The Top THREE Ways to Spruce Up Your Home for Holiday Guests

Hosting holiday guests may seem daunting, but we’ve got three easy ways to refresh your home for guests – and they’re all 30% OFF right now, at steve mckenzie’s, so they won’t break the bank!

  1. Pillows. New pillows can instantly- and beautifully – update any sofa, chair, bed, chaise, settee, etc…. you get the picture. And has steve mckenzie’s got a fantastic selection for you! Here are a few of our current favorites:
This “Southern Toile” design, by Adam Trest, is an absolute stunner in person and available at a fantastic price point – especially given our current promotion! And it’s offered in a range of colorways, including this delicious cranberry red, ideal for the holidays.
Add a touch of sparkle with this sequin and linen pillow in a greek-key inspired design. A design like this will go with just about any decor and will be a memorable touch for guests!

    These polka dot linen pillows, based off of Steve’s fine art, will add a sense of fun a whimsy to a space!

Lamps. Not only will a new lamp help brighten a dim space, they can provide a bit of sparkle in a room, jewelry for your current home decor ensemble, if you will. A fantastic lamp can also provide a stunning sculptural element and add needed height on tables which may be lacking. But, a good lamp can be hard to come by. Good thing you have access to the experts, and a glorious selection at steve mckenzie’s; including these:

Blue and white is a timeless combination for interiors and when done in the chinoiserie style, looks effortlessly stylish!
A desk lamp perfectly placed in a guest room offers such a warm, thoughtful touch. And the gracious lines of this lamp are sure to add a designer touch!

Throws. Much like pillows, a new blanket or throw can do so much for a space. It can add the perfect pop of color to your bedding, offer loads of texture when draped over the corner of a sofa or provide softness and warmth set over the back of your Adirondack chairs near the fire pit. Here are a few fabulous options currently in stock:

And remember, all of these – plus SO many more – are available at steve mckenzie’s, 30% off now, through the end of the holidays! Please stop in today for best selection and let one of our team members help make selections both you, and your holiday guests will adore.

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How to Set the Perfect Autumn Table

Earlier this fall we had the pleasure of collaborating with Lisa Rieves, owner of The Front Porch of Vinings, to design a dinner party bursting with the colors of autumn and BIG on style. The backdrop could not have been more perfect; we staged our table setting in Lisa’s beautiful home and this provided direction of the rest of decor.

As you know, we love starting with floral and the centerpiece for party was no different! Floral was purchased from Trader Joe’s the morning of the event – this really gave us that fall color and helped establish the palette. Our selections included roses, gerber daisies, sunflowers, and little petite daisies.  But we think the actually came from a walk together with Lisa through her beautiful garden gathering hydrangea, ferns, branches and vines. We set the centerpiece in a lovely lichen and moss-covered urn Lisa already had and combined the greens and flowers for an abundant, yet casual arrangement. The floral, coupled with Lisa’s beautiful distressed candlesticks, set the stage for the rest of the tablescape.

We then turned to Lisa’s gorgeous open shelves, abundant with dishes, glasses, serving pieces and more – this is when the fun really began! Lisa purchased her Gien and Le Jacquard Francais from our showroom and it looks just stunning presented this way in her home!

As the base for our placesettings, we chose these beautiful, boxwood placemats, which can be found at The Front Porch of Vinings. The green makes such a lovely, lush grounding for the charger and dishes, coming up next…

We then turned to this beautiful Pont aux Choux (in Cream) as the charger from Gien. We love the detail the scalloped handles provide.

The dinner plate is Gien’s Pont aux Choux in Taupe, which sets an earthy, autumn tone to the overall setting.

The Gien Chanterelle dish acts as our salad plate and offers detail and interest to the overall setup.

We then completed the placesetting with a Chanterelle collection bread plate, Gien soup bowl (in Taupe) and vintage silver-plate cutlery, tied with twine from The Front Porch of Vinings, and a Le Jacquard Francais napkin.

For the beverage service, we used a beautiful cut-glass stem vessel as well as a Ball Mason Jar to add a bit of that down-home, comfortable fall feel.

Here is a quick look at the layers all coming together:

The finished look combined with the floral created a truly magical fall evening!

