weekends offer outdoor markets and family activities.

Thanks to Atlanta magazine home, you can tour one of the beautiful single family homes beginning September 13 through October 7.

 

Built by Redwood Home Builders
Jennifer Balcos, SWOOX, Joe Adams
Hand-plastered fireplace anchor the living room. Designer Jennifer Balcos

Your eye will delight in the variety of design and artwork and sensibility from the 11 talented designers who have put their unique signature looks in their spaces.

Pinewood Forest Idea Home
Dining Room by Dana Lynch Design

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moody color and texture abound. J. Ansel Design
Pinewood Forest Idea Home
Spa bath retreat designed by Elle & Vreeland Design House

This uniquely walkable development will offer more than 15 miles of pads, housing at a variety of price points, and art center, and an innovative school.  Enjoy a few more shots of this amazing showhouse…

Pinewood Forest Idea Home
Carriage house getaway full of natural elements, designed by Sherry Hart
McKenzie Interior Design, Steve mckenzie's
Jill and Steve at Pinewood Forest Idea House Preview Party
Led by interior design firm Dana Lynch Design, the team of designers have “shown their tail “as Jason Mitchell would say, pulling out all the stops to make the space is extra special.  Kudos to all!

 

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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.

thrifting, Christmas, holiday
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.

thrifting, cocktail
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…

thrifting, interior design
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.

thrifting, chairs
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.

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!

italy, painting, Steve McKenzie
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.

Italy, workshop, painting
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.

Italy, painting, workshop

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!

Italy, pasta, wine
Simply Scrumptious Pasta
Italy, olive oil, painting
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.

Italy, painting, Steve McKenzie
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!

 

 

 

Three Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day is fast approaching on April 21st and 22nd.  How will you celebrate this fabulous yet fragile planet which sustains us? Here are three fun ways get outside and celebrate our Earth and Mother Nature.

nature green family
Happy Earth Day!

First and most obvious, but we often miss this opportunity, enjoy the tonic of fresh air, and companionship with nature! Walk through the woods in search of emerging wildflowers and green moss. Go outside, no matter the weather!

Next eat seasonally and locally with this special offer for Georgia Grown Farm Basket from the ever-popular site Hand-Picked Atlanta.  Delight your family and friends by discovering  new herbs and vegetables to add to your entertaining menus, plus you’ll be helping local farmers with your support.

farm csa Georgia
Georgia Grown Farm Basket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember our blog post about favorite kitchen helper, Unpaper towels?  By using these washable workhorse towels from our Georgia pals Dot and Army, there’s another way to help our environment and earth, right in your own home, all year long.  More points for you and Mother Nature!

And finally, another chance to explore outside at this Atlanta treasure, Blue Heron Nature Preserve. All kinds of activities are planned for April 21, see there website for all the details and year round volunteer opportunities.

nature earth day
Blue Heron Nature Preserve in Atlanta

Can’t wait to take shop dog, Duke, for a long walk along the Chattahoochee River soon!  Let us know how you will celebrate Earth Day and use #inspiredtailoredauthentic #earthdayatl

 

MLK 50 | The Fight for Civil Rights Continues

Civil rights has been in the headlines a lot lately.  Whether it’s poverty, justice, education, decent housing, the quest for civil and human rights continues today.

This April 4th commemorates the 50th  anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  How will you discuss this historic event with your kids, family and neighbors?  To assist us and further these discussions, take advantage of a new city treasure, the Center for Civil and Human Rights.  

civil human rights Atlanta

Mark your calendar as you can live the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with your family at the interactive exhibitions of the Center for Civil and Human Rights on April 4th from 9am through 7:30pm.  Everyone receives free admission on that day too, thanks to the generous support of FedEx.  

civil human rights government
Center for Civil and Human Rights

 

The whole family will enjoy activities built around civil rights such as the Live the Legacy Photo Booth, an art exhibit showcasing SCAD art pieces, theatrical performances of Dr. King’s famous “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top” speech and much more.

Wherever you are, listen for the Global Bell Ringing at 7:01 PM on Wednesday, April 4th.  Join people around the world to commemorate the official moment of the commemoration of Dr. King’s assassination.

civil human rights Atlanta
Human Rights Activists from all around the world

To keep this momentum alive, read the pledge for a call to peace and action.

No Justice, No peace;
Know Justice, Know Peace”
is our rallying cry.

With humility and kindness, we will come together with one another and build a community of peace and goodwill for all humankind.  This is what we need to teach our children in order to make the world a better place.

