The 5 Best Valentine’s Gifts for Guys

Some may say the guys have it easier come Valentine’s day… Flowers, chocolates, a romantic dinner. Although many may argue that point – perhaps your significant other is a bit more picky? But we think buying a gift for the … Continue reading

Tastemaker Tuesday – Allison Paladino

A breath of fresh air… That’s what we think of when we think of Allison Paladino and her fabulous interiors and products. And if you don’t know her already, we think you’ll think the same thing when you meet Allison, who’s our latest Tastemaker here on the blog for steve mckenzie’s!


Allison Paladino

Based in Palm Beach, Allison Paladino is as well known for her exquisite residential and commercial interiors, award-winning licensed products and art as she is her fun-loving, outgoing personality that brings clients from around the globe to work with her. More often then not, these clients become close friends of Allison, her team and her husband Dave. When the economy crashed in 2008, Allison had to lay off 6 employees and close her shop on Worth Avenue – it was at that point, she turned her main focus to her love of interior design. She found relaxation in sketching and soon formulated her first licensed furniture collection with EJ Victor. Now, nine years later, she’s added a hand-tufted custom rug collection with New River Artisans, based in North Carolina. Most recently, she’s launched an art line showcasing her photography from around the world, as well as graphic art, with Wendover Art Group in Largo, Florida.

  1. What are three words that describe your aesthetic?

Tailored, Classic, Comfortable

Favorite space 3 of 3

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

My favorite space is a kitchen/family room/breakfast room space contemporary home in Palm Beach we gutted and re-space planned.  The house had amazing bones, it just needed an update from its original 1980’s décor.  White glossy formica kitchen with the usual pastel trim – yikes!  Also the most popular room in everyone’s house is typically the kitchen! What was really great about this project was the more informal type of clientele in Palm Beach that’s recently been surfacing.  They wanted an open floor plan with no formal dining room and adjacent to the kitchen as well as the family room.  We took down the walls of the kitchen and it made an enormous difference.  The style of the kitchen is dramatic with a combination of  textured black, white glass and stainless cabinets.  The counter tops are white Caesar stone and a 7” thick oak bar ebonized and cerused.  The family room features one of my favorite sectionals by Donghia in an outdoor velvet.  My Key rug design echoes the geometrics in the room and offers a wonderful tactile contrast between the wool loop and the cut silk.  I love the sculpted Holly Hunt swivel chairs and organic tables.  The dining area has a lot of style but super comfortable.  My Post Modern rug softens the space.

Favorite space 2 of 3
3.  What’s the source of your inspiration?
I can honestly say one of my favorite spaces is the Holly Hunt showroom in Miami.  Their architect Alison Spear’s is so good at what she does!  We took the client there and she was equally impressed.  We selected some key pieces from there and the overall feeling of the showroom with all the light that pours in communicated very well with the client’s home! The more structured lines definitely related to the contemporary atmosphere of the home.
4.  Name three people (alive or dead) you’d invite to your dream dinner party…
I would love to have dinner with the well know, French Art Deco designer, Emile Jacques Ruhlmann, because I am crazy about his work.  I would invite Thomas Pheasant not only because he is my mentor and I adore his work, but because he loves Rulmann too! Lastly, I would invite Barbara Barry because from the time that I was in design school I have admired her work! My first cocktail table and nightstands were from Barbara! Now that I am a product designer, I admire her even more and the huge empire she has created!  If I could invite four, I’d add Frank Lloyd Wright because I admire his work… But, as rumor has it he wasn’t very friendly anyway!!!!
5.  What’s a piece of/type of furniture you couldn’t live without?
I love this custom table I designed for my living room!  It is a combination of a parchment color carved panel with a Deco motif, walnut supports with carved polished nickel brick supports and a thick glass top!  It makes me smile every time I pass that room in my home!
balancing act allison
6.  Do you follow a particular set of rules when mixing textures, finishes, etc. – how do they work for you?
I think balance is the key.  In other words, if you have a luscious chenille sofa you might want to do a lighter linen on chairs so the room doesn’t feel heavy.  We’ve been using a lot of Perennials outdoor fabrics because they offer linen-looking fabrics that wear like nails!  I don’t mind mixing finishes as long as they are complementary to one another.
7.  Trending… What is something you are currently “into” and something you are “over?”
I love to have a little sparkle or “bling” in a room.  I went through a real organic phase which I still love but a little silver or gold leaf gives a nice relief to woods and upholstery!
I am not a big fan of mid century modern!  I much prefer French Art Deco!
Art in my intriors
8.  How does artwork fit into your designs?
I absolutely love art, whether it is a painting, print or photo. If a client has a strong art collection we are extremely cognoscente of this from the beginning.  The color palette tends to be neutral which allows the art to be the main focal point. I developed an inexpensive line of art with Wendover Art Group.  Part of the collection is more graphic in nature and you can customize the color combinations, mat and frame.   I also have photography that can printed on acrylic, matted and framed or printed on canvas. Most clients don’t want to spend a fortune in secondary areas and initially that is why I created this collection that is customizable.  Photography has now become a hobby and I really enjoy it!
Here is another shot of my tulips from Wendover’s High Point Showroom introducing my art line with my husband!

Allison introducing her art lint at High Point with her husband.

9.  What would be the one thing you would have if you were stranded on a deserted island?
A chef and plenty of food!  Oh and a babe (meaning my husband of course!!!) Ha!  Oops that is two!
10.  Please share a piece of advice you’d offer to someone looking to break into the interior design industry…
Run fast and hard!!! Don’t go toward the light!!!  All kidding aside, it is a great profession and extremely rewarding! There is nothing like seeing your creativity come to reality and making a client happy!  I think it is a misconception that all an interior designer does is fun and creative 24-7!  It is a business and the creative part is probably 20% of the job! I love my job because everyday is different!
A great, big THANK YOU to Allison Paladino for being such a fun Tastemaker to feature in our series! We love her work and her licensed products are certainly impressive. She’s got a fantastic eye for design that certainly goes beyond just creating a pretty space.

The Four Best Ways to Create a Warm Home this Winter

While we’ve been enjoying some unseasonably lovely days here in Atlanta, it’s sure not to last and the bitter days of winter will be upon us once again. So, we decided to share some of the best ways to keep … Continue reading

Creating an Engaging Registry

With the close of the holiday season and start of the New Year comes much more than added pounds and a new found determination to check items off your to-do list… There are holiday engagements to celebrate! The magic of … Continue reading

steve mckenzie’s Receives Best of Houzz 2015 Award

steve mckenzie’s has been awarded “Best Of Houzz” for Customer Satisfaction by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. Our business was chosen by the more than 25 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among … Continue reading

Museum Monday: Morris Museum of Art

A little over two short hours from our city is a fantastic, small museum, situated in Augusta, Georgia. The Morris Museum of Art has actually been listed as one of 30 “Must-See Art Museums” by The Art Career Project, and despite … Continue reading

Steve Featured in The English Room’s “Artist Spotlight!”

We are so honored to share that our very own Steve McKenzie has been selected as an artist to spotlight on a favorite blog of ours, The English Room! The very sweet and talented Charlotte-based Designer, Holly Hollingsworth Phillips reached out … Continue reading