Together, Steve and Lisa had a wonderful day setting the perfect autumn table!

We want to thank Lisa for opening up her beautiful home and collaborating with us on this fun dinner party.

*All photos by Katheryn McCrary Photography

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This Fall’s Entertainer’s Must-Haves

Can you believe Thanksgiving is only a month away?!? As we quickly approach our favorite time of year, we’re taking stock of the butler’s pantry and linen closet and planning out all the detailing surrounding the main meal itself.

steve mckenzie’s has everything you’ll need to set, serve, savor and ensure success of your Thanksgiving meal! We’ve pulled together a quick list of this fall’s entertainer’s must-haves to prepare for a memorable get together, your friends and family won’t soon forget:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something Melamine 

For us, melamine is an entertainer’s dream… It looks high end, but is practically indestructible! And appetizer time is an ideal time to set these pieces out. Your guests will be milling around visiting, snacking, perhaps cooking and the last thin you’ll want to worry about is a chipped or broken dish. This chip and dip set and appetizer plate set by Le Cadeaux would be a beautiful start to your meal, and practical to boot!

 

Designer Candles

Gorgeous taper candles are an amazing way to really amplify your tablescape. Forget the boring white candles, these high fashion tapers will offer a while new dimension and additional sparkle. Made with the finest beeswax, these candles have a burn time of 11 hours, so your Thanksgiving dinner will be all aglow, as will the next day’s brunch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfectly Poised Accents

You’ve got your china and your serving pieces all squared away. But, how about those tabletop accent pieces that say you’ve thought of each and every detail. It’s these pieces that help guests feel at home and encourage lingering… This small, 8″ tray by R. Wood Studio is so versatile – be it cheeses, olives or other charcuterie, these tiny nibbles are an ideal accompaniment to any celebratory meal, and this little dish is the perfect vessel! Next, a few smartly placed white marble salt cellars (yes, the gold spoon is included ;-)) will show guests no detail was overlooked and their comfort is paramount… down to ensuring perfect seasoning for each plate.

And there’s so much more we have to offer all the entertainers out there both in-store and online via the new steve mckenzie’s website. We’d love to have the opportunity to help you select the ideal pieces to make this holiday special or even pick the perfect hostess gift if you’ll be celebrating outside of your home!

Hazen & Co. Jewelry – giveaway sneak peek!

We are so excited to share a little giveaway we have planned for our friends out there, featuring one of our favorite, new (to us) jewelry brands – Hazen & Co.!

Started by the amazing Taylor Miller (at the age of nine, we might add!), Hazen & Co. is so much more than pretty jewelry. Taylor’s pieces are handmade in Texas and her ever-changing collections expand beyond jewelry to hair and even home accessories, creating a true Hazen lifestyle brand.

Taylor Miller of Hazen & Co.

Our friend Paige Minear (and past Tastemaker!) wrote a truly delightful interview post featuring Taylor and Hazen & Co. for The Southern Coterie, which can be seen here.

Taylor’s creations are playful, yet sophisticated and are downright charming. They’re an ideal way to pull an ensemble together and will always garner rave remarks.

We are absolutely tickled to offer a giveaway for a Hazen & Co. gold Clover Necklace via the steve mckenzie’s Instagram account! The giveaway is set to begin tomorrow, so please keep an eye out for that post, which will share how you’ll be able to earn a chance (or two!) at winning this fantastic piece.

Hazen’s clover necklace makes a pretty, delicate statement on its own, or it’s wonderful layered with other pieces. We’re pretty sure it’ll become a go-to for our lucky winner…

Stop by the steve mckenzie’s showroom and see some lovely Hazen & Co. pieces, which are a part of a stunning array of jewelry currently on display. And good luck in our Hazen & Co. clover necklace giveaway!!

Falling for these Favorites

Fall is here! Although there may not be much of a chill in the air, and we just weathered Tropical Storm Irma, Autumn is upon us. We have so many goodies to share with you all this fall and wanted to go ahead and showcase a few of our current favorites. Along with a “fall favorite” recipe from the pages of Garden & Gun magazine – ideal for these cooler evenings we’ve been enjoying! Let us know what you think of our fall favorite selections…

This set of 12 bamboo horseshoe picks are ideal for game day, or just about any get together! Add a bit of flare and personality to your martini, cheese tray or crockpot meatballs with these “lucky” picks!

