steve mckenzie’s, Lately…

We’ve been busy as of late – and have a lot to show for it! Just thought we’d share a quick catch-up here on the blog and fill you in on what we’ve been up to here at steve mckenzie’s.

A highlight of the last month was the reveal of our Mart vignette! In partnership with Castelle Luxury, we created a French Rivera inspired space with their beautiful outdoor Solstice collection. The White Party was an absolute blast and we were thrilled to host so many fantastic friends in our “beach side” vignette!

     Don’t you love this round Pomegranate Natural coffee table from Selamat?

During AmericasMart, Steve and Jill spent some time with the Selamat Designs team in their amazing space. Their blush vignette was an absolute showstopper and we’re even more fond of Thatcher and Shannon Davis – the duo behind Selamat Designs – than we were before!

In the press… We were beyond thrilled to see THREE of our products featured in the pages of House Beautiful’s July/August 2017 issue!! Although perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised as this orange tone does act as a bit of a signature for us. 😉

Their “Sunset Orange” story was a perfect place to showcase some of our most-loved textiles, including our gingham pattern in the Paprika colorway.

Our Loop Print fabric was highlighted, along with a Floralform Dipping Bowl by R. Wood Studios. Can we just say how much we love orange?!? And we’re so happy to see our products featured in this lovely story!

Lastly, we were offered the opportunity to create our dream picnic setup by the folks at Atlanta Magazine – and did they pick the right team or what?! From location and food to textiles and tabletop, Steve and Jill thought of each and every detail and designed an absolutely swoonworthy spot for a lazy summer day!

And that about wraps it up – for now! There’s plenty happening at steve mckenzie’s and we invite you to come visit our showroom and join in on the excitement! You never know if you’ll be walking into a cocktail party, art show or even a crafting event – and we’d love to have you at any of them.

A Tropical Transformation: McKenzie Design’s 2017 Historic Macon Showhouse Dining Room

Our space in this year’s Design, Wine & Dine Showhouse, supporting the Historic Macon Foundation is finally complete! While we’re delighted with the way the dining room by McKenzie Design turned out, we’re even more thrilled to have been in the company of such talented designers from throughout Middle-Georgia, including Lisa Bellwin, Tracy BentonSally DraughonValerie Garrett, Judy Hodgens, Terry Holland, Carolyn Reichert, Carrie Robinson and Katherine Walden.

Most recently, our design team has been inspired by the all the lush, tropical motifs, which seem to be popping up everywhere! While we wanted to ensure we respected the history of the fantastic Porter House – moved to Weslyan University‘s campus – we also wanted to present our take with an updated sense of tradition. We’re so pleased with the results of our design plan, and are lucky to have had the opportunity to partner with some truly terrific manufacturers and artisans to help us realize our space…

We fell in love with Sherwin Williams’ “Iverness” and opted to use this luxurious hue throughout the dining room. The brass Pagoda light fixture by Currey & Company was a true jewel in the space! The cerused oak dining table, from Grange Furniture, was an ideal backdrop for our tablescape.

We had a ball with all of the fabulous Thibaut Design textiles used in the dining room – the “Tropical Fantasy” design from their Biscayne collection was the jumping off point and we went from there. Drape 98 provided all drapery fabrication for our space. As evidenced by the McKenzie Design showhouse dining space, we fell in love with the tropical, yet classic, design of our primary textile, featuring large leaves, colorful ginger jars and exotic animals.

The lush texture of the Moss colored velvet, paired with Selamat’s Sheridan wingback chair offered a smart juxtaposition of textures, and offers a natural element. These dramatic chairs, act as the “head” of our dining table, while the Sika Rossini chairs, act as the side chairs. Our showhouse dining space is anchored with a stunning, hand-knotted rug by Laura Walker for Verde Home.

This beautiful settee is by Bjork Studio, who provided all our upholstery. The settee, in bold animal print (Amur from the Menagerie Collection by Thibaut) is a highlight in the space and was the most talked about piece opening night – by far.

The hand finished mirror situated above the fireplace cannot go unnoticed. It’s by artist Stacy Milburn, and added needed contemporary element, which offers an exciting energy.

To set the table, we paired pieces from the new Jardins Extraordinaire collection by Gien with the classic handmade Chartreuse dinner plate by R Wood Studios. The exciting and fresh “Pebble in Blush” napkin, hand printed in India, by Collier Rose Ink, completes a memorable place setting.

Recently, we acquired six vintage pieces of glass from an old Midwest factory that still had the papers attached. Framed in these stunning steel frames, they make for an interesting, contemporary addition to the space, yet share a storied past. We love using pieces with a bit of history in our designs!

