A Studio Tour with Steve McKenzie

Folks frequently ask about Steve’s studio – and lucky for us, he loves sharing his happy place with others! It’s perfectly situated to fuel his creativity. Back in April, Paige Minear shared a visit to Steve’s studio on her blog, The Pink Clutch.

We thought we’d take this opportunity to share some of the same tour and offer a behind the scenes look of where the magic that is Steve’s art happens…

Steve’s studio is located in the loft above the steve mckenzie’s showroom. He can be a bit messy, so it’s smart to contain the work in a space that can be somewhat hidden. Up in the loft, he has various areas set up for working. A large easel is built on the wall and is the spot where Steve works on his larger pieces.

Commercial, stainless kitchen carts easily roll with Steve as he works.

An antique drafting table serves as his workspace for ink and watercolor drawings. This is also the place where Steve’s fabric patterns are created.

The curated objects in Steve’s studio are what inspire him most to create… Here are a few. Note the Illy coffee – nothing like an Italian espresso to keep you going!

Lately, Steve has been spending a lot of time in the studio, creating works for some upcoming shows, fabric lines and more!

Come visit the steve mckenzie’s showroom and experience the art of Steve McKenzie for yourself; and stay tuned for some exciting things coming up for Steve’s art!

*All photos by Marc Mauldin Photography

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.

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

A Delicious Jaunt in Jackson – A Visit to Cathead Distillery!

On our trip to Jackson, Mississippi to visit Kristen Ley and Thimbelpress to learn how to letterpress, we also had the opportunity to learn about Cathead Vodka. Steve loves a nice vodka, and to learn about a small maker was exciting; we couldn’t pass it up!

As you’re well aware by now, we love all things southern, and a southern-made vodka is no exception. Located on the edge of downtown Jackson, near the Mississippi Museum of Art, Cathead distillery was fantastic!

Mississippi ushered in prohibition in 1907 and it was not repealed until 1966. Fast forward to 2011, when Austin Evans and Richard Patrick first opened as Cathead. These boys not only love their vodka, but they love the delta blues of the region. In fact, the distillery is named after the legend, Son Thomas, known for his cathead sculptures he sold at his blues performances.

Because of their love of Delta Blues, Cathead’s founders incorporated a fantastic philanthropic element to their business, which makes the story even stronger. They support many foundations by giving a portion of their sales to different organizations, which support preservation of the blues heritage. In fact, on the Cathead website, you can view some of the amazing blues videos and see great commercials featuring legends of the Delta region.

Some of the southern flavors being produced by Cathead are Pecan and Honeysuckle. They’re absolutely delicious, and over the next few weeks Steve will be sharing some new recipes he developed using their vodkas. In the meantime if you are in a hurry, you can check out other recipes here.

If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Jackson, take a tour of Cathead and try a tasting Thursday – Saturday. Until you can visit,  here is a photo-tour of the distillery…

We’ve also sampled their Gin and it makes the perfect Summertime Gin and Tonic! Next up is the Hoodoo Chickory Liqueur (barrel pictured above). We are excited to see where this spirit will take us.

Please enjoy responsibly.

Distillary photos by Richard Patrick

Tastemaker Tuesday – Owen Masterson & Christine Anthony of Anthony-Masterson

We have a treat for you all today! We’re thrilled to feature the husband-wife team that is Anthony-Masterson. This dynamite team specialize in photography and filmmaking. And their work is almost as fantastic as they are… Steve and Jill have gotten to know Owen and Christine by working with them on a number of design projects and have found such like-mindedness, as they’re also a couple that do just about everything together. We believe you’ll thoroughly enjoy this fun little conversation/interview and are so pleased to introduce you to the latest Tastemakers for the blog for steve mckenzie’s, Owen Masterson and Christine Anthony:

Christine & Owen of Anthony-Masterson Photography

We began shooting sixteen years ago determined to combine our individual talents.  Before that Owen was working with some of the best cinematographers in Los Angeles as an actor and Christine was an in-demand food stylist.  We had both spent a lot of time on sets observing what it took to get a great shot.  Inspired, we picked up a camera and a bunch of film and began shooting.  We started with food.  Shortly after that a new stock agency dedicated to food photography began licensing our images.  In 2001 we shot our first job.  Since moving to Atlanta in 2005 we have been shooting Interiors, Food and Travel.

In 2008 we acted on a long held desire to make our pictures move and began experimenting with filmmaking. This led to a number of short films and two award winning feature length documentaries.

Working in both mediums provides great balance plus we get to travel a lot and work with some extraordinarily talented and interesting people.

1. Three words that describe your aesthetic?

Owen:  Do we each get 3 words?

