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.

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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How to Choose an Area Rug

If you’ve ever visited the steve mckenzie’s showroom in Atlanta’s West Midtown neighborhood, you know we’re surrounded by some pretty fantastic neighbors. This includes our neighbor right next door, Verde Home. You may remember the many posts where you’ve we’ve made mention of them. We’re obvious fans. Plus, Steve has designed a line of rugs with Verde Home, which was such an honor!

Naturally, we turned to our friend, Kent Schneider, of Verde Home, when looking to share information on selecting an ideal rug for a space. He was so kind to answer our many questions and we thought we’d share them with you in this post all about how to choose an area rug.

After all, rugs are one of the primary elements of a space we’re asked most about and unfortunately, it’s easy, even with good intentions and tastes to not get it right. We hope this post helps you in your area rug selection. And please know, our design team here at steve mckenzie’s is always available to aid in your search and selection!

steve mckenzie’s: How do you know where to shop for a rug?

Kent Schneider: I would suggest looking for a specialized rug dealer or a store that sells rugs as a category rather than just as an accessory.  By this I mean if you go into a home furniture store that has rugs on the floor but has no area to display and browse rug options…chances are they are just using them to make the furniture they are selling look good and they may not know as much about them.  There are many exceptions to this, but in my experience I think it is a good rule of thumb.

sm’s: What should you know about your space when shopping for a rug?

KS: Most important would be the size of the room.  That seems obvious but you would be surprised how many customers really have no idea how big the room is.  9 out of 10 times when customers estimate the size the do so on the small side.  Rugs out of context often look very big.  When you shop for one you may see an 8×10 in a stack and think it is a very large rug and perfect for a living room that actually needs a 10×14.

sm’s: Which rug materials work best in certain spaces?

KS: Right now, I would say Wool is still the fiber of choice for all indoor applications.  It has great resilience, luster, and cleans well.  Most of the synthetics on the market will always compare themselves to wool.

For outdoor applications, you will see a variety of fibers used.  Rugs that get full exposed are generally made from some sort of woven plastic and can be very cheap (because they tend to last only a few seasons).  Polyester is a good choice for covered out door areas as it handles moisture well.  Most recently, we have seen solution-dyed acrylic fiber, like those used in Sunbrella fabrics start to make their way into the floor covering industry.  At present, the piled rugs made from these are pricey, but I expect that will come down and these will become a good indoor/outdoor option. 

sm’s: How do you determine the right size rug for your space?

KS: There is no hard and fast rule about how to size the rug for your room. In my experience, the larger the rug you can fit in a room, the larger the room will feel.  Rugs tend to ground the room and define the boundaries of conversation groups.  Undersized rugs can make a room feel cramped and can get lost under furniture.

You should also consider natural traffic patterns and doorways when laying out a room.  When in doubt we always like to draw a room out to scale to see how a rug will fit. But if you need a quick method to visualize it we suggest marking the area off on your floor with some masking tape.

sm’s: What questions should one ask when shopping for a rug?

KS: Not all rugs are created equal and this will often be reflected in the price. Here are some different terms you’ll hear, which will help you determine what type of rug will work for you and your budget…

  1. Handmade or Machine made – with very few exceptions the machine-made rug should be cheaper than the hand made.  That doesn’t always mean better because rugs come in many different knot densities.  However, when comparing two rugs of similar content and density, the handmade rug would most often be more expensive and would generally be considered the better rug.
  2. Hand knotted, hand tufted or hand loomed – Handmade rugs can be made using Hand Knotting, Hand Tufting or Hand Looming.  Hand knotting is the most time consuming and would considered the best.  Hand tufting has many qualities and often gets a bad reputation for the goods on the low end of the spectrum that are coarsely tufted and use a bad backing.  Fine hand tufted pieces can often achieve the look of a hand knotted rug at much less cost. The main drawback with tufting is the backing.  Each tuft of wool is fastened into the foundation using glue.  Overtime, this glue will break down (cheaper glues will break down quicker), and the tufts will release. Hand looming is a process of weaving a rug that bear similarities to fabric weaving.  The rugs are often very simple in pattern and can be woven very quickly.  They generally priced about the same as fine, hand tufted products.
  3. Density and Content– How fine is the knotting, tufting, or looming of the rug and what is it made of?  Finer rugs take longer and generally cost more, as do rugs made or wool or wool and silk rather than synthetics.

sm’s: What else should you consider purchasing when buying a rug?

KS: We always recommend a good rug pad.  Aside from preventing the rug from slipping, it also provides sound dampening and helps ease the wear of a rug. In spaces where children and/or pets may be present, we also suggest having your rug sealed.

sm’s: What’s the best way to keep a rug looking its best?

KS: The primary upkeep would be vacuuming.  This can be done weekly (or as needed).  Make sure the height of your vacuum is set so that it does not lift the rug.  In some instances, you may wish to turn off the beater bar or only use it occasionally. Spot cleaning can usually be done with water or a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water.  If the rug is wet, make sure it dries thoroughly to prevent mold and dry rot.