Look effortlessly chic selecting your fall favorites from the farmer’s market with this basket. Large enough to carry a load of turnips, squash and just about anything you’ll want to bring home from the market – and stylish to boot!

Bring a bit of nature into your home this fall with this awesome hand screen printed buck throw pillow – printed and sewn in Bucks County, PA! This big guy will definitely add some personality to your sofa. Also a great gift idea for the outdoor enthusiast in your life!

Here’s one of our fall favorites, ideal for all of you entertainers… Our Loop Indigo Ice Bucket. This will be sure to dress up any tailgate or pretty up any cocktail bar – fun and functional, all in one!

Speaking of a tailgate, how about our classic dice game to add a bit of excitement?!? This handsome set includes a stitched leather cup, five rainbow dice and a multi-game instruction booklet.

Finally – a current favorite fall recipe, Garden & Gun’s Spanish Chickpea Stew. It’s warming and hearty, but won’t weigh you down. And the flavors are to die for!

Spanish Chickpea Stew

Ingredients

    • 1 pound dried garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

    • 1½ pounds collard greens

    • 6 ounces salt pork, cut into ½-inch cubes

    • 2 large onions, finely chopped (2 cups)

    • 2 garlic cloves, minced

    • 1 cup canned crushed San Marzano tomatoes

    • 1 fresh or dried bay leaf

    • 1 teaspoon pimentón (smoked sweet paprika)

    • 1 ham hock

    • Kosher salt

    • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

Preparation

Cover the garbanzos with cold water by 4 inches in a large bowl. Cover and let stand overnight.

Wash the collards well, then stack 5 or 6 leaves. Cut out the stems and central ribs, slicing along the sides to form a “V.” Discard the stems. Roll up the leaves and cut crosswise to form 1-inch-wide ribbons.

Cook the salt pork in a large saucepot over medium heat until the fat renders, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the tomato and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bay leaf and pimentón.

Drain the garbanzos and stir into the pot, then add the ham hock and 8 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then stir in the collards and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring back to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the garbanzos and ham hock meat are tender, 1½ to 2 hours.

Remove the ham hock. When cool enough to handle, pull off the meat and return to the pot. Discard the bones and cartilage. Stir in the vinegar. Taste and add more salt if you think it needs it. Serve hot. The stew can be cooled and refrigerated in airtight containers for up 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop.

We suggest serving this alongside a crusty loaf of bread and a Spanish red wine – perfection!

Happy fall y’all – we hope to see you in the steve mckenzie’s showroom for a visit soon!

A sentimental post for empty-nesters…

As empty-nesters, this time of year always makes us feel a bit sentimental. Thinking of all those first days of school, bringing our oldest to college, dropping our youngest off to college. Coming back home, just the two of us… It’s bittersweet.

365 Bible Verses in this handy mini journal; satin bookmark included and gold corner pieces. A beautiful keepsake for your grown child.

While we’re so proud of our children and the people they’ve become – and looking forward to so much in the future (our middle child, Carter, just got engaged to his fiance Robin!) – there’s so much we miss about raising our children in a home we built around them.

Small Squares with Mighty Words™ is a simple box containing 50 brightly-colored cards with bible verses on each one. The wooden stands are hand-stained and packaged in the box with the cards. Made in the USA.

These days especially, kids seem to grow up so quickly. Maybe it’s the technology available to them and us, maybe that’s how all parents feel once their kids have flown the nest…?

A fun & funky “Celfie Vase” (in Caramel) for pens and pencils or even makeup brushes! Available in two sizes and three colors.

It seems the nagging of toddlers quickly transitioned into the sweet notes shared with our elementary and middle schoolers and then on to the long, heartfelt letters as the kids grew. Our communication styles have certainly changed.

A place to track ideas, notes, to-do lists, inspiration, and the random things that fill up any day. The Day Dreamer, 196 pages full, is the perfect companion for those women who also use an online calendar to schedule their lives.

How fun it is now to think of our kids not just as our children, but also our friends! And how wonderful to be able to have a full conversation just about any time of day via quick text messages with our adult children?!?

