Modern Atlanta Home Tour 2015 is Here!

Not only is this fabulous home tour, geared toward folks excited about contemporary design, taking place this week, but our own namesake will be leading tours as a docent for the 2015 tours!

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By now you probably know what a passion Steve has for modern art, architecture and design, and now he’s able to share that love with others while guiding them through an amazing example of this aesthetic.

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Here’s a bit of info from the MA team on this exciting event:

Now in its ninth year, Design is Human Atlanta returns for a weeklong series of design events promoting creative knowledge, commerce and culture, featuring talks, panel discussions, film premieres, CEU classes, product launches and more during Design is Human (DiH) Atlanta through June 7, 2015. During the DiH Atlanta, the international design community descends upon Atlanta for a celebration of international design excellence and creative culture.

Bernard McCoy
Bernard McCoy
“We’re excited to share innovative, contemporary, international and local designers and brands with Atlanta,” said MA founder, Bernard McCoy. “I am especially excited for two North American premieres this year – Germany’s Naber Concept Kitchen at the International Design Expo, and BEKA & Partners’ ‘Barbicania,’ the latest film in their ‘Living Architecture’ series.”

This year, DiH Atlanta boasts dozens of international brands at the MA International Design Expo (MIDExpo), new signature events and programming, bold idea sharing, and is bookended by the MA Architecture Tours, including two-weekends of some of the best modern commercial and residential spaces in Atlanta, and satellite locations in Athens, GA, Raleigh-Durham, NC and Asheville, NC. Tickets are available now at MA-designishuman.com and ticket locations around Atlanta on May 15, 2015.

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If you are a local design professional, there are many opportunities taking place in conjunction with the DiH events you may want to take advantage of:

MA Day of Design for Professionals at ADAC on June 3.
ADAC, Presentation Room, 1st Floor
351 Peachtree Hills Ave., Atlanta, Ga 30305

Satisfy multiple CEU credits in one day and be the first to see the MA International Design Expo! Featuring free CEU classes from industry leading manufacturers Knoll, Teknion, Arktura and Dornbracht, plus an exciting presentation from Naber on the North American launch of their “n” Concept Kitchen. The day includes lunch and beverages from Octane (for purchase) and a complimentary cocktail reception in the MA International Design Expo. Network with your peers and manufacturer reps and be the first to see the exhibits. Register today. Seats are limited. Attendance is free!

Schedule:
10:00 am – 10:30 am Registration
10:30 am – 11:30 am – Knoll CEU
11:30 – 12:30 Octane Lunch Pop-up – Food & Drinks for Purchase
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Arktura CEU
2:15 pm  – 3:15 pm: Teknion CEU
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm: Dornbracht CEU
4:45 pm – 5:45 pm: Naber “n” Concept Kitchen Presentation
5:45 pm –  7:30 pm: Complementary Cocktail Reception in MA International Design Expo for Design Pros and Press (Space 403) Sponsored by ASID GA

In addition to Steve volunteering as a docent, there will also be a number of furniture pieces from steve mckenzie’s by O&G Studio featured in our space, so keep an eye out! We look forward to celebrating Modern Atlanta with you this week!

Wanderlust Wednesday: NYC Art Scene

One of the biggest ways Steve finds inspiration for his own art is to view other artist’s work; after all, art is all about providing inspiration! Recently, he was in NYC for the opening of a show that featured two of his works and while there, took the day with his daughter, Molly, who lives in the city, to experience a bit of the city’s amazing art scene…

Their day started on the Upper East Side at the Gagosian Gallery on Madison Ave to see one of Steve’s favorite artists, Cy Twombly. The confidence and power Twombly exhibits is a constant source of inspiration for Steve. Though small, only 5 overscaled paintings and a few sculptures, the exhibit was beautiful.

cy twombly
“Cy Twombly” Installation View Artwork © Cy Twombly Foundation. Collection Cy Twombly Foundation. Photo by Rob McKeever
"Cy Twombly" Instillation View Artwork © Cy Twombly Foundation. Collection Cy Twombly Foundation. Photo by Rob McKeever
“Cy Twombly” Installation View Artwork © Cy Twombly Foundation. Collection Cy Twombly Foundation. Photo by Rob McKeever

Next, it was off to the Museum of Modern Art, MOMA, to see the Bjork Retrospective. This was especially meaningful because Steve and Jill’s son-in-law, Jim, and the architectural firm he works for, The Living, designed and installed the space for the new performance piece by Bjork, Black Lake. The piece and the space were incredible, and it was a very proud moment for Steve when Jim’s name rolled by in the credits of the video:

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Here is a trailer for the piece:

For Steve, a trip to MOMA would not be complete without visiting a couple of works of art that are perennial sources of inspiration.

