Right at home at the Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Holiday Designer Showhouse

Right before Thanksgiving, we were fortunate enough to be treated to a media preview tour of the 2016 Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Home for the Holidays Designer Showhouse and it was a stunner. Truly. Every detail at every corner of every space was just impeccable and totally inspirational!

Photo by David Christensen
Photo by David Christensen

We urge you to plan a visit if you haven’t done so already – it will instantly put you in the holiday spirit, and if you’re already feeling festive, then you’ll just be envisioning even more sugarplums this season.

But – we cannot keep you in total suspense. See some of our favorite highlights below…

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Photo by David Christensen

Michelle Workman’s amazing space was an obvious favorite for us. After all, our own Steve McKenzie created her walls, which we happen to think are pretty spectacular.

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Photo by David Christensen

Truly though, her bedroom design is absolutely transportive and welcoming all at the same time. Her mixing of patterns, colors and textiles is sensational.

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Photo by David Christensen

The holiday house kitchen by Shaylyn Woodbery was glamorous, but absolutely welcoming. Her touches of gold and brass throughout are perfect for the holidays and beyond.

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Photo by David Christensen

And you know we can’t pass up a fabulous table setting!

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Photo by David Christensen

Musso Design Group created a master bedroom space we immediately felt right at home in. Its streamlined and modern, but fits right in with this classic home.

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Finally, the home’s office by Heather Roberts, for Ivy and Vine, was an absolute show stopper. That chair caught our attention first, but what kept us coming back for more of this space was her use of color. The same blue hue on the walls, mouldings – even the ceiling.

There’s just a sampling of what you can expect with this spectacular holiday home for Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, and as you can imagine, there’s so much more seasonal eye candy for you. We hope you enjoy the home as much as we did… Happy holidays!!

Thanksgiving Greetings from steve mckenzie’s…

We’re so very thankful to all of our friends, family and clients for their support of steve mckenzie’s!

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We hope you enjoy a day spent with the ones you love enjoying food you love almost just as much :-))

Mention this email and enjoy 20% off ALL in-store items, starting tomorrow… Here are our post-Thanksgiving hours:

Friday     1pm – 5pm
Saturday 10 – 4pm
Sunday    12 – 4pm

On-line friends, please use the code “thankyou2016” to save 20% on your purchase.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Who you NEED to Meet: Alisa Barry of Bella Cucina

We’re here to whet your appetites this morning with a fun Q&A with Bella Cucina creator, Alisa Barry! And this just so happens to be a timely post, as Alisa’s fabulous creations serve as idea hostess and holiday gifts.

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If you’ve visited the showroom lately, chances are you’ve seen some Bella Cucina products. And we’re here to share these gorgeous pantry staples are just as delicious as they are beautiful. With an appreciation for beauty and a sensibility for classic, yet innovative flavors, Bella Cucina makes products by hand, in small batches in the traditional European hand-crafted way. We’re thrilled to offer them to all of our friends and fans in the steve mckenzie’s showroom.

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Alisa Barry Photo: Andrew Thomas Lee

About Alisa:

Alisa is an artist, author & entrepreneur. 

Honing her culinary skills in San Francisco, Berkeley and the California wine country, she formed a food philosophy that continues to inform her simple, yet sophisticated cooking style. She believes it’s not only about what you eat, but also how you eat. When we take time to slow down and savor, we can enjoy food as a simple luxury in our daily life. 

After opening a small, European-style lunchtime café in Atlanta, Alisa expanded her offerings from locally sourced seasonal and organic menu items to a line of beautifully packaged pantry provisions.  

Winning numerous prestigious industry awards, Bella Cucina has garnered the attention of the media over the years. A highlight has been a feature on Oprah’s most popular “Favorite Things” show {twice!}, O magazine, Food & Wine, Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes & Garden, and Cooking Light. 

Alisa and her designer husband, Smith Hanes, enjoy returning to her culinary roots in the quiet food mecca of Yountville, California and visiting her favorite places in Tuscany, Italy. 

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sm’s: Can you please share a bit about your background/how you started Bella Cucina and how you gained the courage to break out on your own?

AB: I first fell in love with the art of eating when I lived in Europe many years ago. Every time I returned, I was reminded that taking time to savor is one of the simplest luxuries we can afford ourselves, everyday.  Bella Cucina first started as a small lunchtime café.  Inspired by Alice Water’s philosophy of using what’s in season, I would buy whatever the organic farmer’s harvested for the week and create my menu around the ingredients.  I was the cook, the caterer and the clean-up crew.  Soon after we opened, customers were asking how they could enjoy the flavors of the food in their own kitchen.  Within a short year, I was bottling up freshly picked basil pesto, baking Death by Chocolate cookies and  and preserving a Mediterranean condiment called preserved lemons.  Within a short time, I had a complete line of Italian-inspired pantry provisions. Fast forward a decade and some years later;  Bella Cucina has become an award-winning artisan-made product line sold around the world.