One thing Jill has really enjoyed and been able to sympathize with is Gretchen Rubin‘s Happiness Project podcast (also a book) – especially as she’s been preparing for her oldest to begin college.

Help them organize their thoughts with this stylish Great Things Notepad from Rifle Paper. Made in the USA.

We hope our slightly weepy, sentimental posts may help those of your experiencing these same feelings know you are not alone. We’re in this empty-nester phase together and are truly enjoying our new normal!

*As you may have noticed, we’ve peppered the post with thoughtful little items your college-age or grown children may appreciate as a start of school or even a just-because gift. After all, they’re your babies no matter if they’re 12 or 22… Contact our team today and we’ll be happy to help you select the perfect little thoughtful something for your child, as well as gift wrap and shipping, if necessary.

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Picture Perfect Picnic

As the last days of summer quickly approach, you may be realizing you didn’t complete all of your summer to-do’s… But – with our weather being as lovely as it has been, now is the ideal time to plan a relaxing picnic and enjoy some of these warm summer days before they’re over!

Picnics are perfect as a romantic date just as much as they’re an ideal way to spend some time with the family. Atlanta Magazine recently reached out to our team here at steve mckenzie’s and asked if we’d design a perfect, relaxing picnic for their July 2017 issue. It was a challenge Steve and Jill absolutely relished in accepting! And we hope the results inspire you to go enjoy some last-minute summertime fun in the outdoors!

PHOTOGRAPH BY NATHAN BOLSTER

First thing was a location. For Steve and Jill, this one was easy – it’s one of their favorite spots for a walk with the dog – Duck Pond Park in Peachtree Heights East. It’s absolutely picturesque and so serene!

Next they needed a place to perch drinks and wares and a vintage rattan table was an ideal selection. It is lightweight, but absolutely stylish! A patchwork Kilim from our neighbors, Verde Home, laid the groundwork for lounging. Add some kantha quilts and a bunch of pillows, and the scene is set.

When you think of a picnic, food is top of mind. Steve and Jill wanted something light and refreshing; as well as easy to transport. Enter glass jar salads! Not only pretty to look at, these salads absolutely delicious and so simple to enjoy – just shake, and pour onto your plate! Speaking of plates, although the McKenzie’s love the look of Italian pottery and cut crystal glassware, those selections aren’t exactly picnic practical. Instead, they brought along melamine plates by Le Cadeaux, which offer the look of the real thing, as well as acrylic glassware by Baci to serve cocktails made using Cathead Distillery‘s delectable pecan vodka.

Here’s the recipe for those delightful individual salads:

Mason jar salads
1 red onion sliced thin
½ cup white vinegar
½ cup water
Black peppercorns
2 cups cooked quinoa
4 cups lettuce of some mix
1 ½ 0z cannellini beans drained and rinsed
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tbs mayonnaise
½ tsp salt
Ground pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 ½ tsp chili powder

First pickle the onions. In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar and water to a boil. Add the onions and about five black peppercorns to the boiling mixture. Boil for 3 minutes. Take off the heat and let cool. When cooled, remove peppercorns and place in the refrigerator.

Prepare your dressing. Combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder. Whisk thoroughly to fully combine ingredients.

Take four mason jars and assemble in layers in this order: Dressing in the bottom, quinoa, lettuce, cannellini beans, pickled onions, tomatoes, and chopped cucumber.

And we can’t forget the cocktails! Thank you to our friends at Cathead for making some pretty fantastic products. Our picture perfect cocktail utilizes their pecan vodka, and once you try it, we think it’ll become a liquor shelf staple!!

Spicy pecan spritz
1 oz Cathead Pecan Vodka
½ oz spicy simple syrup
6 oz Pellegrino water

Pour ingredients over ice in a highball glass and garnish with spearmint.

Spicy simple syrup
2 cinnamon sticks
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup raw sugar
½ tsp of ground cayenne pepper
1 cup water

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil turn back heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain through coffee filter to remove the cayenne. Serve.

Happy picnicking everyone – hope to see you at Duck Pond Park soon!

All products seen in this article, except for the rug, are available at steve mckenzie’s.