This glimpse of our showhouse tabletop is one of our favorite moments. We dubbed this little guy “Otis,” after Otis Redding, who was from Macon. He is by Avala International. In the background is the beautiful oyster vase, by Vine Garden Market, and a crystal votive from Harmonious Living by Tish Mills.

We hope you have enjoyed this little tour of our showhouse dining room! If you’d like to learn more about any of the products used, please plan a visit to our showroom or reach out via e-mail or phone.

We urge you to plan a trip to Macon to visit the showroom – the house, as well as all related Design, Wine & Dine events are absolutely worth the short drive! Please reach out to us for restaurant recommendations and be prepared to be inspired by this historic city. Visit the Macon, GA website for other fun excursions to enjoy while there. But, keep in mind, the showhouse will only be open through the 25th – you can see more details here.

Thanks again for joining us on this tour – please let us know your thoughts!

All photos in this post are courtesy of Marc Mauldin Photography except the photo of the Porter House from Historic Macon Foundation

Join us as we Design, Wine & Dine in Macon!

Once again, we’re proud to have an opportunity to participate in the Design, Wine & Dine, supporting historic Macon, Georgia! In addition to the many exciting experiences taking place June 15-25, a feature will be the designer showhouse; in which, a dining room by McKenzie Design will be a highlight!

This year’s home is truly special – it’s the Porter House on Wesleyan College’s campus. Historic Macon worked with Wesleyan College to move the Porter House from its original location in South Macon when it was donated to the college in 2013. The house has elements of the Tudor Revival and Chateauesque styles. Wesleyan has retained many of the house’s features, including the original ceramic tile roof, wooden floors, built-in cabinets, casement windows, and intricate wormy chestnut woodwork.

The Porter House was built in 1928 for James Hyde Porter and his family as a summer retreat. The house was designed by architects W. Elliot Dunwody and William F. Oliphant. The Porter family donated the house to Wesleyan College, the first women’s college in the United States, in 2013. After moving the structure from its original location in South Macon to its campus, Wesleyan College completed an extensive restoration of the house with help from Dunwody Beeland Architects.

Now Steve, alongside a slew of talented, local designers, will revitalize the interior of this fantastic home, thanks to some high design. Steve’s space, partially seen in the above image, is a fantastic, blank palette of a dining space, which will be transformed into something spectacular!

Here’s a glimpse of what’s to come in the Porter House dining room – a quick, behind-the-scenes shot taken during install.  


And a little sneak peek of the tablescape being designed for the showhouse… Just dreamy!

Check back soon to see the big reveal, and be sure to plan a visit to Macon soon to enjoy all their Design, Wine & Dine events have to offer!

Awards abound for steve mckenzie’s!

We’re feeling pretty astounded here sitting on the heels of two amazing titles awarded to steve mckenzie’s!

Steve & Debbie with their ASID Silver Award

A recent kitchen in a full home remodel project recently received the ASID Georgia Chapter Design Excellence Award, Residential-Kitchen, SILVER AWARD!!


Steve McKenzie, along with Debbie Blumencranz of Design Galleria, are honored to have their “Baking Kitchen Remodel” project granted the ASID Silver Award!


The big feature for this kitchen is the light blue La Cornue stove in a 1910 Candler Park home. The full project was highlighted in this Style Blueprint feature!


Another thrilling accolade for our team here – Steve specifically – was a top recognition in a floral design competition. After taking a class in floral composition with Christy Griner Hulsey of Colonial House of Flowers, Steve, along with his classmates were given a design challenge. They had to use Mayesh Wholesale flowers to create a stunning arrangement in a caraway vessel from Accent Decor. As one of only two non-florists in the group, Steve wasn’t sure of his chances, but low and behold – he won!!  Follow along on Instagram for more design details.

Each of these honors was such a wonderful surprise and really sweetened our summer!! Reach out to the team here at steve mckenzie’s if we may be able to bring a little of our award winning style into your space.

Who you NEED to meet: Elizabeth Fowler

We’re absolutely delighted to introduce you to one of the most exciting artists to come out of the South in some time, Elizabeth Fowler! And we’re even more excited to share that we’ll be hosting Elizabeth’s art debut in Atlanta on June 8th – mark your calendars now!!

Elizabeth is fun, dynamic and her work will have you using all the heart eye emoji’s you can handle. She’s a true professional; absolutely polished and totally poised for even bigger and better things. We’re thrilled Elizabeth will be showcasing some of her work at steve mckenzie’s and wanted to give you a glimpse into who she is before the big debut. We hope you enjoy this latest installment in our “Who you NEED to Meet” blog series!

Elizabeth Fowler

Elizabeth Fowler lives in Jackson, MS. She graduated from The University of Alabama with a degree in Communication and Information Sciences. She began painting in March of 2016 and has since held successful pop up exhibitions at the Mississippi Museum of Art After Hours series, Courtney Peters Design and Adam Trest Home.