Two of the combine series by Robert Rauschenberg created in the 50’s provide such a source of inspiration to create work without fear or limits.

Robert Rauschenberg combine “Canyon” 1959
Robert Rauschenberg combine “Canyon” 1959
Robert Rauschenberg “Bed” 1955
Robert Rauschenberg “Bed” 1955

The Franz Klein Painting, “Chief,” exudes the raw energy and scale Steve seeks when he is in the studio…

Franz Klein “Chief” 1950
Franz Klein “Chief” 1950

Chelsea was next on the list, to see the latest work by Richard Serra, “Equal,” at the David Zwirner Gallery. These monolithic heroic forged weather proof steel pieces confront the viewer and give you pause to contemplate your role in the bigger universe.

Richard Serra “Equal” at the David Zwirner gallery

Here is a view of Molly beside a piece for scale:

Richard Serra “Equal” at the David Zwirner gallery 2

When strolling through Chelsea, you are bound to see something through the window of a gallery you just must take in. This was the case with McCaffrey Fine Art and the Kazuo Shiraga monumental paintings.

Kazou Shiraga monumental paintings

The brush strokes were huge on these enormous paintings, which lead Steve yearning to know how they were created. He was astonished to learn they were painted with the artists feet swinging from a rope. Here is a brief video of the artist working:

The day closed with Steve feeling inspired and ready to return to the studio to create.

Memorial Day Greetings from steve mckenzie’s!

We all love a long weekend, a cook out, or trip to the beach. But, that’s really not what this holiday is about… It’s about remembering all of those who gave their all to protect our freedoms and for that, we are eternally grateful.

We hope you all take a moment to reflect upon what this holiday really means.

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Enjoy a very happy Memorial Day weekend, and please celebrate safely.

steve mckenzie’s will be closed today, Monday, May 25th, but will reopen tomorrow at 10am. We look forward to seeing you in the showroom soon!

Who you NEED to Meet: Darren Green of The Old Wood Co.

We’ve been a proud retailer of The Old Wood Co. furnishings since the start of steve mckenzie’s. When we first learned of The Old Wood Co., located in Asheville, NC, and what they were all about, we knew it was for us! And, luckily, many of our clients agree!

Darren Green, the man behind the magic that is The Old Wood Co., prides himself in using the finest old reclaimed wood available. And we can attest the finished product is the absolute epitome of beauty paired with quality craftsmanship.

Darren has such a passion for what he does, and the heirloom quality furniture pieces he works to create, we thought you’d enjoy getting to know him a little better, so we requested a “Who You NEED To Meet” Please see more about Darren and The Old Wood Co. below…

©Travis Bell Photography
Darren Green, Founder of The Old Wood Co. ©Travis Bell Photography

sm’s: How did you strike out on your own with The Old Wood Co.?

D: I was a manufacturers representative for 10 years prior to starting The Old Wood Co. Spent most of my time at LEE Industries (7 years) and that is where I tell folks I received my MBA.

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sm’s: What inspires your designs?

D: I like designs that are straight forward and speak to common sense and what would work best in a home or commercial setting.

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sm’s: What is your vision for The Old Wood Co., as well as for your handcrafted pieces?

D: At the end of each work day we all must walk out of the shop knowing that we all put forth our best effort and provided our clients with the best piece of furniture we know how to build.

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sm’s: What do you see as mainstays in your furniture collection?

D: We’ve only discontinued a couple designs over the years, mainly due to issues with the construction, suppliers, or overall design practicality. Every design in the line is available in custom sizes, in any wood species, and in any finish.

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sm’s: What are the different types of wood species you work with?

D: We stay with domestic hardwoods–oak, walnut, ash, maple, cherry mainly due to the type of dust they produce.

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sm’s: What can you share about your design collaborations?

D: We have collaborated with blacksmiths, metal artisans, street artist, and other talented woodworkers.

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sm’s: What do people need to consider when looking to purchase a piece by The Old Wood Co.?

D: That we build authentic solid wood pieces that do require some maintenance. We have a care and cleaning video online but also offer finishes with a polyurethane coat that require less maintenance than an oil or wax finish.

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sm’s: What’s on the horizon for The Old Wood Co.?

D: One day I would like to have our own metal shop and further down the line would like to have our own (very small) upholstery shop for those custom pieces that might require cushions, etc.

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sm’s: As an artist/businessman how do you recharge?

