Tabletop Tuesday: Jardins Extraordinaires

Welcome to the inaugural post of our new “Tabletop Tuesday” blog series! Seeing that steve mckenzie’s is known for for offering some of the south’s top tabletop products – along with inspirational tablescape ideas and entertaining tips to go along with them – we thought it was high time for a series of blog posts featuring fabulous tabletops.

Now presenting Jardins Extraordinaires, our first ever “Tabletop Tuesday” blog post. We hope you enjoy!

Our first Tabletop Tuesday feature was inspired by the Jardin Extraordinaires collection by Gien, all of the tropical design we experienced at Maison & Objet, as well as the new Justina Blakeney collection for Selamat Designs.

To begin this tablescape we partnered with Erin Weston of Weston Farms, who styled the floral. For this tablescape we used the magnolia topiaries created during our in-store class.

The base of our tablescape was an antique French table, which offered plenty of warmth and character.

Our place setting began with an R. Wood Studio chartreuse dinner plate.

Next, Erin’s floral brings an organic, soft touch to the table.

A cocktail napkin to ground the glasses adds depth and interest.

A blue tumbler introduces a rich hue.

A pretty vintage cut glass tumbler is brought in for the wine – we love going stemless for wine; taking a note from our European friends!

The Jardins Extraordinaires oblong tray juxtaposed with the round dinner plate works!

The Gien wine coaster serves as a bread and butter plate – think outside of the box and consider dual uses for the pieces you already have!

Vintage brass cutlery, found at a flea market offers a sense of history and ties back into the antique table.

A small R. Wood Studio salad plate is added and ties into the dinner plate.

A soup bowl in R. Wood Studio’s blueberry colorway adds another solid blue element.

A Le Jacquard Francais napkin in a cheeky citrus tone brings in a bit of brightness.

The canape plate from Gien completes the look! The Jardins Extraordinaires small plates are offered in sets of four, with each plate depicting a different garden setting… A conversation starter for sure!

See it all come together in a few quick seconds here:

If only it were that quick in real life!

This tablescape makes us ready to jump into spring.  Most products are available in store at steve mckenzie’s or on our webstore. Contact us for up-to-the-minute availability or if you have any questions. Happy entertaining and bon appetit!

 

All Photos by Rustic White Photography

Art up for auction!

Steve, along with a slew of other artists, both from within and beyond our local interior design community, will have art up for auction at the ASID Art Auction benefiting the American Cancer Society next Thursday evening!

This artful event is open to the public and all proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society. Tickets can be purchased here.

ASID Georgia Art Auction Benefiting American Cancer Society

at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center

Thursday, March 30th, 2017 | 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT
351 Peachtree Hills Avenue Northeast Suite 403, Atlanta, GA 30305

We look forward to celebrating some fantastic artists and fundraising for a great cause! Please feel free to reach out to the team at steve mckenzie’s with any questions…

Tie It with a Bow

Spring brings travel, special events and celebrations like spring break, Mother’s Day, bridal showers, and graduations to name a few. Being ever the thoughtful Southerner, you know not to show up empty-handed!

This past week at Americas Mart, Steve showed a group of dedicated retail buyers several new ways to put together “The Ultimate Hostess Gift”, including a Holiday Jingle cocktail!

Tito's, sugar
Holiday Jingle Crush Cocktail

As a bonus, our fellow Butler University classmate and Delta Gamma sorority sister, Jill Miner, joined us.  Be sure to check out her award-winning bookstore in picturesque Gaylord, Michigan, Saturn Booksellers.

Back to the hostess gift!  Let’s deconstruct it and learn some tips.

pizza, salad, bowl, blue, towel, salt, cellar
Ingredients for a food lovers gift

Steve says to think about your host.  Do they have any hobbies?  This gracious host has discovered cooking and frequently entertains friends and family.

Next, let’s find an unusual container instead of the standard gift bag.  We love this vivid blue melamine (unbreakable!) salad bowl.  Then we filled it with delicious pesto, gourmet salt and a pizza kit from Atlanta-based Bella Cucina.  Tuck in a matching blue tea towel for some extra love.  Now, let’s look at it all put together.

pizza, food, salt, blue, salad, bowl
Food Lovers Basket

Twirl some cellophane around it and tie it with a bow.  Now you’re ready to say Thank You and enjoy your time together.  Shop the look here.

blue, pizza, salad, salt, gift, basket, kitchen, food
Tie it with a bow!

We’re going to share these ideas throughout the spring, so stay tuned for more wonderful ideas to wow your host.  Of course, if you’re pressed for time, our team at steve mckenzie’s is ready to prepare your hostess gifts for you.

Missed this seminar?  Keep track of our whereabouts, classes and events by following our  Facebook page and Instagram.

May Luck be Your Lady Today

Happy St. Patrick’s Day all!! We hope the day is treating you well and you’re wearing a little green to celebrate…

Enjoy the festivities – and a green beer, if that’s your thing, during cocktail hour this evening – and have a wonderful day!!

Click here to check out our festive St. Patrick’s Day messages from the past three years… There are some gems to enjoy for sure!

Pack it up!

This past Friday was “National Pack Your Lunch Day” (yes, it seems there’s a day for everything) and it inspired us to get thinking about more creative ways to get us excited about lunchtime. Forget the boring brown bag – we’re revitalizing lunchtime with some fun additions to pump up your basic lunch from home and tantalize your taste buds with the promise of a delicious, mid-day pick-me-up!

