Product Spotlight: Rablabs

With the gift-giving season gearing up, we’d like to take a moment and introduce you to Rablabs, beautiful, nature-inspired accessories that are sure to be a hit with just about anyone on your list this holiday season.

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With stunning products, ranging from classic coaster sets to agate adorned lamps, and even jewelry, Rablabs are all one of a kind – each equally beautiful in their own unique way.

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Designer Anna Rabinowicz launched her first home collection for RabLabs in 2002, creating objects inspired by nature which fuse ancient, precious materials with cutting-edge design.

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She uses a luxurious palette of materials, layering semiprecious gems including agate and crystal with the finishing touches of pure gold and sterling silver.

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Anna has a long history of looking at nature for inspiration. Having designed such intricate objects as prosthetic knees and devices for cardiac surgery, she brings her experience and understanding of biology and nature to the design of elegant objects for the home.

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Working with skilled artisans in the United States and Brazil, her hand-crafted designs provide a much needed natural component to both modern and traditional interiors.

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The team here at steve mckenzie’s are especially excited about the gift-giving possibilities these fabulous gemstone rings offer… And the Rablabs agate photo frames are a guaranteed winner this holiday season!

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Stop by the showroom today to take a look at these amazing pieces in person, and start your holiday wish list with Rablabs!

This Holiday’s Top 4 Client Gift Ideas – Give a VERY Special Thank You!

Although the calendar says it’s time for Halloween tricks, we’re already thinking about this holiday’s treats. The time to start thinking about client gifts is NOW!

A special client gift is an ideal way to thank them for trusting you with their projects and their business.  Below we share four top holiday client gift ideas to get your gift-giving wheels turning:

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Blenko Water Bottles
Handmade in West Virginia, this classic shape is welcome in any home as a pitcher, vase or color accent. Shown is the mini water bottle in Seabreeze.  Other colors are azure, crystal, cobalt, amethyst, clover, kiwi, topaz, tangerine, and spring green – all available in mini or regular size.

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Alicia Adams Alpaca Classic Throw
Woven from luxurious 100% baby alpaca fur, these generously sized throws are hypo-allergenic, extremely soft and warm, yet lightweight at the same time.  And look at all those color choices!  For an extra special touch, consider adding a monogram.

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Match Pewter
Your client enjoys entertaining so you know a beautiful Match Pewter tray, or other accessory, will be enjoyed for years to come.  Hand engraving is offered and it’s time to pre-order these personalized pieces.

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Candles, Soaps & Room Sprays by Juls Candles
The quality of these fabulously scented goods will be evident to your client, and will be something they appreciate with each and every use. Come in or give us a call to learn about the special scents carried by steve mckenzie’s.

Keep in mind, steve mckenzie’s offers complimentary gift wrapping and shipping services so we can take care of the gift-giving from start to finish.  Need some more ideas?  Just email us and we’ll be happy to work with you on some customized client gift solutions.

Graceful Grange & How These Pieces Stand the Test of Time

steve mckenzie’s is the Southeast retailer for Grange furniture, a line of fine, handmade and hand-finished pieces made in France. These hardworking pieces will grow with your family and become heirlooms passed from generation to generation.

The beautiful video above offers a bit about the furniture-making process at Grange, and the myriad of custom options available. Each bespoke piece takes the client’s lifestyle into consideration, ensuring the piece fits seamlessly, not only into the client’s space, but also within their lifestyle – taking into consideration how they’ll live with the piece.

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Since 1904, Grange has been perfecting the art of creating handcrafted, classically designed pieces with a modern sensibility. The pieces range from beds, dining tables and sofas to chairs, occasional pieces and even entertainment units.

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Available in over 75 different wood and colored finishes, there’s a Grange design ideal for any part of just about every home – including the outdoors!

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Our current favorite pieces from Grange (this changes frequently :-)) are the latest media units they’ve designed to cleverly conceal flat panel televisions, when not in use. Look at the two images directly above – they’re the same piece, but one has the sliding shelves closed, while in the other, they’re opened to expose the TV. Genius!
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And, of course, all of these pieces are also available in a rainbow of colors and finishes! Contact the design team at steve mckenzie’s today to start designing your Grange dream piece, and soon you’ll have a future heirloom in your home.

Steve’s Style Studies: Modern

To us here at steve mckenzie’s, Monderisim is represented by the architecture and furniture design following World War II. It began as a response to the rapid advances in technology and how we could live using these new materials and manufacturing techniques.

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Ville Savoye by Le Corbusier

Modernism was founded in Architects such as Le Corbusier, a French-Swiss architect who designed iconic buildings like Ville Savoye. Le Corbusier sought to create structures and furniture that responded to the crowding of urban cities. His lines are both graceful, yet paired down and facilitate a tranquil living amongst the chaos of the city.

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Corbu LC04 Chaise Lounge

Steve and Jill consider themselves lucky to live with the Corbu LC04 Chaise Lounge, in hide, by Le Corbusier – it’s a showstopper!

Another modernist who really inspires Steve is Alvar Alto. He was a true renaissance man with accomplishments in architecture, design, textiles and glassware. His lines are timeless and their function is unparalleled.

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Alvar Alto’s Savoy Vase

Alto’s Savoy Vase in White glass for iittala is a go to wedding present for us; it’s beautiful on any table with just about any floral arrangement. Steve and Jill’s favorite is gardenia floating in their grey glass Savoy Vase.