D: My family keeps me going–I have three children under the age of seven, so life is busy, but gratifying. I’m at a very exciting stage of my life.

I’m also very involved with the River Arts District in Asheville, where the shop is located, so I enjoy being involved with the growth and development of the area.

A great, big thank you to Darren and the folks at The Old Wood Co. for making such special pieces we’re so excited to offer our clients! We love The Old Wood Co. and Darren’s enthusiasm he has for his creations. We hope you all have enjoyed this glimpse into artisan Darren Green’s process and creations.

If you’d like to see his work in person, please visit the steve mckenzie’s showroom!

How to Add Color… Effortlessly

So many of our design clients come to us looking to add a splash of color to their space. Many of these people have fantastic taste and collections of timeless pieces that will easily fit into a new design. However, these savvy folks always shy away from color… Why?

add color

It seems like many people understand the value of starting with a neutral base for any space. And while we think neutrals are a necessity, we also believe in adding personality, drama and even a bit of pizzazz with some very bold color. Be it in an amazingly bright wallpaper, a brilliant hued upholstery job, or funky custom pillows with contrast piping, there are unlimited ways to effortlessly add splashes of color to your neutral spaces!

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Petite glass vases, like these hand blown pieces by Blenko, available in a rainbow of colors and sizes at steve mckenzie’s. And don’t forget what an impact a few cut flowers, or even a bit of greenery can add to a space. Not only does it add color, it also adds the perfect soft touch.

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These vintage surplus pillows from All Souls Mercantile are sure to add the perfect subtle touch of color. They’d be ideal in a lake house, or space with a bit of western flare. But, don’t let our ideas limit you – there are so many ways these pieces can add personality to a design!

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Your tabletop will truly come to life with a bright napkin, bit of colorful Royal Crown Derby china by Mikado and even a vibrantly colored acrylic glass, which is just as durable as it is attractive!

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The team here at steve mckenzie’s are rockstars at textile pairings, and creating memorable pillow arrangements, thanks to colorful fabrics and trims. If you’s like to achieve a similar look, but don’t quite know where to start, reach out to our team today!

Now, who needs a pair of shades to give their eyes a rest after enjoying such a color rich post?!?

Collaborations… Past & Present: A Gallery Show by Steve McKenzie

If you’re planning to pop in the shop this week and hope to catch a glimpse of Steve, we’re sorry to disappoint, but he won’t be in store this week… However, if you happen to be near Indianapolis this week, you’re in luck!

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Our friends at Editions Limited are hosting Steve’s show, “Past & Present,” in conjunction with the spring 2015 Broad Ripple Gallery Tour.

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For this series of work, Steve’s travels and daily observations provided a needed dose of inspiration. The collaboration part works in through the various scraps of history and artifacts Steve worked into these pieces.

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The gentle palette and sweeping brush strokes portray the sense of joy Steve feels while in the process of creating these pieces.

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There is an opening reception taking place this Friday, May 8th from 5 to 9 pm at Editions Limited, and we hope to see you there!

gallery show prep

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In addition to Steve’s works, which are on display at Editions Limited, artist Kate Oberreich also shows there – you may recognize her work from the recent motion picture, The Fault In Our Stars!

Obviously, Steve is in great company, and we’re so grateful for our friends and family in Indianapolis for sharing in this exciting event!

Happy Cinco de Mayo & a Secret Recipe Unveiled!

Happy Cinco de Mayo to all of our friends out there! Although many of us see this as a wonderful excuse to enjoy some of our favorite Mexican inspired food and drinks, Cinco de Mayo is, of course, rooted in a rich history, which we all should take a moment to learn.

cinco de mayoIf you’re looking forward to a very special “Taco Tuesday” dinner tonight, and you enjoy guacamole, have we got a recipe for you… Chipolte’s previously very secret guacamole recipe to be precise. We’re surprised to see no surprising ingredients, but we imagine just using the best and freshest ingredients are what make Chipolte’s so special.

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Let us know if you give it a try and how it stacks up to three green stuff available at our favorite neighborhood chain burrito shop!

r. wood studio

If you’re searching for the ideal guacamole vessel, look no further than all of the fabulous R. Wood Studio ceramics currently available in-store at steve mckenzie’s – our current display is a virtual rainbow of rich hues; and there’s sure to be something for everyone! These beautiful pieces will serve far beyond today’s Cinco de Mayo holiday, and if you’re still on the search for something for Mother’s Day (this Sunday!), these would be a lovely gift option… Along with the other top Mother’s Day gifts we detailed in a blog post last week.

We hope you all enjoy a festive and safe Cinco de Mayo today!