Spookiest well wishes on this Halloween day!

It’s Halloween and you know what that means – time for tricks and treats! We love any holiday, as it offers a fabulous to celebrate with friends and family, and Halloween is no different.

Enjoy seeing all of the little kids in their costumes, pass out candy and just live in the moment. That’s what we’ll be doing here…

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So, happy Halloween to one and all. Be safe and offer more treats than tricks :-))

~ The steve mckenzie’s Team

How would you design the White House?!

That was the question posed to our very own Steve McKenzie by the wonderful team at Steelyard Access, when they approached him about e-designing a room fit for the President of the United States for their e-magazine, FOCUS

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Those of you close to Steve may have heard him share his “dream project” – designing a set of Presidential china. So, this fun challenge caused some immediate ear perks. And when he learned his room to makeover was the Presidential Library, he was in!

The White House China Room
The White House China Room

Here’s a bit about Steve’s concept for the design:

Designing for the next President’s innermost sanctum, left me appealing to the desire for a personal space that truly reflects taste and inspiration. The President, a modernist at heart, needs a private place to escape and think, read and simply be… uninterrupted. A love of mid-century was the springing-off point for clean lines and a warm palette. Not encumbered by the need to reflect the Federal traditional style seen throughout much of the White House, we focused on using elements that the President alone will use and enjoy thoroughly.

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Some of the items included in this space fit for our country’s leader are a sumptuous sofa from The Eleanor Rigby Company, stunning shelves by French Heritage, a sculptural lamp from Theodore Alexander, a steve mckenzie’s rug design by Verde Home and a Perry Luxe console.

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We were in some fantastic company in this FOCUS e-magazine makeover feature – so be sure to check out all of the amazing spaces by Gary Inman, Eric Haydel, Ashlina Kaposta, NAR Design Group, Joy Moyler and Steelyard’s Steven Avitable.

We’re so grateful to have been included in this fun spread and hope it inspires you to go a little presidential with the interior design of your home! If you’d like help with designing a space you’ll love, reach out to the McKenzie Design team today.

The Art of Gifting: Confetti Style + steve mckenzie’s

If you’ve ever attempted to do an fabulous gift wrapping job on a special gift you know that fine gift wrapping is an art form. Well, as your local source for all things art-related, and as a one-stop-shop for gifts galore (anything from hostess to holiday), steve mckenzie’s has partnered with Shelly Dozier of Confetti Style to provide a gift wrapping workshop!

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You’ll be able to join forces with Confetti Style, as well as the team here at steve mckenzie’s, and become a gift wrapping master… And just in time for the holidays. 😉 Not only will you learn the basics, but you’ll learn how to add those special touches that make gift-giving so fun and unwrapping even better for the recipient.

The Art of Gift Wrapping Workshop will take place on Saturday, November 12th at steve mckenzie’s from 10-11am and tickets are only $15, which includes a lite bite for breakfast before the workshop begins. To learn more and buy tickets, click here.

We can’t wait to get wrapping with you!

5 Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Cards + a Minted Giveaway

Who’s ready to choose their Christmas cards. What?? I haven’t put away my Bermuda shorts yet, you say! As a corporate wife of a Berkshire Hathaway company CEO, mom of an active family of now young adults, and all that entails, I’ve learned a few things over the years and would like to share some words of wisdom with you.

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Planning ahead will save you time, money and avoid stress. Plain and simple.

Read on for my helpful tips and a Giveaway from Minted.com!

Since you may need some time to pull together photos, addresses, etc, it is really smart to start thinking about this holiday tradition now.  To help you with holiday cards, here’s my easy action plan, aided by Minted.com, which provides unique images from independent artists.

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  1. First, what card suits your family this year? Spend some time thinking about all the fun events, birthdays, milestones for your family.  There are so many options these days – Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s.  Was there a special occasion in your family this year, perhaps a wedding or big trip?  Now that we’re Empty Nesters (I think that’s defined by what’s in your fridge these days which are mostly condiments, cheese and wine), holiday cards take on a different look. No matching smocked outfits, less time all together as a family, school, work and their own families happen, so there are fewer photo opportunities. If you’re going to be taking photos with the extended family at Christmas, perhaps a Happy New Year’s card suits you best.
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  2. Schedule 15-20 minutes for a few days to go through your photos. Are the family photos on your phone? Your spouse’s phone? Did someone take a good couples photo of you at an event? Save them in a universal spot like Google photos or iPhotos.
  3. Delete bad photos.  Never a better time than now and it frees up more space to capture new memories. ribbon-wrapped-by-casey-hooper
  4. Now that you have an idea of what the contenders are, in terms of images, develop a game plan to fill in the photo blanks.  For instance, here’s my current photo summary and game plan…
    • I have 0 photos of me and spouse – Someone needs to take a cute pic of us!
    • Good quantity of SM, me and child #3
    • Cute photos of our married kids sent to me already
    • I need photos of this year’s college graduate.  Who has one?
    • Plenty of photos of Duke the Shop dog!

