Library Friday – Florence Broadhurst: Her Secret & Extraordinary Lives

In honor of the launch of the new Florence Broadhurst collection by Selamat, this Library Friday is about the fantastical life – or lives – of the Australian handprint wallpaper designer, Florence Broadhurst.

Florence Broadhurst
Florence Broadhurst

Florence Broadhurst: Her Secret & Extraordinary Lives is a dazzling portrait of one woman’s flair for the theatrics in life and her mysterious unsolved death.

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Throughout history, our society has been drawn to the idea of transformation.  Whether it is a peasant girl becoming a princes with glass slippers, or a man who is wrongfully imprisoned turning himself into the Count of Monte Cristo.  Even in today’s society we are consumed with hiding our true identity. We all know the phrase ”what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”  Florence Broadhurst was a woman way before her years.  By the early 1920’s, she was touring with a performance group in South East Asia and China.  Eventually she established a finishing school in Shanghai.  After that venture she moved to England as a French fashion designer.

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By the early 1950’s she moved back to Australia with her husband and son.  There she re-imagined herself as a high society aristocratic English lady.  Through a love and hobby of art she became a well know painter and eventually a hand drawn/ hand printed wallpaper designer.  She created bright, bold patterns inspired by her worldly travels. Her death in 1977 is still an unsolved case.

This publication is a must for anyone who has a deep love for life, intrigue, reinventing of identities, and a passion for stunning, bright, bold patterns.

As an exciting aside, steve mckenzie’s is thrilled to be carrying the new Florence Broadhurst collection by Selamat and we’ll be celebrating our new offering at a launch party on Wednesday, September 7th. Reach out to the team at steve mckenzie’s for more info!

Here’s to Library Friday!!

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!

Library Friday: April Fools Day Edition – Paul Smith A to Z

It’s not just any Friday, It’s April Fools Day!! To pay homage to this international day of light-hearted pranks and jest, I selected a particularly cleaver read, “Paul Smith: A to Z” (Paul Smith in conversation with Oliver Wicker).

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Although small, this book is filled with interesting and fun facts about Paul Smith, the British fashion designer whose brand goes far beyond his first line of tailored menswear suits.  Now he has a women’s, children’s, and even home accessories lines.  Oliver Wicker’s book is designed similarly to a children’s alphabet book, A is for Apple, but replace “Apple” with “Abby Road, for example, and include a brief description on why it is important to Smith.

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As you flip through the pages, you find Smith is a very fun and carefree personality.  He talks about so many aspects of his life, from his childhood hero to his chaotic mess of an office.  The illustrations are artistic as well.  Photos of graffiti walls, collection of wind-up toys, and family photos surround each description of the Paul Smith alphabet.

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You will find yourself smiling and thinking, “I know someone like this!”  I’m sure y’all will think of a friend or family member who will immediately enter your mind when you start “Paul Smith: A to Z.” To all of you who love to smile, take a peak into this book.

Happy Foolin’ Day,

Xavier Neuner

Library Friday – Living Traditions: Interiors by Matthew Patrick Smyth

steve mckenzie’s team member, Xavier Neuner is back this week with another edition of “Library Friday,” a blog post featuring a book from our stash of fantastic, beautiful reads!

Xavier Neuner
Xavier Neuner

This time around, Xavier selected a book featuring stunning interiors by our friend – and steve mckenzie’s Tastemaker – Matthew Patrick Smyth.

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The book titled “Living Traditions” was written with Judith Nasatir and highlights some of Smyth’s amazing interior designs, as captured by Principal Photographer, John Gruen.

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From Xavier:

Matthew Patrick Smyth is a New York based designer who has a keen sense of visual balance.  Images of his interiors showcase Smyth’s unique way of incorporating furniture, art and collectibles in many different styles; yet his spaces do not seem cluttered or over worked. 

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Smyth’s rooms are timeless and showcase each client’s personality.  As you flip through the pages of his book, you will read his tips and rules on design while viewing an array of spaces, including a very traditional home in West Point, with oil paintings, floral wallpaper and colonial and federal antiques. 

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Another section invites you to a Park Avenue apartment, whose living room features a woven animal print rug along with modern colorful art on the walls. 

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He has a way with blending contemporary items with antiques to create a space that is both familiar and still forward thinking.  Overall it is a fantastic book to add to your library or place on top of your coffee table.

Thank you for the book review Xavier, and for selecting a work that highlights so many amazing spaces by our friend, Matthew Patrick Smyth!

We invite you all to visit the steve mckenzie’s showroom and peruse our library, where you’re sure to find something intriguing.

Holiday Gift Guide: Fabulous Book Roundup!

Instead of doing a general holiday gift guide for our readers as we’ve done in the past, this time around we’re focusing on fabulous books for everyone on your list! After all, who doesn’t love a good (or beautiful) book?!? Even if your loved ones aren’t avid readers, we promise there’s a wonderful read out there they’ll love to receive!