Our first step – forgo those pb&js for something a little more exotic and healthful. Such as, this butternut squash and cranberry quinoa salad from Katya at Little Broken blog…

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND CRANBERRY QUINOA SALAD
  • 3 cups butternut squash, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (I used rainbow quinoa but any type will do)
  • 1½ cups water
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
  • ⅓ cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. toasted pumpkin seeds
  • salt and black pepper
Balsamic Vinaigrette
    • ½ cup olive oil
    • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tsp. honey
    • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • salt and black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange coated squash on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until squash is tender and lightly browned.
  3. While the squash is roasting, rinse quinoa under cold water until water runs clear. Place quinoa and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook partially covered until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  4. To assemble the salad, combine the cooked quinoa, roasted squash, cranberries, red onion, toasted pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and mix until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Chill in the refrigerator for couple hours and serve.
Balsamic Vinaigrette
  1. Whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

YUM. Now, that’ll get us excited for the lunch hour any day of the week! It’s fresh, flavorful and gluten free (a must for the McKenzie household).

MELAMINE CATALINA CEREAL BOWL

Another bonus to this salad, it’s beautiful to boot. You know they always say you eat with your eyes before your stomach, so we should make our food look as appetizing as possible. One way to do this is to drop the tupperware and serve your lunch in a dish more deserving of the effort you put into your meals. That’s where our melamine dishware comes in. It’s as beautiful as fine china, yet as durable as your plasticware. Bottom line, it’s brilliant and will make your lunch look lovely as well!

And how’s this for synergy – also last week, we also received an e-mail with a link to a post on The Edit about & “Recipes To Pack For Lunch This Week.” Wowzas… We don’t know what to go for first, the “Farmer’s Market Bowl” or the “Avocado Club Sandwich With Marinated Portobello Mushrooms?!?”

Although any of these amazing-sounding recipes are sure to elevate your traditional lunchtime fare, another easy way to make more of your packed meals are fabric napkins. We’re BIG fans of a classic fabric napkin and use them all day, every day. Steve and Jill have even been known to bring them on roadtrips!

LE JACQUARD ORIGAMI MULTI NAPKIN

Wrap your utensils in a fun fabric napkin and take your lunch to the next level!

So, please share – what are your favorite ways to make your typical weekday lunch a little special? We’d love to learn!

Our Top Five Takeaways from The Southern C Summit

You may remember we introduced the founders of The Southern Coterie in this blog post last year, after returning from presenting at the Charleston Southern C Summit. Well, we had the opportunity to attend the most recent summit, just last month at The Cloister on Sea Island… The location alone had us swooning. Add in some top notch online personalities, business owners and all around creative entrepreneurs and we knew we were in for a treat!

cloister-solarium
The stunning solarium ceiling at The Cloister on Sea Island

The summit was absolutely jam-packed and the amount of inspiration we’re feeling = unparalleled. We were thrilled by others who are following their passion and shared a bit about their journey with us – including Gray Malin, Lizzie Fortunato, Libbie Summers, Darcy Miller and many more.

Grey Owl Social for The Southern C Summit
Photo Credit: Grey Owl Social for The Southern C Summit

Here are our top five takeaways from what was an unforgettable event:

  1. Tell your story. We all have a story. Listen to another’s story. That’s what connects us as neighbors, people, shop owners, entrepreneurs, etc.

    Teresa Earnest Photography for The Southern C Summit
    Photo Credit: Teresa Earnest Photography for The Southern C Summit
  2. “Community over competition,” says Darcy Miller (from Martha Stewart Weddings) – value your industry relationships and be open to new ones. (Watch for some new steve mckenzie’s collaborations!)

    Photo Credit: Grey Owl Social for The Southern C Summit
    Catching up with the founders of Dear Keaton – Photo Credit: Grey Owl Social for The Southern C Summit
  3. Shoppers want experiences – the smells, tastes, textures, and learning opportunities they encounter all build the greater picture of what our brand means.

    Grey Owl Social for The Southern C Summit
    Photo Credit: Grey Owl Social for The Southern C Summit
  4. Think outside the box. This may sound obvious to some of us creative types, but what’s considered “out of the box” in our industry changes often and this bears repeating.

    Photo Credit: Teresa Earnest Photography for The Southern C Summit
    Photo Credit: Teresa Earnest Photography for The Southern C Summit
  5. Follow the Golden Rule. Sounds simple, right? In our everyday hustle and bustle, the golden rule may not be top of mind. But, if we can always remember to treat others as we’d like to be treated, a positive influence we will be.
Photo Credit: Teresa Earnest Photography for The Southern C Summit
Photo Credit: Teresa Earnest Photography for The Southern C Summit

We’re so honored to have been a part of this fantastic summit, along with so many inspiring individuals. We cannot wait to begin putting all our takeaways to good use, so be prepared for some pretty exciting things happening in the near future for steve mckenzie’s.

Grey Owl Social for The Southern C Summit
Steve’s workshop “Plan B:  Reinvention” – Photo Credit: Grey Owl Social for The Southern C Summit

If you weren’t able to attend The Southern C. Summit at Sea Island, we hope our top highlights aid you in your journey. And, we highly recommend you make plans to attend the next Summit; they’re not to be missed!