Steve McKenzie Takes Part in Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles’ Holiday Showhouse

Late last year, our own Steve McKenzie was invited to be the designer for the outdoor living space of the 2013 Holiday Showhouse for Atlanta Homes & LifestylesHe, and the entire steve mckenzie’s team, jumped on board creating a truly memorable space, that we hope will inspire folks to think outside the box, not only from a holiday or outdoor design perspective, but for every room in their home…

Here’s a more detailed look into Steve’s design of the outdoor living room, inspired by the home’s landscape by Alex Smith Garden Design, for the Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles’ Holiday Showhouse:

The focal point of the home’s generously sized veranda is a fantastic natural stone fireplace, which was used to anchor the space.

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Furniture from steve mckenzie’s Grange collection was introduced into the space, offering warmth and texture. Pops of turquoise and orange offer an unexpected twist to the traditional holiday colorway, making this space relevant year round.

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One of Steve’s favorite design elements in the space are the cut velvet outdoor textiles by Laurie Bell, used on cushions throughout the living area.

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The outdoor furniture collection by Grange provided the perfect opportunity to be flexible with the space. Steve saw the space as an extension of the interior, and designed it so it could be used year round as well.

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When not hosting a meal outdoors, move the pieces to create a conversation area around the fireplace. Round it out with this fantastic outdoor bar cart, by Grange, and a magical evening is made!

During warmer months, when the fireplace isn’t in use, Steve suggests filling it with greenery to bring in some additional color, texture, and softness.

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After working on this space, we’re more excited than ever to help others create a beautiful outdoor space that speaks to the home’s interior, while still considering the unique landscape surrounding it.

To see the full page feature on this space by Steve McKenzie, click here. And keep an eye out for a post all about the Sputnik chandelier, originally inspired by the fantastically vibrant light fixture in this outdoor living space!

*All images in the post courtesy of Christina Wedge photography.

A Special Gilt City Offer from Southern Living & steve mckenzie’s

steve mckenzie’s is thrilled to have been selected as one of Southern Living magazine’s “chic spots” for their Gilt City collection!

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Southern Living’s Chic City Spread

Through Gilt City, we’re offering you the opportunity to purchase a steve mckenzie’s in-store credit at a largely discounted rate. Click here or click on the image below to go directly to our special offer.

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Choose from three in-store credit options!

Thank you to our friends at Southern Living for selecting steve mckenzie’s. We look forward to seeing you in store soon!

Tastemaker Tuesday – Kerry Howard

We’re thrilled to feature another fabulous designer, and dear friend, Kerry Howard, of KMH Interiors, to continue our “Tastemaker Tuesday” blog series! We’ve been working with Kerry for years – in fact, he worked to curate our own home, which has since been featured in Traditional Home. In addition to being an all-around wonderful person, Kerry’s fresh perspective on design is second to none. Lucky for us, he agreed to participate in our Tastemaker Tuesday blog series, where he answered a number of questions we think you’ll be interested to learn his responses to. Here’s to Tastemaker, Kerry Howard:

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Kerry Howard

A true Southern boy, raised in South Carolina, Kerry’s design style is clean, eccentric, and transitional. You may recognize Kerry from Bravo TV’s Top Design, season 2, where he was one of 14 hot designers selected to compete for the title of the nation’s Top Designer. Kerry believes the key to good design is to design a space around things you love; things that inspire you. He loves to shop at thrift stores where he can find old, ordinary pieces and transform them into works of art. Kerry is a master at combining high quality, timeless pieces with more trendy decorative items to create spaces that WOW! Learn more about Kerry here.

1. What are three words that describe your aesthetic?

My aesthetic can be described very simply.  Clean, Classic, and Casual.

2. Would you please share a little about your favorite space/project to date?

I would have to say my condo, that I just sold In October, was my favorite project to date.  I know it’s my personal home, but it just felt so easy to design for myself.  I didn’t have involve anyone except me, myself and I.  It was the perfect definition of who I am as designer. A combination of old and new, that felt like home!

3. What’s the source of your inspiration?

I draw a lot of inspiration from lighting. When I walk into a room I envision what the lighting would be and design the room around that.  It’s like finding the perfect piece of jewelry to complement that beautiful gown.

4. Name three people (alive or dead) you’d invite to your dream dinner party…

If I were to throw my dream party I would want to be surrounded by my family and friends. I draw so much inspiration from them. After all they are the ones that have made me part of the man I am today.

5. What’s a piece of/type of furniture you couldn’t live without?

I have 3 very large over scaled church windows that I had mirrored years ago. They are my most prized possession. When I see them they are my past, present and my future. I’ve designed every home I’ve had around them.

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6. Do you follow a particular set of rules when mixing textures, finishes, etc. – how do they work for you?

I don’t have  a particular set of rules when mixing textures, etc.  It’s visually something that just feels good to me when I put it all together.  I really go with my gut feeling when something doesn’t feel right, I change around until I get that perfect balance. It doesn’t mean I always get it right, but I always learn from my mistakes.

7. Trending… What is something you are currently “into” and something you are “over?”

-Presently, I am “over” the lime washed and reclaimed look. Every big box store in town has a field day trying to knock each other off.
-I’ve never been really into anything floral, but my new obsession is a large over scaled floral prints in a very bright modern colors.
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8. How does artwork fit into your designs?
I think artwork is really important and personnel to a design. Sometimes you get lucky and a client has a collection of amazing artwork, and on the extreme end you start a design from ground zero. This can also be beneficial in educating the client on the importance of the artwork completing the design of a space.  “There’s always a special place for artwork in a home”
9. Please share a piece of advice you’d offer to someone looking to break into the interior design industry…
For anyone wanting to break into the ID industry, I would suggest hiring a great accountant, bookkeeper, and learning as much on the business end of design.  I have learned from the school of hard knocks how to run a business, and wish I would have taken more business classes.
A BIG thank you to Kerry Howard for participating in our Tastemaker Tuesday series – we’re excited to see what the future holds for you!