Christine:  What have you got?

Owen:  Fast, edgy and dangerous.

Christine:  I think that describes you more than the aesthetic.

Owen:  Okay, what have you got?

Christine:  How about balanced, uncluttered and provocative?

Owen: That’s why I love you.

2. Would you please share a little about your favorite space/project to date?

Owen:  You go first.

Christine:  I always go first.

Owen:  Ok.  Plaza Towers  25th floor, stunning pied-a-terre, killer view of Atlanta skyline. 

Christine:  And the rich tones in the living room.  What about the first interior project we ever shot? That beautiful home on the coast in Malibu owned by the Fluxus artist Van Schley and his wife.

Owen:  Wow that was so long ago and we shot it on film! 

Christine:  And we hardly knew what we were doing.

Owen:  The challenge was the light bouncing off of the Pacific Ocean into practically every room in the house.  But we figured it out.  

Christine:   Speaking of the coast… what about the light in the house at Wrightsville Beach?

Owen:  Love.

3. What’s the source(s) of your inspiration?

Owen:  Christine.  That was an easy one.

Christine:  I guess I better say Owen.  But really, it is Owen.  When you live and work together 24/7 as a team you each bring something different to the party so it’s essential to be inspired by your partner’s vision – or madness.

Owen:  I always know I’m in for something challenging when Christine says “Tell me if you think this is a crazy idea.”  But we don’t live in a bubble so there’s the things we see and the people we meet in our travels that influence and inspire us as well.

4. Name three people (alive or dead) you’d invite to your dream dinner party…

Christine:  That’s tricky.  Only three?

Owen:  John Lennon, the Pope, and it might get fun if say, Amy Winehouse comes.

Christine:  The Pope choice seems off unless it’s Alexander Pope.

Owen:  Okay, how about Jimi Hendrix, Jackson Pollock and Howard Finster?

Christine:  Better.  But I’d really like to cook for Joan Didion so one has to go.

Owen:  Wait a minute, don’t we each get three?

Christine:  We could be here all day… how about we move on?

5. A favorite type of space or even a favorite type of object/setting to photograph?

Owen:  We love the skill set of shooting interiors.  It’s so exacting, like a high wire act. 

Christine:  The placement and balance of objects.

Owen: The play of shadows and light.

Christine:  The vignettes.

Owen:  Capturing the more intimate moments that really express the personality of the room.

Christine: But there’s also a freedom to shooting the travel stories that we enjoy.  Being out and about, anticipating, keeping an eye out for the shot.

Owen:  Because we shoot so many different things: interiors, food, people, travel, and then there are the videos too, it’s like cross training.  It keeps our imaginations limber and eyes fresh.

6. Do you follow a particular set of rules when mixing textures, finishes, etc. – how do they work for you?

Owen and Christine:  See it. Love it.  Shoot it! 

Christine:  That’s been our motto from day one.

Owen:  Of course our clients’ needs come first but we always try to take the shots further than they had imagined; the angle, the frame, the composition.

Christine:  And then there’s the lighting.  We shoot primarily with natural light and Owen is the master of light and shadow so we like to wow our clients with the lighting.

7. Trending… What is something you are currently “into” and something you are “over?”

Owen:  Playing records

Christine:  Owen is the house DJ, he spins, I cook.  I love long hours at the dinner table or on the deck with close friends. 

Owen:  Christine is a great cook so the dinners are always good.  And then there’s the wine and the conversation. 

Christine:  It’s like the exact opposite of social media.

Owen:   Which is anti-social

Christine:  So you’d say social media is over?

Owen:  Definitely over.  And out.

8What would be the one thing you would have if you were stranded on a deserted island?

Christine:  Do we each get one thing?

Owen:  Fire.

Christine:  That way I could cook.  So maybe I’d bring a knife.

9. Please share a piece of advice you’d offer to someone looking to break into the photography design industry. 

Owen:  I’d give the same advice we were given when we started. Just do it!

Christine:  It’s a process and you have to work at it to find your eye.  Just make sure you understand the business end of it.  That can be the most difficult part for creatives.

Owen:  Find your passion.  It’s an art form even if you’re shooting plumbing supplies. It’s a journey and you should have adventures doing it.

Christine:  Oh, the places we’ve been…

Okay, so that was a lot of fun, right?! We need to find more dynamic duos to feature in our Tastemaker series! At least ones with such wonderful senses of humor… And isn’t their work divine. The way they work with lighting – it’s magical. And they make our spaces look absolutely phenomenal. We’re fans of Owen and Christine’s and are willing to bet that after reading this post you are too!

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!