A sentimental posts 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.

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.

Charmed by Collier Rose Ink

We are absolutely thrilled to share with you the latest line to become a part of the collection at steve mckenzie’s – Charleston, South Carolina based Collier Rose Ink.

A playfully sophisticated brand, offering customers unique, fresh, and well-designed elements for a gracious lifestyle, Collier Rose Ink produces their fabrics in Jaipur, India, where they work with a passionate team of artisans who are masters of their craft.

They print in small batches, focusing on the details. Each pigment is hand-mixed by a master colorist and then hand-screened onto the fabric. From there it is dried in the sun, allowing the color to set naturally.

As a result of this artisnal technique, each yard of printed fabric is original and beautiful. This process also allows them the flexibility to offer custom colorization for very small minimums.

Collier Rose Ink’s offerings go beyond fabric – they also offer wallcoverings and a fantastic line of home accessories. Their patterns are all so lovely and absolutely versatile!

“After spending more than a decade in high-end interior design, I noticed a void in the textile and wallcoverings market that I dreamt of filling,” says Nicki Rose, co-founder of Collier Rose Ink. “My partner, Cooper Collier, is an excellent graphic designer with a tremendous background. Together, we make a unique pair because I am able to identify design trends and know the desires of the trade. Cooper is able to bring those thoughts and visions to life in an artistic manner.”

Come meet the minds behind Collier Rose Ink and help us celebrate this new addition to the steve mckenzie’s showroom at an open house in Atlanta on July 20th and one in Athens, GA on July 21st. Reach out to our team to learn more.

Lighten your load & become more eco-friendly with Dot and Army!

We are head over heels with just about anything from our new friends, Dot and Army. And – bonus – they’re amazin, Earth-friendly wares are made in Brunswick, Georgia! With anything from classic napkins, to bowl covers, reusable sandwich bags and so, so much more, we think you’ll be falling for them too!

Think about how many paper towels, plastic baggies and cling wrap scraps make their way into your garbage every week… Now, multiply that by the weeks in a year, how many of your neighbors use these products the same way, etc. You get the picture; it’s a lot.

Thanks to Dot and Army (we met at The Southern C), now we can combat some of that garbage and put their beautiful, handmade textiles to use all around our homes! Saving the earth on “unpaper towel” at a time.

Dot and Army’s “unpaper towels”

Their unpaper towels – sold by the dozen – are a brilliant replacement to traditional paper towels. Once soiled, pop them in the wash and they’re ready to re-use in no time!

Reusable snack baggies – yes, please!

And how about a solution to all those pesky plastic baggies we’re always tossing in the trash? Dot and Army offers a fantastic solution to these with their denim reusable snack bags. Super stylish for you or your little ones! Simply shake out and reuse or launder for especially dirty bags.

Dish scrubbers that are beautiful AND functional!

Another favorite product by Dot and Army are their reusable dish scrubbers. Forget those nasty sponges, which can harbor all sorts of unsavory germs. When necessary, these scrubbers are machine washable. And so durable – they’re made by hand!

Brilliant, reusable bowl covers.

Never hassle with cling wrap again, thanks to Dot and Army’s bowl covers. Ideal for baking bread or bringing a beautiful dish of something to a pot luck. And, of course, they’re reusable too – and make a wonderful gift for the chef in your life!

Beautiful napkins, for everyday use.

We invite you to visit the steve mckenzie’s showroom and check out all of Dot and Army’s fantastic products and learn how they may aide in streamlining your life and help to make it more eco-friendly.