You can find the Center for Civil and Human Rights at 100 Ivan Allen Jr Blvd, Atlanta, GA 30313 as part of Atlanta’s beautiful Centennial Park.  All photos are mine as this post is not sponsored in any way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why You Should Make Camp Plans Now

But it’s barely April you’re saying! Why should I look at summer camps near me now? Your kids will be home for the summer before you know it, asking what are we doing next?   Do yourself and them a favor, flip to your family summer calendar, and plug your kids in a fun and innovative summer camp, thanks to MODA, Museum of Design Atlanta.

Always forward thinking, MODA believes kids make great designers! They see through fresh eyes, love wacky ideas and are brave enough to think anything in this world is possible. campMODA teaches kids to use design thinking in combination with STEAM (science, technology, engineering,art/design, and math) skills to solve problems and address real-world challenges.  Believe me, these camps fill up quickly.  You’ll learn so much from them too.

summer kids calendar camp near me
campMODA from May 28 – July 23

Do you have budding engineer or computer game coder?  What about your teen activist?  There’s a spot for everyone.  Join one of MODA’s week-long full-day or half-day camps for kids and teens
(Pre-K through 11th grade) at one of four locations​: MODA’s Midtown home,
Georgia Tech College of Design, First Presbyterian Preschool and The Lovett School
in Buckhead/Vinings. Full-day camps (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) are $495 per week, and
half-day camps (9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) are $250 per week. MODA members receive
10 percent discount.

summer camp kid calendar near me
Each campMODA ​2018 session features one of these innovative themes: Designing
with LEGO Robotics; Adventures in Blockly; Designing and Coding with Minecraft;
Craftivism; LEGO Robotics for Filmmakers; Architectural Design with Minecraft;
Circuits and Robots; Playground Engineering and Career-Building Design Studio
Field Trips. ​Reserve your spot to ensure placement in the camps of your choice.

summer camp kid calendar
Robotics, science, design and more

Registration for all camps is available at:
museumofdesign.org/campmodasummer

Have you looked at a family membership?  Not only can you save on summer camp, you’ll have access to adult lectures, classes and exhibits, perfect for family field trips and date nights.

 

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Top Tips for a Relaxed Rehearsal Dinner

As our family had the privilege of recently hosting our own rehearsal dinner,  I want to share some thoughts while they are still fresh in my mind.  Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is held the night before the wedding and hosted by the groom’s family.  It’s the vehicle to gather the close family, attendants, officiant and bridal couple together, break bread, and fellowship together, and kick off the Big Event with food and merriment.

Take a look at these top tips for a successful, relaxed rehearsal dinner ~

1. Choose a style that is distinctly different from the wedding.

Not wanting to compete with the black tie optional wedding, we went the other way – a pizza truck!  Here we used black and white gingham tablecloths from steve mckenzie’s, pulled up a wood-fired pizza oven food truck, and served ice tea, beer and wine.  Father of the groom, Atlanta interior designer Steve McKenzie created the lush winter floral arrangements.  Festive color-coordinated napkins from Dot and Army completed the table.  More about their easy napkin rental program soon…

The wedding is the main event, so offering a different experience to the wedding party gives them a more complete weekend.

 

textiles, gingham, dot and army napkins, floral
Black and white gingham fabric anchors the tables in the window-filled venue. Floral by Steve McKenzie

2. Consistent Details

Any well done event, especially a wedding, follows a curated path of carefully chosen details.  From the save the date to the invitation to the floral, consistent colors, fonts and written tone set the stage for your special day.  The groom’s love of outdoors and hunting were celebrated with custom stadium cups, monogrammed napkins and photo booth props.

_MG_8252
Custom monogram by Sequins and Lipstick
hunting, Etsy, lips
Photo props by Captivating Creations
Carter McKenzie, Jill McKenzie, The Homestead_GA
Groom + Jill aka Mom

3. Choose the Rehearsal Dinner Menu Secondly to Wedding Menu

The wedding menu plays a starring role in the event, and the budget.  Tastings are held, serving pieces are surveyed, table-cloth colors are coordinated, all these details culminating in this once in a lifetime event.  The rehearsal dinner should coordinate with this evening, not compete with it.  Southern Crust Catering food truck provided this complement to the sit-down dinner on Saturday night.

rehearsal dinner, Plaza Towers, Atlanta GA
Bride + Groom
Atlanta GA, Serenbe , green Chevy truck
Southern Crust Catering
Southern Crust Catering, rehearsal dinner
Hot pizza on a cold night!
roses, winter, floral
Floral by Steve McKenzie
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A moonlit magical rehearsal dinner!
 Cheers to your next celebration!  Hopefully these tips lay the groundwork for many special evenings for you and yours. All photos by Christina Wedge Photography

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Annie Mae’s Pantry: A Little Cafe with a Lot of Soul

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.

Founder Andra Hall
Andra Hall

Think regional food, like fresh seafood, garden vegetables and “sweets”, as Andra’s family called dessert.

Image 141

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!

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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!

 

 

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”

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…