Pillow Talk with House Beautiful Magazine & Steve McKenzie

Our very own Steve McKenzie is featured in the March 2014 issue of House Beautiful! And for what else but his throw pillows… Talk about some pillow talk!

House Beautiful March 2014

This month, the magazine asked a collection of designers, including Steve, about their most beloved pillow.

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Specifically, Steve and his favorite throw pillow, covered in his own Loop textile design in the Indigo colorway, are a highlight in House Beautiful’s “Send us a Picture” section. Here’s what Steve had to share during his “Pillow Talk” interview with House Beautiful’s Julia Lewis:

“The pattern is based on one of my painting studies. The bold print allows you to see the nuances of the loose circular brushstrokes in the original study. It’s a work of art unto itself that creates energy and interest in a room.”           – Steve McKenzie

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Steve working in his home-based art studio.

Although Steve draws much inspiration from his art, his textile designs aren’t taken exactly from his paintings. Elements of the paintings, such as those brushstrokes mentioned in the quote above, are highlighted in his textile designs, so they become their own, individual designs.

For instance, Steve’s Requiem art collection can be seen as one of the inspirations behind his Pinstripe textile design…

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“La Crimosa,” from the Requiem collection, by Steve McKenzie
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Pinstripe fabric design, in Paprika, by Steve Mckenzie

To view the full collection of textiles by Steve Mckenzie, click here or visit the steve mckenzie’s showroom on Atlanta’s West Side.

A big thank you to House Beautiful for including us in your March issue; and with such fabulous company, including our friend Kristen Nye from Cloth and Kind; we loved being a part of “Pillow Talk!”

Tablescape Thursday – Creative Cloths

In the McKenzie household, we’re big into cloth napkins, not only do they make for a much prettier table, when compared to their paper companions, they’re certainly more eco-friendly! We utilize cloth napkins daily, even at a simple meal for just the two of us. So, it goes without saying that cloth napkins were an imperative part of our linen offering when initially curating our collection for steve mckenzie’s…

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The Essential Napkin, in Green, from steve mckenzie’s.

Cloth Napkin Tips from Jill McKenzie:

  • To increase the eco-friendliness of the cloth napkin, don’t wash after every use. Think about it – typically adults, and even older children, won’t soil their napkin after every use. Save on the water and energy used to clean the cloths by washing only when necessary. After each meal, ask family members to simply leave their cloth napkins in their seat, that way, when setting the table for the next meal, they’ll use “their” same napkin again.
  • When your cloth napkins have become soiled, toss them in the wash with your other laundry, so you don’t devote an entire load (and the resources) to only cleansing cloth napkins. Use eco-friendly detergent, wash in cold water, and when the weather’s nice, line dry. Nothing’s better than linens dried in the sun on a warm day!
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An assortment of Red Essential Napkins, perfect for Valentine’s Day!

For most meals at home, and for our tablescapes here at steve mckenzie’s, we don’t utilize “fancy” napkin folds… Just a simple tri-fold, or rolled/stuffed napkin ring works well for our needs!

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Many times, it’s the napkin rings that make the tablscape – the beaded napkin ring pictured above add sparkle to the tablesetting; something we see as an essential element.

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Get creative with your cloth napkin/ring pairings, and consider making your own cloth napkins if you can’t find just the “right” ones for your need. Many of our textiles would make for lovely custom cloth napkins!

Hopefully we’ve inspired you to use cloth napkins at all of your meals, even at your most casual suppers. You’ll be doing something good for the environment and your decor. Happy Tablescape Thursday!

Our Favorite Valentine’s Day Gift Ever! And some ideas for you…

Twenty one years ago, Valentine’s Day gifts took a backseat for Steve and Jill when they welcomed their son, Carter, into the world on February 14th, 1993. The day before the big day, Carter decided to flip around into breech position, and in turn, a surprise c-section was performed the next day – Valentine’s Day. What a special gift the McKenzie family will remember each Valentine’s Day – and what a great way to easily remember Carter’s birthday! As you can imagine, each Valentine’s Day after that was one spent celebrating Carter!

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Baby Carter McKenzie, born on Valentine’s Day 1993!

If you don’t have your own little (or in our case, now big) bundle of joy to celebrate on Valentine’s Day, you may be looking for the perfect something for your special someone… If that’s the case steve mckenzie’s is your destination for memorable, and meaningful Valentine’s Day gifts! Forget the flowers and chocolates this year, and  give your loved one(s) something they’ll really treasure.

valentine red bird ink cardThis letterpress card by our friends at Red Bird Ink simply states your feelings, but in the most lovely way. If your loved one is a stationary snob like us, they’ll love the luxe cards we have to offer!

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Also by our friends at Red Bird Ink, letterpress ampersand coasters. Celebrate your love over a glass of bubbly, set on these adorable coasters; perfect for the most romantic day of the year!

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Really knock her socks off this year with a gift from our collection of Grandmother’s Buttons jewelry. These rich, red tones are ideal for Valentine’s Day, and the thought and care that goes into crafting each piece will be reflected in your gift.

DSC_0062Come visit us today and check out our assortment of beautiful items, handpicked to help you celebrate with your loved ones this Valentine’s Day. And, don’t forget, your purchases this month can mean even more when you mention this post and have 10% of your purchase go toward steve mckenzie’s donation to the American Heart Association for Heart Health Month.

Happy Valentine’s Day – and happy birthday Carter!