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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

Who you NEED to meet: Sara Ossana of O&G Studio

It’s all in the details – that’s one of our mantras, as we’re willing to bet it’s one of O&G studio’s mantras as well. Today, we’re sharing an interview with Sara Ossana, one of the founders of O&G Studio, a modern furniture company, featuring American-made Windsor designs. Sara’s talents span an array of industries, including movie production, but our partnership with O&G Studio is how we were initially introduced. O&G Studio’s designs are classic with a nod to modernity and brilliant touches, which make them true heirlooms. We’re fans of Sara’s and O&G Studio and think you will be too! Enjoy today’s “Who you NEED to meet” post, featuring Sara Ossana…

Jon & Sara – co-founders of O&G Studio

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

Founded in 2009, the duo met over ten years ago as graduate students at The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where Jonathan studied jewelry and Sara studied interior architecture. Their combined backgrounds allow them to blend intricate detailing with a play on scale and proportion to bring traditional motifs into the 21st century. 

Atlantic Counter Stools

sm’s: What inspires you/your work? 

Based in Warren, Rhode Island, O&G Studio looks towards the rich history of American design traditions for inspiration. Particularly the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as local auctions in and around New England. Essentially we take inspiration from our surroundings, from nature as well as craft. 

Metacom Arm Chair

sm’s: What is your vision, not only for O& G Studio, but also the individual designs/products you create?

Quality and timelessness are a main focus.  We tend to play a lot with scale and proportion and are known for color, particularly our rich stain selections all custom mixed by us in our 20K sf combined studio, showroom and shop.  We are not interested in trends or forecasting.  We look to design pieces that can work in a multitude of interiors spanning contemporary to transitional and traditional.  The pieces pair well with other antiques or modern designs thus making them quite flexible in any interior.  We usually start with a ‘room’.  We see the entire space with the piece sitting from afar. It must make an impression immediately.  Upon closer inspection more detail is revealed adding intrigue.  Then when used additional details are discovered through touch and feel of the piece satisfying multiple scales of interaction.

Athenaeum Settee

sm’s: Do you have any “mainstays” in your work – is there something you’re always drawn to? 

We are always drawn to narrative and legacy.  We like to imbue our work with meaning beyond a simply aesthetically pleasing object.  I wouldn’t say that we have any mainstays.  We love all of our ‘children’ the same:)

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? 

Magic!  No – just kidding, we are neurotic, fastidious work-a-holics.  We have to thank our respective spouses for putting up with us.  We are very detail oriented but all see the big picture.  We never release a piece that we are not fully behind or confident in.  I think that the dual partnership also keeps us in line.  It creates a constructive critique environment to discuss designs and their merit.

Colt High-Back Side Chair

sm’s: What do people need to consider when looking to purchase from O&G Studio? 

I would say a few things, take your time.  We make everything to order.  We can help with decision making and understand that our work can be a focal point in a room.  Feel free to ask anything about a piece.  We like to match our clientele up with work they will be happy with forever.  Everything is made to order so we will pick the wood for your piece by hand to match the stain you choose, this takes time.  Pieces can take up to 12 weeks to produce during busy times of year, although sometimes we have unfinished stock available on a quick ship lead time.

sm’s: What’s on the horizon for you/O&G Studio?

The best thing about creativity and business is they way they build their own momentum.  Every idea, every challenge sets in motion an exciting series of events. This coming year is all about feeding our creative vision through speculative one of a kind, one off pieces. These allow the full blown expression of an idea that can give birth to an entire new production line. 
sm’s: As an artist/business person how do you recharge? 
Good question, we love to eat so really good food is always a must.  Going to the beach, enjoying Rhode Island and spending time with our families.  Both of us have small children so weekends are off limits for work.  We spend that time with our children enjoying everything that the Ocean State has to offer.  We also find a lot of inspiration from teaching; both Jonathan and I teach at the collegiate level at RISD.  Working with young designers is important.  We want to give back and help others on their career paths.

 

Absolutely fantastic! As are the designs from O&G Studio. We invite you to visit the steve mckenzie’s showroom to see Sara and Jonathan’s work in real life and learn what they may be able to create for you.

 

Thank you to Sara for agreeing to participate in this spotlight feature – we’re officially fans!

 

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!