Another Memorable AmericasMart Experience!

This past weekend at AmericasMart was such a whirlwind for us! We were so honored to be selected to participate in their exciting “Retail Meets Design” vignette exhibition, which highlighted the talents of a fantastic group of retailers who are also designers, or vice versa. We were simply blown away by everyone’s creativity!

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Steve took this opportunity to add a little glam into his designs and we couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome! In addition, just about everything was sourced from within AmericasMart, and the items he didn’t find there are all available through steve mckenzie’s.

The vignette Steve designed for McKenzie Design was centered around a banquette table and chair arrangement, with the focal point being that amazing hammered metal pedestal table from Bliss Studio.

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As you’ve probably deduced by now, tablescapes are a specialty of ours here at steve mckenzie’s and Steve’s tabletop design for his vignette certainly portrayed his appreciation for fine wares. Here’s a rundown of Steve’s sources for his tablescape:

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The bar cart, found via Golden Oldies Antiques, was actually an old Viennese pastry cart, which was repurposed, and it acted as the perfect end cap for the banquet – sourced through Lee Industries. The bottom of the bar cart featured a glass cabinet, which was filled with antique brass camel bells. The shield back chairs were found at Aidan Gray, and the nailhead trim on the chairs worked beautifully with the detailing on the banquette seating!

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The console table space was perhaps our favorite moment within the vignette. That table, also sourced through Bliss Studio, is a true work of art, and the bejeweled Buddha perched atop it is as well. After all, it was crafted by THE Eric Cortina. And the floral on the console is by Diane James.

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The lighting above the table and the sconces above the console are all from Currey & Co., each of those pieces added some needed modernity. The vertical artwork was sourced from Wendover Art Group and the horizontal piece is from Art & Frame Source.

You may recognize the wall covering, as it’s based off of Steve’s art and textile design, was transferred to grass cloth and transformed in to wallpaper. It is so exciting to see the loop art used in this way!

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The banquette pillows offered their own touch of glitz and glam and were found via D.V. Kap.

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And that etagere, which added the perfect amount of style and storage was found via Gabby, as were all of those stunning accessories used to style it.

The rug also deserves a mention all its own… The luxuriously soft and beautiful floor covering Jaipur Living, and it was a showstopper!

We also have to share a little shout out to all of the other amazing retailer/designers who designed some brilliant spaces for the “Retail Meets Design” vignettes:

– Kristin Alber of FOUND

– Nina Nash and Jared Hughes of Matthews Furniture + Design

– Susan Victor and John Ishmael of Natina Home & Design

– Rozanne Jackson of The Iron Gate

– Ann Huff, Meg Harrington and Sam Jones of Huff Harrington Home

– Paige Schnell, Beth Nash and Anna Kay Porch of Tracery Interiors

In addition to designing the exhibition vignette, Steve was also invited to speak on a panel about the retail and design business and how to bridge the gap between them, as well as promoting the dual businesses. Kristin Alber of FOUND, moderated the panel and was such a delight to get to know during AmericasMart!

While AmericasMart can be a crazy time, and this year was no exception, it’s always a phenomenal source of inspiration and  a wonderful time to meet and greet with all of our industry friends. And we’re so appreciative of all the praise the vignette exhibit has been garnering on social media – just check out #retailmeetsdesign to get an idea of all the excitement!

Here’s to AmericasMart 2017!!

Tastemaker Tuesday – Cheri Leavy & Whitney Long of The Southern Coterie

Earlier this summer, Steve and Jill attended The Southern Summit, an amazing event hosted by The Southern Coterie, which founded by two extremely talented women, Cheri Leavy and Whitney Long.

Cheri and Whitney were sensational hostesses of The Southern Summit and after attending such a lovely, well- thought-out and fun event, we knew they’d be a wonderful team to feature as Tastemakers! To our delight, they agreed to participate and we couldn’t be more thrilled to highlight them as our newest Tastemakers for the blog for steve mckenzie’s…

Cheri & Whitney
Cheri & Whitney

About Cheri:

For Cheri, born with a knack for instantly connecting with people, The Southern C seemed like a natural progression. From novice beginnings, writing a “cousin newsletter” to operating a successful online and print publishing business with her husband, it’s Cheri’s enthusiasm and inspiration that has made The Southern Coterie and its live events – The Southern C Summits – a must visit for Southern entrepreneurs looking to make valuable connections. Constantly on the lookout for the newest talent in the South, Cheri has an authentic passion for meeting, greeting and giving entrepreneurs a platform to speak about their brands. An eighth generation coastal Georgia native, Cheri splits her time between Athens and St. Simons Island. 

About Whitney:

After a successful career as a scout, stylist and contributing editor for some of the biggest names in print media like Coastal Living, Southern Accents, Southern Living and Better Homes & Gardens plus various special interest titles, Whitney took time off to focus on her favorite job – being a mom to four – but the scouting didn’t end there. Whitney draws on her years of curating unique places and people for the lifestyle magazine industry to create connections, find strategic partners and cultivate a talented team of writers and presenters. Born in the quintessential southern town of Elba, Alabama, Whitney now calls the quaint seaside village of St.Simons Island, Georgia home. 

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Cheri & Whitney

1. Three words that describe your aesthetic?

C: Colorful, Eclectic, Keeper – I am a keeper of family treasures – china, silver, linens, books, old print press blocks and tools (my husband is fourth generation newspaper business).