In 2016, her work was included in the Fondren Renaissance Foundation’s annual Cedars Juried Art Show and she was named one of Portico Magazine’s 2016 Artists Rising. This year, Elizabeth was included in the self-portrait exhibition at Fischer Gallery in Jackson.

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

EF: I spent the first 13 years of my career in marketing project management, client relations and new business development. I’d always had a desire to do something more physical and more creative. To create a “product” of some sort. A little over a year ago, I left my marketing post not knowing what my next step would be. The main goal was to focus more acutely on raising my 4 year old daughter, nurture my true self, better support my husband and pay more attention to our household. But mainly nourish my then-depleted soul.

I really wrestled with what I would “do next” to make a mark, prove value or justify existence. I received the greatest gift of all…. the luxury of rest and the ability to wait. I thought about going back to school but wasn’t sure how I’d select between multiple interests. I thought about beginning to write but wasn’t sure what my goal would be with the writing and frankly was afraid I’d get lost in my own musings. Then, I remembered painting. I chose painting because I thought it might be the most reasonable way for me to export parts of my spirit.

There were many fears. But, I realized that I really had nothing to lose and just went for it. In short order, I had sold several paintings and was very encouraged to keep going. The work just started pouring out of me. The act of painting was so meditative and healing for me and I loved that it opened me up to so many new relationships with other artists, collectors, etc.

One year later, I realize that this year of painting, resting, trusting has been the best year of my life. That joy is the fuel for growing my body of work and continuing to stretch my abilities.

sm’s: What inspires you/your art? 

EF: Wow. So much.

I’m inspired by materials and processes. I love nothing more than testing new materials and processes.

Other artists. The more I paint, the more I hunger for imagery created by others.  I love it when I think that I’ve seen great art and then I’m introduced to a new artist and my entire paradigm for “good work” is shattered and recreated.

I’m inspired by beautiful weather. I paint out of doors at my home. The light filtered through the tress in my backyard on a 70 degree day is irresistible.

I’m inspired by the forces behind the development and sustenance of the natural world.

I’m also frequently inspired by Instagram photos before they fully load. You know when they’re still blurry and abstract. The most mundane subject matter becomes SO visually interesting when blurred! I always want to paint after seeing those — thank God for slow internet connection!
sm’s: What is your vision, not only for the Elizabeth Fowler Art brand, but also the individual pieces you create?
EF: I don’t consider myself to be a brand. About 8 months ago, I tried to think of myself/ my work in that way and I learned that it took the life out of it for me. So now, I just paint what I paint. Even though my pieces vary in color and theme, they usually all carry the mark of my collective experience. I’m not sure quite how that happens, but the marks end up relating all of my paintings to each other.
I paint intuitively, so I don’t go into a body of work with an expectation or vision. Correction…. Sometimes I do and my intuition takes over, yielding something that in NO WAY reflects my original intention. The piece comes out and it is what it is (forgive the overused expression!). What I hope for each piece is that someone will be drawn to it, appreciate it, buy it and enjoy it.

sm’s: Do you have any “mainstays” in your work – is there something you’re always drawn to? 
EF: If you asked my mentors and art advisors, they’d say “YES!” but, my answer is that I’m so new at this that I couldn’t say there are elements that I cling to. Of course there are tools in my kit that I pull out. Drizzling, dripping, spraying, doodling.
sm’s: What are the differences in your collections – i.e. how do you create such unique pieces that remain a part of one, cohesive line? 
EF: I  paint collections in sessions. On any given day, I’ll put down 3-10 pieces of paper or canvas and paint in succession until they’re complete. Once those are finished, I really can’t replicate it. The work itself is a record of the weather that day, my mood and the materials that were available to me at that moment.
The pieces are cohesive because they all come from the same point of origin, me.

sm’s: What do people need to consider when looking to purchase one of your pieces? 

EF: I think that the only thing that is required to purchase one of my pieces is connection. A connection with the piece. The owner’s connection with the piece, which might be completely different from my connection with the piece. The painting is like a person…. It’s allowed to have different connections with different people.

The second thing that would be nice is a connection between the buyer and me. I love people. I love when I really get to know who they are. I realize that the more work I sell, the harder it’ll be to truly connect with every buyer. But I’d love it if that were possible. I want people to look at my work in their space and feel a warmth because they love the work but also to feel as though they’ve purchased a spec of my being and are able to celebrate the moment I made the piece.
sm’s: What’s on the horizon for you/Elizabeth Fowler Art? 
EF: The thing that I MOST love about life is the unpredictably of it all. Two years ago I was working to help proliferate a casual dining brand with NO IDEA that I’d be painting. Six months ago, I couldn’t have imagined that I’d meet and connect with some of the artists with whom I’ve been fortunate to form unique bonds. LIFE IS AMAZING! That being said.