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As you probably know, from our “Library Friday” posts, we’re book fans around here. Although those posts generally feature reads focused on art and design, we’re also fans of beautiful and informational cookbooks, so this list includes some fantastic finds for the foodies in your life too. Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite books we think will be top gifts for everyone on your list this year – and here’s the best part… They’re all in stock and ready to be gift wrapped at steve mckenzie’s:

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My Stylish French GirlfriendsMeet 20 beautiful, creative French women who live with passion; work every day; and love to take care ot their homes and families. Visit them in their grand chateaux or charming little country cottages or Parisian apartments. Learn where they shop, where they work, where they play, how they dress, and how they entertain. Absorb each girlfriend’s style and joie de vivre.” This will be a favorite gift your best girlfriends will absolutely adore!

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The Night Before Christmas in The South/Paris – Join Santa and Mrs. Clause on alternative “night before” adventures to two of our personal favorite locales… South of the Mason-Dixon line and Paris! Each of these is less than $10 and would make an ideal gift for a teacher, friend, hairdresser – even your postman or postwoman would delight in these fun reads!

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“All Aboard” books – “This board book series written by the husband and wife team of Haily and Kevin Meyers and illustrated by Haily, celebrates the unique qualities of each city while employing a fun primer element to tell the story. A wonderful and cherished item in any little’s library, these books are as fun to look at as they are to read. And they offer wonderful inspiration for learning more about our world and all the wonderful places there are to visit!

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Monograms for the Home – “While monograms have a rich history going all the way back to the sixth century BC, they’re anything but outdated. Luscious photography and Whitman’s expressive writing peppered with quotes from etiquette experts shows that monogramming is still very much in vogue.” Monogramming… a way of life for some of us here in the South, this book explores the history of this beautiful art, as well as how they can be used in homes today. Include a beautifully monogrammed tea towel with this book and you have a gift that won’t soon be forgotten!

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Fifth Avenue Style – “In this gorgeously illustrated volume, Slatkin, an interior designer and founder of the iconic home-fragrance and lifestyle brand Slatkin & Co., opens the doors of his legendary Fifth Avenue apartment and invites readers to accompany him on an intimate tour.” We love this inside look at a seriously luxurious space located in NYC’s most prized location, but what we love even more are the practical tips shared on making spaces functional as well as lovely.

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In With The Old Peak of Chic blog author, Jennifer Boles, “presents a charming encyclopedia of 100 of the most stylish decorating details (chintz, striped walls, and orangeries) that were favored by the great tastemakers of the twentieth century. Best of all, Jennifer gives helpful tips on decorating with these traditional flourishes today.” If you enjoy Boles’ blog, you’ll love this book, which will be a perfect addition to just about anyone’s coffee table collection.

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Modern Mix – “In this richly illustrated style guide from an unabashed hoarder of all things beautiful, design editor and entertaining expert Eddie Ross reveals his insider secrets to creating exciting interiors, table settings and parties with chic and accessible finds that celebrate who you are and what you love.” We’ve shared this book on the blog before, and even held a book signing soiree with authors Eddie Ross and Jaithan Kochar, but this vibrantly styled book should be at the top of your list for anyone who enjoys searching for treasures for the home.

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Poolside with Slim Aarons – The timeless photographer, Slim Aarons is back, offering “images of jet-setters and the wealthy, of beautiful, glittering people living the glamorous life … The main character is pools and everything that goes with them—magnificent, suntanned bodies; well-oiled skin; bikini-clad women; yachts; summer cocktails; sumptuous buffets; spectacular locations; and most of all: fun.” Here at steve mckenzie’s we’re big fans of Slim Aarons photography and this stunning book does not disappoint. It would make an unbelievable gift for any of your loved ones whose favorite season is summer… Now they can enjoy it all year long!

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Fortuny Interiors – “Manufactured in Venice, Italy, textiles by Fortuny have borne the standard of quality and excellence for a hundred years. For walls, sofas, pillows, draperies, bed coverings, tablecloths, and even napkins, the sumptuous art of Fortuny textiles has been decorating old world and new world homes for generations.” Fortuny makes some of the most beautiful textiles available today, and in this gorgeous read you can see them in some of the interiors they grace. An ideal book for the artisan or interiors appreciator in your life.

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French Comfort Food – “Collected here are recipes from friends and acquaintances Hillary Davis has made while living in France, recipes handed down through the years as well as modern family remakes of the originals.” French. Comfort. Food. Need we say more? Literally anyone on your list will love this book, whether they’re gourmets or just enjoy looking and salivating over amazing food creations.

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Mastering the Art of Southern Vegetables – “Building on their reputation as James Beard Award winners, Dupree and Graubart have excerpted their best vegetable recipes (plus added some new ones) in this timely collection.” A wonderful addition to any southerner’s cookbook library, we love that this book is organized alphabetically by vegetable and offers the basics of cooking each one, along with both new and classic preparations.