W: Relaxed, Cozy, Lived-in

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

C: Our cottage on East Beach, St. Simons Island was on the Christ Church Tour of Homes years ago and I loved getting ready for that tour. I worked with several talented interior designers to pull it all together – Mary-Bryan Peyer, Andrew Downs, Lisa Ellis Design and my mother-in-law Sudy. I have been collecting original art since post college and have joked that I drove my mom’s hand-me-down cars but always had an art payment versus a car payment monthly. This was thanks to my mentor Millie Wilcox of Left Bank Art Gallery who let me pay in installments. Millie created a sheet for tour attendees that turned it into an art exhibit detailing the artists and history of many of the pieces. She even researched pieces from my ancestors so it turned into an archive of my art I will treasure forever.

W: Our living room – giant sectional sofa where all six of us can squeeze in for family tv time watching some of our favorite shows like Shark Tank, America’s Got Talent and The Goldberg’s.  That is when and where I am my happiest which makes it my favorite space.

3. What’s the source(s) of your inspiration?

C: Travel, antiquing, magazines, blogs, instagram and family treasures.

W: So many friend and creatives that I have met through The Southern C and Southern C Summit!  I follow their blogs, check out their websites and social channels and am continually inspired!

Bear Bryant
Bear Bryant

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

C: Southern journalist, author and entertainer Julia Reed, newspaper icon Kathryn Graham and author Ernest Hemingway – don’t you wish you were invited too?

W: My Daddy who passed far too young, Bear Bryant (this would be a pick for my Dad – would LOVE to hear that conversation) and Dolly Parton – who wouldn’t want the fabulous Dolly at their dining room table? Can you tell I’m a Southern girl with these icons?   

Whitney's Great Aunt Kate’s vintage flame mahogany breakfront.
Whitney’s Great Aunt Kate’s vintage flame mahogany breakfront.

5. A piece of/type of furniture you couldn’t live without?

C: I love a good parsons table – so versatile. I have created a few with Andrew Downs. We did one for the cottage with Hermes orange Edelman leather he had left over from a project in the 80s – ahhh so fab. So then in Athens, we did Tiffany blue suede on one with a short nesting table beneath in blue skin for all of my coffee table books.

W: My great aunt Kate’s vintage flame mahogany breakfront – in addition to holding dishes, it holds lots of memories of Sunday post-church lunches and holiday family meals.

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

C: I am a rule breaker for sure. I do what feels right so my style is very layered and nuanced with odd objects on brackets on the wall and I collect majolica so it is everywhere. I love old rugs and have orientals and some incredible Turkish kilims from a neat local on St. Simons, Vickie Myers, who sells them from her extensive travels. Her warehouse is a blast to dig in. That was another payment plan in my thirties. I can’t say enough that if you love beautiful things and you are on a budget then work with vendors. You would be surprised what people will do to help a young collector. I am a firm believer in textured layers but there is no rhyme or reason to my process. I buy what I like and I am not matchy matchy so I blend a lot of different pieces.

W: No, I think it’s all about a balanced mix and what is visually appealing to your eye but also taking into consideration what elements work well in each particular space. 

Colorful pillows add a POP!
Colorful pillows add a POP!

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

C: I am into coupe glasses right now because of my friend, Brian Hart Hoffman’s new book, The Coupe: Celebrating Craft Cocktails and Vintage Collections I am over my dated kitchens and bathrooms. The struggle is real if you love 1930s homes.

W: I’m over the staged, too-many pillows look with the karate chops in the tops.  I am into relaxed and streamlined.  A few pillows with a colorful bold pattern pack more punch!  When I want to sit, I want to sit without removing 10 pillows to do so.  Same goes for my bed!  

Oyster painting by artist Cathie Parmelee
Oyster painting by artist Cathie Parmelee

8. How does artwork fit into your designs?

C: Clearly for me as I have expressed above – art is everything to me. My friend who is an interior designer, Cullen Osteen collaborates with me on my Athens home and teases me that most of her clients buy art to fill a space and I buy art and look for the space. Needless to say, I am a proponent of the gallery hang.

W: Art can serve to anchor a room and also serve as the jumping off point for the design scheme.  I love sizable statement pieces – kind of like a great statement necklace. 

9. What would be the one thing you would have if you were stranded on a deserted island?

C: My husband Vance of course. A healthy supply of wine and hopefully some fabulous stemware. My two golden retrievers. I don’t think I would do well on a deserted island.

W: My iPhone so I could book a plane ticket back home!

Scene from The Southern Summit
Scene from The Southern Summit

Thank you so much Cheri and Whitney!! Not only did we have a fabulous time at The Southern Summit this past May, we’re so happy to have had to opportunity to get to know you both better and share a bit about you here on the blog for steve mckenzie’s!

Now, who’s already planning their visit to Sea Island for The Southern Summit 2017?!?

Cover: Our Latest Obsession

Meet our new neighbors… Cover. An amazing bookstore featuring works on art, design, food and wine.

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As our longtime blog readers are aware, we’re BIG art and design book lovers. Our “Library Friday” series is only the tip of the iceberg on the topic.

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As you can imagine, we’ve found our new happy place at Cover.

Their stunning selection of beautiful books is simply outstanding.

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Cover is conveniently located near our showroom at:

1031 Marietta Street, Suite A
Atlanta, GA 30318

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Cover has got it going on too… Events, fantastic press. Next time you’re visiting us, plan a visit to Cover as well – you won’t be sorry!

Speaking of events, they’re hosting the Jarry Magazine launch party with Steven Satterfield next Thursday evening. Check out event details here.

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A warm welcome to our newest neighbors – we’re so happy you’re here in Atlanta’s Westside neighborhood!

Hip Hip Hooray, the 4th of July is Today!

We hope everyone’s enjoyed a nice, long weekend. Spending time in the sun, grilling, hanging out with family and friends – oh, and those fireworks – it’s the epitome of what summer is all about.

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We hope you all continue your celebration safely. Happy 4th of July to all from the team here at steve mckenzie’s!