In the next year, I’d like to amp up my presentation and land a two-person or solo gallery show. I’ve just hung my first solo show in a community gallery. My next step is to work with a full-time commercial gallery on a show.

sm’s: As an artist/business person how do you recharge? 
EF: Funny. Painting is the recharge for me. I paint about two days a week and it is such a catharsis for me. It’s important for me to maintain a balance in my life. Elements in that balance are quality time with friends and family, travel, afternoon cocktails with my husband (Mint Juelps), play with my daughter…. And sleep. I love to sleep. It’s the only time I can get my mind to stop. 🙂

sm’s: Anything else you can think our readers would enjoy learning about you/your business/artwork? 
EF: Come see me! I want to meet you, hear from you, get to know you!
And she means it – and we’re offering the perfect opportunity for you to interact with the artist. Her Atlanta debut on June 8th… We look forward to seeing you there! Contact the team at steve mckenzie’s with any questions.

En Vogue with The Vine

Please meet our latest obsession – The Vine. A combination landscape design, event design and garden market located on St. Simons Island, The Vine offers a distinct approach to curating some of life’s most special events.

 

We’re so pleased to have the opportunity to partner with the team behind The Vine, Bryce Vann Brock and Kelly Revels, on a couple very special events at the steve mckenzie’s showroom this week. An evening of Wine with The Vine Thursday and a terrarium making class Friday morning.

Learn a bit about Bryce and Kelly and how The Vine came to fruition:

The Vine was created in 2008 by Bryce Vann Brock and Kelly Revels. This marked an exciting new chapter in a wonderful story that was already being written by their work together at The Sea Island Resort. Bryce served as the resort’s Landscape Director for several years while Kelly specialized there in landscape container design. Together they designed and created spectacular events both small and large at the resort while dreaming of one day combining their talents and energy to form their own business. Today, that talent, energy and vision is embodied in The Vine. So as wonderful as our history is, we are convinced that the chapters yet to be written together will be even more compelling!

Spaces in the terrarium making class are filling up quickly, so reserve your spot now! And how timely is this class with Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday?!? Or, choose to keep your terrarium – they’re a stunning way to add a bit of life and a pop of green to your home or office!

At each of the events with The Vine, you’ll have an chance to preview the new Oyster Containers (available in three sizes), designed by the duo behind The Vine. Inspired by the abundance of natural beauty of the marsh, sea and sky that surrounds St. Simons, owners Kelly and Bryce worked with a local artist to create this organic container that reflects beauty of the area. A limited number of each size is arriving in mid-May.

Contact us today to reserve your Oyster Container or with any questions. Looking forward to enjoying Wine with The Vine Thursday evening and creating some spectacular terrariums in Friday morning’s class!

Tabletop Tuesday – Dreaming of a Derby Dinner

Our inspiration for today’s tabletop today is, of course the Kentucky Derby coming up this weekend, and these beautiful dishes of Julie Wear. Julie is recognized throughout the world for her Thoroughbred paintings. She has painted for notable horse owners and breeders throughout the equine world. Julie eventually turned this talent into a fine tableware line – and we’re so glad she did!

Our base for this is a French antique table, and our first layer is a charger of Julie’s in Cheval Black featuring the iconic snaffle bit. The sophisticated gold detailing combined with the black creates the foundation of a beautiful tablescape.

We paired this with her dinner plate of the same pattern in chestnut brown, adding warmth and interest with layers.

To top the dishes off we have used a salad plate by Julie in her Bluegrass pattern. Featuring the iconic Kentucky Thoroughbreds, this design was made for a derby dinner, but will serve as a smart setting all year round!

For the beverage service, we used a highball by Sideshow Press featuring their Lucky pattern and an iconic mint julep cup – not just for juleps anymore!

To continue the theme, we incorporated a beautiful set of vintage brass cutlery from the mid 20th century made in Thailand, which was found at a flea market. The vintage element adds depth and personality.

Next, a folded Le Jacquard napkin was tucked in the highball glass for an pop of color. To make it a little more fun,  a horseshoe cocktail pick offers even more personality!

You know we love adding unique floral to our tables and once again, partnered with Weston Farms to create these pheasant feather arrangements. Weston Farm’s iconic magnolias are combined with roses to create magnificent floral decor for our Derby Dinner tabletop.

Once the floral is placed, it’s time to enjoy a Mint Julep and a fun Derby Dinner with friends!

What are you up to this Derby Saturday?!? If you’ll be hosting a little soiree, stop in to the showroom and the steve mckenzie’s team will help you select the essentials for your equine-themed gathering!