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Arne Jacobsen’s iconic Egg Chair

Arne Jacobsen one of the founders of the Danish modern movement; again, a man of many disciplines of design. His architecture and furniture have become the icons of the modern movement. Steve would put an egg chair in every interior if he could. To him, it is the icon of the modern movement. Steve and Jill also live with an egg chair in a black boucle; always a popular seat at cocktail parties!

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Ray and Charles Eames

Ray and Charles Eames come to mind next. A duo of unparalleled creativity, they really shaped how the United States moved into the modern world. From logos and art experiences, to furniture, architecture, and textiles. They really defined what modern means to the US.

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Herman DCW Moulded Plywood Chair

 

If you have not seen it, watch the documentary on their lives, “Charles and Ray Eames: The Architect and Painter.” They were an amazing force of influence. Steve and Jill live with their Herman DCW Moulded Plywood Chair in Walnut for Herman Miller – can you tell we have a thing for classic chairs here?!?

These are but of few of the modernists that inspire Steve and our work here at steve mckenzie’s. For us, to create spaces with interest and comfort, it is important to have several styles and periods represented. One of the best ways to bring in that feel is the juxtaposition of a modern chair or sideboard with Louis IV side chairs, etc. We’ve shared our love for the Danish Modern Furniture movement before, and are continuously drawn to the clean lines, honest woods and timeless style that truly represents what Modern means to us.
If we can help you introduce a new, Modern style into your home, please contact the McKenzie Design Team today!

Library Friday – Morandi 1890-1964

Recently, Steve has been following many of the fashion shows for the upcoming 2015 spring season. Not only do these shows showcase works of art in the form of fashion, we also look to them for color forecasting… Many of the color trends seen in these shows helps us to determine what colors may be emerging in the home decor market in the near future.

One show stood out to us most of all, and that was Valentino’s Spring 2015 ready to wear collection. The soft tones and muted colors brought to mind a favorite book that recently made the move to our new design studio space, located in the rear of the new steve mckenzie’s showroom.

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The NEW McKenzie Design Studio

The book these spring fashion shows conjured memories of is Morandi 1890-1964. 

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It is a monograph of Morandi’s entire body of work. Morandi lived his life in Bologna, Italy. He spent his entire life creating a body of work that studied still lifes that he would create in his studio of collected bottles, etc. and he painted them in these same dreamy palettes. He would paint the same still life many times with different palettes and lighting just as he saw it.

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Steve’s tenure at Larson-Juhl would take him annually to Bologna for a trade show. Over the years, he traveled to Bologna approximately 20 times. Steve was incapable of making the trip without visiting a gem of a little museum based solely on Morandi.

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At first, Steve went to the museum to try and understand how someone could paint their entire lives and only do small still life pieces. As the years progressed, something kept pulling him back. It was the nuance of his use of color and how he saw objects change over time. Steve learned to look at objects differently, thanks to Morandi’s works.

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As Steve saw this new color trend coming through, thanks to those spring 2015 fashion shows, Morandi’s book was immediately pulled off the shelf and Steve has poured through it over and over studying his paintings all over again. To him, they’re like old friends and – sneak peak – Steve is definitely collaborating with Morandi on his next collection of fabrics!

Jill & Steve’s Blog Roll-call!

Sure, we like having our own blog for steve mckenzie’s. But, what we like even more is being a part of the blogger community and keeping up with some of our favorite blogger friends (many of whom we’re lucky enough to be IRL (in real life) friends with too).

Because we’re always reading fabulous posts and discovering wonderful new blogs to follow, we thought we’d share some of our favorites here with you.

The topics of our most-loved blogs ranges greatly – from art and lifestyle to interior design, cooking and fashion, there’s truly something out there for everyone. And if we help you to find a new favorite blog read, then that’s what it’s all about… Connecting our friends to other bloggers out there!

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  • We’d love to be as cool as Swedish fashionista Caroline Blomst one day. But, for now, we’ll do for being inspired on a daily basis, thanks to her Stockholm Streetstyle Blog on Carolines Mode
  • Paloma Contreras has an amazing sartorial eye and brings us beautiful spaces that always inspire with her blog, La Dolce Vita. Her Fabulous Room Friday posts are always our favorites, and provide great takeaways!

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  • Don’t let the title deter you, Blood & Champagne is a beautiful blog based solely on photos as they explore design, architecture, designers, furniture, etc.. I can scan it quickly and always find a beautifully inspiring shot.
  • Jill’s love of quilting doesn’t end when she puts down the needles. She loves being inspired by Crimson Tate, a fantastic modern quilting blog!

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  • Cassandra Lavalle’s take on interiors and fashion on her blog, Coco + Kelley, informs me about color and form through her perspective. I especially like the moodboards she creates.
  • Dezeen’s reporting on current contemporary architecture and products keeps us up to date.

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  • The Gluten-Free Goddess blog provides Jill and Steve with fantastic recipes, that make cooking for those of us with gluten allergies not only easy, but also delicious and totally enjoyable.

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  • These two ladies behind Cloth & Kind have a nose for what is now and beautiful. Their love of textiles keeps us informed both from textile design and interior design standpoints. The interiors they create exude beauty and they are all around great gals.
  • Ally Kim, a true tastemaker, chronicles not only her own journey in her home and decorating it, but also her passion for travel on her blog, From the Right Bank. It takes us on a global journey of experiences and sights through her perspective. Her travel photos are a visual feast of cultures.

And with that, you have our current, somewhat random assortment of favorite blog reads. Although we still have many more to share with you – so keep an eye out for another blog roll call soon!