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sm’s: What inspires you/your work?

AB: Bella Cucina is one vehicle for my creative and artistic expression. It is my offering, my art. It’s also been an unexpected vehicle for personal transformation.  Over the last 2o plus years I’ve been in business, I’ve had many accomplishments and accolades. I’ve also experienced overwhelming obstacles and adversity.  I have found that it is in the challenges and change that I have learned the most, which has shaped the artist & entrepreneur I am today. Alchemy isn’t easy, but it always leaves beauty behind.

I am inspired by everything.  Aesthetic arrest is what awakens me. I like to think of my life as a perpetual pilgrimage of astonishment & awe. Several days a week, I make time to be in my studio at home. It’s a sacred space where I can make something simply for the sake of creation.

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sm’s: What makes Bella Cucina products different from other pantry products found on market shelves?

AB: Bella Cucina makes over fifty different products:  from antipasti appetizers to our famous pestos, pasta sauces and dolci desserts.  Everything we produce is made by hand in small batches.  All our recipes start as experiments in my kitchen which I call  il laboratorio. It’s where all of the creations begin.

sm’s: What do people love about using Bella Cucina products?

AB: Simplicity is the new luxury. People want to eat and entertain and we try to  make it so easy.   With just a few simple ingredients and well-chosen serving plates, you can put out an impressive spread that will delight your guests with a feast for the senses.   There’s nothing to more do but linger around the table with good food and friends.

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sm’s: Do you ever experience kitchen disasters like the rest of us?

AB: I’ve had too many recipe disasters to mention – everything from soggy granola to exploding oranges. But I’ve learned to just toss these failures in the trash and start over. Creativity is about risk-taking and experimentation.  Dare to falter every once in a while.

What do you love about what you do?

AB: I love shopping in farmer’s markets for inspiration and creating new products.  It is an artistic expression of my creativity.  When I create a recipe that really works and people are delighted with it and use it in their own way, and e-mail me HOW the used it in their kitchens, feeding their family, that carries a big reward, I just Love that part of my work. Hearing their stories and seeing the photos of their own creations.

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Photo: Andrew Thomas Lee

sm’s: How would you sum up your aesthetic & design philosophy?

AB: Simplicity. Restraint. Beauty.

sm’s: What’s on the horizon for you/Bella Cucina?

AB: Another cookbook.  Its about how the act and art of cooking and eating can nourish us body, mind and spirit. How rituals make a mundane activity more meaningful. A habit made holy.

Photo: Andrew Thomas Lee
Photo: Andrew Thomas Lee

We so love these Bella Cucina goods, but what we appreciate even more is Alisa’s sentiments on lifestyle and savoring your surroundings and great company while dining. She definitely embodies that European way of living and we are fans! Thank you to Alisa for sharing so much about herself and Bella Cucina with our readers.

Be sure to check out her wonderful line of pantry items, and pick a few up for you and all those hostesses you’ll be visiting over the holidays next time you find yourself in the store… Our team will be happy to guide you toward one fantastic product or we can put together a delicious gift basket – either way, it’ll be ready to present when you leave the steve mckenzie’s showroom!

 

Our Top 4 Elements of a Tantalizing Tablescape

Recently, our own Jill McKenzie was quoted for a holiday tabletop article for the AJC by Merlisa Lawrence Corbett. The article shares some fantastic tips and ideas for creating the perfect setting for all of your holiday tables… And, as you’re surely aware, we’re in crunch time for holiday gatherings!

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In this luxe tablescape, we used Royal Crown Derby china, Baccarat glassware, Reed and Barton cutlery and vintage brass candlesticks.

So, if you’ll be hosting any seasonal soirees, read below to learn what our top four elements to any tantalizing tablescape are:

  • THE Tablecloth – it’s the base of your entire tablescape and sets the mood for the entire gathering. Anything from fine linen textiles to an antique quilt may be used. Just make it interesting and make it YOU.
    • An easy formula for a classic tablescape is to begin with a white or cream tablecloth then dress it up or down with runners, squares, etc. Le Jacquard Provence Strawberry square
    • Linens from Le Jacquard Francais, such as their 69″x69″ squares are a fantastic addition, when placed as a “diamond” in the center of the table. The offer wonderful color and interest!
  • Individualize Place Settings – add a personalized touch to your table by using different pieces at everyone’s place. And be sure to pull out the fancy china for these gatherings! After all, what are you saving it for?!
    • It’s also a smart idea to use little place cards, especially for a larger group, as this makes selecting a seat effortless and you can assist with the flow of conversation by specifically selecting who will sit where.