With a little knowledge and preparation you’ll be set to find your perfect rug! Good luck on your search, and feel free to reach out to our team here at steve mckenzie’s with any questions you may have and guidance you need.

Thank you to Kent and Verde Home for providing their expertise – their showroom should not be missed when searching for a fantastic rug!

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

Have a very stylish Earth Day!

Living a “green” lifestyle doesn’t have to be obvious and in-your-face… You can enjoy a more Earth-friendly lifestyle in a very stylish way – take it from us! Here are a couple quick tips and products we think are very stylish, and that also happen to be Earth friendly:

Correspond in Green

We’re not talking green ink, but rather use eco-friendly paper products, such as this collection we’re currently offering in the steve mckenzie’s showroom that’s made in Nepal from sustainable materials. It’s a beautiful and stylish as it is “green!”

Stay True to Textiles

A selection of some of the fabric napkins available at the steve mckenzie’s showroom.

We’ve shared this tip before, and we’ll surely share it again, as it’s one of our favorite tips, but use fabric napkins in place of paper!! This creates less waste and offers a more stylish place setting (no matter if it’s the dining room table, or cuddled next to a loved one on the sofa).

Neutral cloth napkin selection at steve mckenzie’s.

Make your use of cloth napkins even more eco-friendly by opting not to wash after every use – typically adults, and even older children, won’t soil their napkin after every use. Save on the water and energy used to clean the cloths by washing only when necessary. After each meal, ask family members to simply leave their cloth napkins in their seat, that way, when setting the table for the next meal, they’ll use “their” same napkin again.

Colorful cloth napkins at steve mckenzie’s.

When your cloth napkins have become soiled, toss them in the wash with your other laundry, so you don’t devote an entire load (and the resources) to only cleansing cloth napkins. Use eco-friendly detergent, wash in cold water, and when the weather’s nice, line dry. Nothing’s better than linens dried in the sun on a warm day!

Are you inspired to become more “green” on this Earth Day?! We sure hope so! We hope you all enjoy a lovely Earth Day, today and everyday!!

Pack it up!

This past Friday was “National Pack Your Lunch Day” (yes, it seems there’s a day for everything) and it inspired us to get thinking about more creative ways to get us excited about lunchtime. Forget the boring brown bag – we’re revitalizing lunchtime with some fun additions to pump up your basic lunch from home and tantalize your taste buds with the promise of a delicious, mid-day pick-me-up!

Our first step – forgo those pb&js for something a little more exotic and healthful. Such as, this butternut squash and cranberry quinoa salad from Katya at Little Broken blog…

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND CRANBERRY QUINOA SALAD
  • 3 cups butternut squash, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (I used rainbow quinoa but any type will do)
  • 1½ cups water
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
  • ⅓ cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. toasted pumpkin seeds
  • salt and black pepper
Balsamic Vinaigrette
    • ½ cup olive oil
    • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tsp. honey
    • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • salt and black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange coated squash on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until squash is tender and lightly browned.
  3. While the squash is roasting, rinse quinoa under cold water until water runs clear. Place quinoa and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook partially covered until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  4. To assemble the salad, combine the cooked quinoa, roasted squash, cranberries, red onion, toasted pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and mix until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Chill in the refrigerator for couple hours and serve.
Balsamic Vinaigrette
  1. Whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

YUM. Now, that’ll get us excited for the lunch hour any day of the week! It’s fresh, flavorful and gluten free (a must for the McKenzie household).

MELAMINE CATALINA CEREAL BOWL

Another bonus to this salad, it’s beautiful to boot. You know they always say you eat with your eyes before your stomach, so we should make our food look as appetizing as possible. One way to do this is to drop the tupperware and serve your lunch in a dish more deserving of the effort you put into your meals. That’s where our melamine dishware comes in. It’s as beautiful as fine china, yet as durable as your plasticware. Bottom line, it’s brilliant and will make your lunch look lovely as well!

And how’s this for synergy – also last week, we also received an e-mail with a link to a post on The Edit about & “Recipes To Pack For Lunch This Week.” Wowzas… We don’t know what to go for first, the “Farmer’s Market Bowl” or the “Avocado Club Sandwich With Marinated Portobello Mushrooms?!?”

Although any of these amazing-sounding recipes are sure to elevate your traditional lunchtime fare, another easy way to make more of your packed meals are fabric napkins. We’re BIG fans of a classic fabric napkin and use them all day, every day. Steve and Jill have even been known to bring them on roadtrips!

LE JACQUARD ORIGAMI MULTI NAPKIN

Wrap your utensils in a fun fabric napkin and take your lunch to the next level!

So, please share – what are your favorite ways to make your typical weekday lunch a little special? We’d love to learn!