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      Duke the Shop Dog
  5. Now for the fun part – browse your favorite online stationery source.  I’m super-excited about Minted.  Save your favorite unique designs with their handy heart symbol, download your photos and see how it looks in each design.  Minted has a handy “Find It Fast” button where you can see your photos in several cards, making it easy to choose your favorites.
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Minted.com makes it easy to send holiday sentiments!

My goal is to have narrowed down my choices to three by late October and an order goal of November 5th. I’ve learned what works for me – plan ahead and diminish the panic feeling as we head toward Thanksgiving (my mailing date goal).  Enjoy this time thinking about your family, and the dear friends who will enjoy your special cards.  ~Jill

Bonus = A Giveaway!  Minted has generously offered to share their unique designs from independent artists with a $100 Giveaway toward holiday cards.  See the latest trends and updated classic holiday card designs.  Click here to enter to win $100 to shop Minted!  No purchase necessary and giveaway ends midnight Nov. 2nd.

This post and images (except Duke’s photos) are sponsored by Minted, but all text, and opinions are all my own.

The 4 Latest… What’s happening at steve mckenzie’s?!?

If you follow steve mckenzie’s on Instagram or Facebook, you know we’ve been busy! It’s been wonderful and this fabulous fall weather we’ve been experiencing – albeit a bit warm – only adds to the fresh feeling the change of seasons brings.

We wanted to take a moment to give you a quick rundown of the four latest happenings at steve mckenzie’s…

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First up – the press! We couldn’t be more thrilled for the fantastic mentions, features and product shout-outs we’ve recently received. Thank you to those who’ve taken a moment to recognize steve  mckenzie’s and/or read about us in the news!!

  • It was such a delight to open the Sunday AJC and see a fantastic feature about steve mckenzie’s nestled in the pages of the Homefinder/Lifestyle section by our friend Linda Jerkins. We hope this fun feature gives you a better glimpse into what steve mckenzie’s is all about!

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A new greeting card line. That’s right – we’re offering an all-new greeting card line based off Steve’s original artworks. There’s something for everyone here! They’re whimsical, celebratory and even masculine; which can be a difficult style to capture in a greeting card. We hope you love them and love to gift them!

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steve mckenzie’s new art print line. You no longer have to purchase an original work to bring a piece of fine art by Steve McKenzie into your home! Our art print line is now available for purchase at a price point that makes living with fantastic art accessible for anyone.

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Lastly – Halloween Happies! Come in to the steve mckenzie’s showroom today and be inspired for the spookiest holiday of all… We have so many fanciful items that will put you in the Halloween spirit!

There you have it. The latest happenings at steve mckenzie’s! And get prepared, as the holiday season approaches, there will be more going on. So be sure you’re keeping up with our Facebook and Instagram sites and checking back with the blog. We don’t want you to miss a thing!

Tastemaker Tuesday – Kathy Hogan Trocheck aka. Mary Kay Andrews

If you’ve followed the blog for steve mckenzie’s for a while now, you know we’re fans of a great – and many times, beautiful – book! But, what you may not know is that we’re also lovers of fun, beachy reads. Specifically, just about anything by Kathy Hogan Trocheck, or as many of you may recognize her pen name, Mary Kay Andrews. Her novels are lighthearted, fresh and an absolute pleasure to read.

Because Kathy is a native of St. Petersburg, Florida and she’s worked in the Atlanta area, her novels take place throughout the Southeast. Oftentimes, her books reference great design and delicious food – along with a dollup of trouble and maybe a smidge of romance. They have it all, folks! And thanks to her love of “junking,” Kathy has developed quite a keen eye for interior design… Just check out her Instagram feed for evidence.

We are absolutely delighted to have Kathy as our featured Tastemaker and think you’ll thoroughly enjoy getting to know her and her style with this fun Q&A…

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Kathy Hogan Trocheck aka. Mary Kay Andrews

Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of 25 novels, including The Weekenders, Beach Town, Ladies’ Night and Summer Rental. A former features writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she is a self-described decorator in denial and habitual estate sale devotee. Her Tybee Island vacation homes have been featured in HGTV magazine and Better Homes and Gardens magazine. This May, St. Martins’ Press will publish her first non-fiction release, The Beach House Cookbook. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

1. Three words that describe your personal style?

Cluttered, Classic, Quirky

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2. Would you please share a little about a favorite space of yours?

My favorite space is currently my kitchen and adjoining breakfast room, designed with my longtime interior designer and pal Clay Snider of Clay Snider Interiors and Robin Pittman of Robin Pittman Designs. We took a narrow, dysfunctional galley kitchen in our 1920s era home, and expanded it into what had formerly been a den, and transformed an awkward pass-through room into a breakfast room with a custom-built butler’s pantry inspired by an antique Welsh cupboard. Now my kitchen has enough space for both my husband and myself to cook together, a roomy island that houses favorite cookbooks, a wine fridge and storage, as well as a fabulous Wolf range with a custom hood supported by chippy antique corbels. And counter-height seating for four.

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

I’m inspired by movies (Nancy Meyers’ movies like Something’s Gotta Give, The Holiday and It’s Complicated) and television (Downton Abbey) and shelter magazines and books. Also? I make a pilgrimage every Christmas to the Ralph Lauren flagship homes store on Manhattan’s Upper East Side just to imagine moving in there.