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  • Considerate Centerpieces – the formula for a sensational centerpiece is simple = keep it low or very high, not in between. You want to ensure your guests can see each other across the table!
    Teak and resin candle holder - use with taper candles or votives!
    Teak and resin candle holder – use with taper candles or votives!
    • Add a “wow factor” with fabulous candle holders and candelabras, mix in natural elements and create a few simple floral arrangements with grocery store flower or even greenery cuttings from your own backyard.

      Ivory and gold "fishnet" tapers
      Ivory and gold “fishnet” tapers
    • OR, if you have simple candle holders, a fabulous set of taper candles may be all you need to add a bit of oomph to your table!
R. Wood's Chartreuse colorway
R. Wood’s Chartreuse colorway
  • Unexpected Colors – add a third color into your holiday tablescapes to shake things up a bit… Try green, red and gold or green red a silver. OR, consider a unique hue of green. We love R. Wood’s super saturated chartreuse color, which really adds a lot of brightness to a tabletop.

*BONUS TIP: Set your table in advance – at least a day prior to your event. Take this opportunity to play around with your tablescape and even “audition” different centerpieces or serving pieces. Layout a place setting then walk away. As you move throughout the space, you’ll know how you like it or how it could be improved.

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This New Years Eve buffet is fit for a celebration, thanks to the beautiful Match Pewter, stunning (yet care-free) acrylic glasses and original works by Steve McKenzie.

As our favorite, festive time for the year quickly approaches, an organized mindset will be your best friend. So, get to organizing those holiday tablescapes now! See other inspirational ideas in the AJC article and for some hands-on assistance, come into the steve mckenzie’s showroom today, where our team can help guide you to a sensational seasonal tablescape for your gathering.

Celebrating Veteran’s Day

We just wanted to take a moment and honor those who have served our country. Today is a day of reflection and a time to honor those who give their life to keeping us safe. 


Thank you to our veterans for all you’ve given us!

Happy Veteran’s Day to one and all. 

~ The steve mckenzie’s team

A steve mckenzie’s Wish List will ensure Santa brings just what YOU want!

Think you’re too old to make a list for Santa?? Think again! The steve mckenzie’s Wish List program is here to save the holidays…

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It’s so simple to do too! Simply visit our showroom, where you’ll be totally inspired by our beautiful furnishings, jewelry, accessories and so much more, and we’ll work with you to complete a simple wish list. Or, create an account on our website and begin pulling your steve mckenzie’s Wish List together there.

You’ll share who we should reach out to and what we should tell them you’d love as a holiday gift this year. It’s a win-win folks. Your loved ones will appreciate the ease with which they can gift you your greatest holiday desires and you’ll be sure to fall head-over-heels with a present from your loved one!

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Be sure to encourage your friends and family to complete a steve mckenzie’s Wish List as well, so your holiday shopping will be done in the greatest of ease. Best of all – we offer complimentary gift wrapping, so your holiday to-do list will be a literal wrap when you leave the steve mckenzie’s showroom. Effortless we tell you, effortless!

And, while there’s an array of fabulous gift options in a wide range of price points, we also offer gift certificates, which your loved ones will surely appreciate!

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Now’s the time to get to your Wish List and holiday shopping. We promise an unforgettable shopping experience here at steve mckenzie’s and we’ll work with even the biggest Scrooges out there to help put them in the holiday spirit!

THIS Weekend: Holiday Open House at steve mckenzie’s!

Please join us in our showroom this weekend for the steve mckenzie’s Holiday Open House! We have extended hours for your convenience – we’re open until 7pm tonight and are now open Sundays (12-4pm) through the holidays, so there’s no excuse for you not to find the perfect gift!

See all the details of our fabulous Open House event and make plans to visit us this weekend:

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And, we’ll even gift wrap your selections in signature steve mckenzie’s style… It’ll be all ready to gift, at no added cost. Be sure to RSVP for our Holiday Open House via this link to receive a special, in-store discount.

There are still a few spots left for our magnolia bouquet class tomorrow morning, so if you find yourself with a bit of time, do yourself a favor and join us for this fun and creative workshop!!

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We’re so looking forward to this festive weekend and events and happenings at the steve mckenzie’s showroom and are thrilled to have our friend Mandy Rye of Waiting on Martha along for all this excitement – hope to see you in store soon too!!