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Shrimp & Grits Cookbook – “Nathalie Dupree was ahead of the curve eight years ago with her classic book Shrimp and Grits. Now this Lowcountry comfort combo is found on restaurant menus all around the country―from top to bottom, coast to coast. All-new photography, new recipes from southern chefs, and a fresh design revamp a southern food cookbook for gift giving or one’s own kitchen library.” A revised edition of a staple in any southern kitchen library, this book would be a wonderful gift to newlyweds, or someone wanting to get to the heart of this classic southern coastal dish.

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Sweet & Vicious: Baking with Attitude – “An irreverent cookbook filled with inventive recipes for baking that deliver a punch.” A gift for any eccentric in your life who enjoys a unique sweet now and then. This is a fun cookbook, which could even inspire someone to start baking!

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The French Cook: Soups and Stews – “Holly Herrick loves France and French cooking. And in this cookbook (her third in The French Cook series), she jumps into bowl after bowl of glorious French soups with inspired abandon and a generous dose of classical technique.” A great book for any mother – or mother at heart – who enjoys bringing her family together around food. Is there any other food that brings folks to the kitchen like soups and stews?! We think not.

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The French Cook: Cream Puffs and Eclairs – “Classically French trained author Holly Herrick dips into the marvelously versatile world of choux pastry, or pâte à choux. The buttery, nutty, even-flavor of this dough invites myriad flavors, in both sweet and savory categories and in many shapes – cream puffs, éclairs, rings, and more.” For the decidedly more advanced foodie in your life, this is one glamorous and appetite inspiring cookbook will encourage them to try something new. And, who knows, perhaps they’ll share their trials from this book with you!

After that book gift guide roundup can you tell we enjoy just about anything and everything French and Paris?!? But truly, there are some seriously wonderful books on this list, which have the potential to inspire travel, decor, art and so much more! Tell us, what’s your favorite book you’ve ever been gifted?

And don’t forget, we do complimentary gift wrapping in store, so stop in and put a BIG dent in your gift list with some fabulous books!

Library Friday – Roy Lichtenstein In His Studio

We’re so happy to have steve mckenzie’s Team Member, Xavier Neuner, back with us today, sharing his most recent Library Friday post! This time around, he’s offering his take on “Roy Lichtenstein In His Studio.” Read on to learn what his thoughts are on this book about the iconic pop artist…

Xavier Neuner
Xavier Neuner

I am very excited about this book review! I’ve always loved Lichtenstein’s work.

Roy Lichtenstein in His Studio by Laurie Lambrecht
Roy Lichtenstein in His Studio
by Laurie Lambrecht

Thanks to Laurie Lambrecht the bar has been raised to a new level of favoritism. Lambrecht was lucky enough to be Lichtensteins assistant during the early 1990’s. 

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Laurie Lambrecht

One day he told her to bring a book to keep occupied while he was working.  Instead, she brought her new Hasselblad camera so she could experiment with composition and lighting.  Roy was more than supportive in her creativity learning. 

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Roy Lichtenstein

My mother always said, “Great opportunities come only once.”  In Laurie’s case, being allowed to take photos of a Pop Art legend during his last few years changed her life.  Her collection of photographs let the viewer see a glimpse into an artist’s creative process from inspiration to rough sketches, to the final product. 

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I personally thought Lichtenstein must have had a very steady hand to have such crisp edges in his paintings, but actually he covered his canvases in painters tape.  After the paint dried he slowly pealed the tape to reveal oversize comic book inspired work. 

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Again, as I flip through the pages I can’t help to think, if you approach a cross roads… Go for it. They could add to some of your most unforgettable moments in life . 

Go for it, for sure! We love seeing these books through Xavier’s eyes, and are so grateful to him for sharing his thoughts here with us.

So, what’s your take on this Library Friday selection?! Are you a Lichtenstein enthusiast like us?

Library Friday – Morris Louis Now: An American Master Revisited

Today, we’re reaching back out to steve mckenzie’s team member, Xavier Neuner, for his selection of another book from our library for this week’s Library Friday post…

Xavier Neuner
Xavier Neuner

We’re especially excited for this selection, and how he compares the work of this great artist to Steve’s own works, and how it seems to have served as inspiration for him. Read below for Xavier’s latest Library Friday pick:

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Today, I decided to discuss the Washington, D.C. based artist, Morris Louis

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Morris Louis

He is known for experimenting with Color Field painting, a style of abstract expressionism, characterized by large simplified compositions in which the use of color is independent of line and figuration. 

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Morris Louis Alpha-Pi (67.232)

This art movement was a popular choice among the New York painters during the 1940’s -1950’s, but Louis separated himself from the New York group and kept to himself in D.C. with his work. He would dilute an oil-based acrylic, which was created for him, and brush it into an unprimed canvas.

Morris Lewis, Point of Tranquility
Morris Lewis, Point of Tranquility

Eventually, Louis stopped using a paintbrush in order to get a more even and clean surface. I see resemblance with Steve’s walnut studies, which look watercolor-like.  It is obvious why Steve has this book in his library.  Inspiration can appear from the past or the present as we move forward in art and design.

Exactly our sentiment, Xavier – great selection! How do you feel about these abstract, colorful watercolor works? How do they speak to you??