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

I’d love to have dinner with Nora Ephron, Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham and Harper Lee.

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

For our 30th wedding anniversary my husband and I bought a gift for each other, an antique Welsh cupboard. It displays part of my large collection of blue and white porcelains, stores my silver flatware and some table linens and, at Christmas, displays my collection of vintage bottle brush Christmas trees. The new kitchen was designed around that cupboard.

6. Do you follow a particular set of rules when working to design a space of yours?

I’ve long believed in the value of buying classic antiques. That trendy greige Belgian-look console table in the latest Restoration Hardware catalog may be calling your name today, but the day after you bring it home automatically becomes “used furniture.” Whereas a well-made, true antique never really loses value. A fan once called me “a decorator in denial,” which is a pretty apt description of me, as is “a hoarder with good taste.” We are a close family with two young grandchildren who live around the corner and are in and out of our house all week long, so our house has to be comfortable, livable and low maintenance. I buy only what I love, shopping mostly estate sales, trolling high-end antique stores to see how the pros design rooms like movie sets. A designer friend once told me the recipe for a great room includes beautiful hardwood floors, beat-up, colorful Oriental carpets and meaningful art. Add in neutral slipcovered sofas, lots of books and tons of pillows covered in antique textiles and that’s a room I want to live in.

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

I’m over poorly-executed chalk-painted furniture, and am into refining and editing to make our home a statement that reflects our taste and lifestyles. These days I practice “catch and release” upgrading our existing furnishings and “releasing” the placeholder pieces I bought while waiting for that one perfect thing. It helps tremendously to have a designer on speed-dial. I’m forever texting Clay photos of things I see at estate sales or at Scott’s Antique Market. “This?” Seventy-five percent of the time he texts back “God, no!”

8. How does artwork fit into your designs?

I tend to like landscapes and portraits with some antique prints thrown in, and I usually group art in a room according to theme. My husband accuses me of buying the same painting over and over again, but I know what I like! Our living room in Atlanta is mostly hung with oil paintings of European villages and landscapes, while the stair-hall features beautifully matted antique bird prints. The downstairs powder room has a blue and white toile paper depicting bird dogs, so the art consists of watercolors and prints of bird dogs. At our beach house on Tybee Island we have long picture ledges in the living room displaying my collection of vintage oil paintings by amateur artists of seascapes and river scenes—most of which show a full moon reflected in the water.

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

A yellow legal pad. I guess I’d have to MacGyver something to write with, but I can’t imagine a life where I’m not scribbling something.

10. Please share a piece of advice you’d offer to someone looking to break into the writing industry.

My motto is “you can’t fix what you ain’t wrote.”

Once you’ve started a piece of writing, forge all the way ahead to the end of your story before beginning serious revisions. Too many beginning writers succumb to the idea that every paragraph must be perfect. They erase and polish for months on end—ending up with one exquisite paragraph but no story. Bash out your story in rough draft form. Let it “marinade” as an editor of mine once called it, then go back and revise and rewrite.

We love Kathy’s take on design and the relaxed, laid-back, yet refined vibe we’re getting from her responses. And we cannot wait to check out her cookbook next year – it promises some classic cuisine, done with Kathy’s unique, fresh take on cooking. Keep an eye out for an update from us on The Beach House Cookbook, due out in May of next year!

A huge shout out to one of our favorite authors – and “junkers” – Kathy Hogan Trocheck aka. Mary Kay Andrews – we’re so honored to have had the opportunity to feature her as at Tastemaker for steve mckenzie’s!!

Behind the Mix: Sherwin Williams’ ColorMix 2016

Last night was the unveiling of McKenzie Design’s vignette for Sherwin Williams 2016 ColorMix event at ADAC, and we have to say we are so thrilled with our space!

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This design was a bit of a boundary-pusher for Steve. He and Jill selected Sherwin Williams’ Noir color palette to work with, which offered an opportunity to audition color combinations he’s been marinating over in his mind.

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The Noir palette is full of deep, rich, and somewhat moody hues that we loved working with.

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To highlight the full range of the palette, we worked with a custom stencil to create a one-of-a-kind look for our walls. Here’s Steve working with the stencil and revealing the finished design:


Challenging ourselves to work with a pre-specified palette of trendsetting colors helps inform future design concepts and even inspires upcoming steve mckenzie’s fabric collections. Here’s a link to Sherwin Williams’ full 2017 ColorMix forecast – so exciting to see what’s on the horizon!

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Most of the products in Steve’s interior designer space for ColorMix2016 were sourced from the superbly curated Martin Nash showroom at ADAC. The amazing rug is by Laura Walker from Verde Home.

Other Interior Designers featured at this year’s Sherwin Williams ColorMix event are Heather Roberts, Chris Scocci and Ann Wisenewski – and we couldn’t be more pleased to be in such fantastic company!

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Thanks to all who came out to enjoy the interior design vignettes. We hope you were inspired by some fabulous, trendsetting color palettes!! Reach out to McKenzie Design to bring some inspiring color into your own home.