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.

Sneak Peek of the steve mckenzie’s Space at the Magnolia Designer Showhome…

As you may have noticed, we’ve been up to our elbows in designer showhomes – and loving it! They’re such fun ways for our team to flex those designer muscles, work with some of our favorite brands and taking an opportunity to enjoy our industry friends while designing in the same home.

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The Magnolia Designer Showhome, located in lovely Cartersville, GA, is a really special project because it benefits Advocates for Children, a non-profit organization dedicated to the treatment and prevention of child abuse and neglect. Advocates for Children strives to create a world where all children are respected, loved, happy, and thriving. Their goal is to bring hope and comfort to over 3,000 children and families every year in Bartow County and the surrounding North Georgia areas.

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Now, the showhome doesn’t open until October 19th, but we’ve been working for some time to create an amazing space on the private terrace, off of the master bedroom. We were thrilled to have an opportunity to design an outdoor space since our showroom has been able to carry some truly fabulous outdoor furnishing brands – including Selamat and Kannoa, both of which are put to use on this terrace! Here are a few sneak peeks into our design of our Magnolia Showhome space…

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Delivery day! Here, you can get an idea of our blank canvas. It’s really quite large, and one of our biggest challenges is creating a space that feels both intimate – after all, it is located right off the master suite – while providing a great use of space.

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Our goal on the terrace is to create an intimate entertaining space with multiple seating areas. A cozy corner will be the ideal space for a couple to curl up, but it will easily transition to a place to host a generously sized soiree. Outdoor area rugs from Jaipur and a custom rug by Delos, based off one of Steve’s paintings, help to achieve this goal.

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The overall feel for our Magnolia Showhome terrace is to offer an updated traditional style for this historic home, which will be warm and welcoming, and will allow the homeowners to use it in many different ways.

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Our design will be on showcase with a slew of other amazing interior designers, including our friends Beverly Baribault Group, Peace Design, Michel Smith Boyd, Joann Kandrac and Kelly Kole of Kandrac and Kole InteriorsYvonne McFadden and so many more!

Magnolia Showhome - Cartersville, GA
Magnolia Showhome – Cartersville, GA

We hope you’ll plan a trip to visit this beautiful home and support such a worthy cause – plus, we can’t wait for you to experience the Master Terrace of the Magnolia Showhome by the McKenzie Design team!!

5 Tips on Becoming the Perfect Photoshoot Team Player…

You may recall how McKenzie Design was recently featured on the cover of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME… But, what you may not know is all of the work behind the scenes to make the photoshoot of this design such a success.

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It takes a team of people planning, prepping and executing the plan for a fantastic photoshoot – and, in turn, a wonderful feature – and we were so lucky to have been on a team with photographers, Anthony-Masterson, and Editor-in-Chief, Betsy Riley.

Working as a team on a photoshoot is a necessity – it’s a collaborative project and everyone involved needs to come together to create a unified vision and provide the best editorial possible for the reader. To do this, the editor will keep their reader in mind and work to craft the message they want to share, specifically for them. The photographer knows what will translate well from a photography standpoint. And, finally, the designer knows what they worked to achieve for their client. It’s all about trusting the other parties and bringing these three visions together.

On shoot with Anthony Masterson and Atlanta Magazine's HOME.
On shoot with Anthony Masterson and Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

Thanks to Steve’s many years working as Creative Director and then CEO of Berkshire Hathaway company, Larson-Juhl, he’s got a great deal of experience under his belt, both in working on various photoshoots and directly with the media. Needless to say, he was a wealth of expertise when it came to prepping for our big photoshoot for Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

Because of Steve’s and Anthony-Masterson’s shared histories shooting spaces for publication, we thought we could share some top tips, with our design industry friends, on being an awesome player on any photoshoot team – all in hopes your project makes it to print! Here’s what we have to offer…

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  1. Be prepared. For anything. This may sound a bit vague, but anything can happen on a photoshoot. You’ll arrive on site with a plan – or at least an idea – of what will happen throughout the shoot and inevitably things change. Prep your photoshoot site as best you can and ensure it’s in tip top shape for when the editor and photographer arrive. 02-master-amp_0043
  2. Consider your design from all different angles. You may have created a design with a specific functionality in mind. But, when you’re in the midst of a photoshoot, things change. Furnishings may be readjusted so they’re captured in the best lighting. Even if you don’t think a corner of a room will be photographed, be sure it’s designed and photo-ready, just in case. 10-dining-amp_0138
  3. Bring extra accessories. Repeat after us – you can never have too many accessories. We love a great vignette shot. Secret to those amazing shots? Perfectly selected and positioned accessories. Bring additional accessories for each space being photographed. Perhaps the editor will want to try a different selection of pillows on a setee or make it appear as if a cocktail party is in progress on the bar. You’ll need to think ahead and have your stock of accessories to pull out should the need arise.05-living-amp_0090
  4. Stay out of the way. This is a tough one. The spaces being photographed have been your baby and it’ll be difficult to give up control. But, you must trust in the photographer and editor to capture and highlight those
    spaces in the best possible light. That’s their job, and with you supporting from the sidelines, it’ll be a success. 08-dining-amp_0126
  5. Offer advice. This may seem contradictory to tip #4, but when called upon, you’ll need to provide guidance, share inspiration and suggest solutions if any issues arise. It’s a difficult balance, but once you’ve been through a shoot or two, you’ll become a pro!

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*Bonus tip from Steve and Jill – Keep your favorite shops and accessory/textile destinations on speed dial during the shoot. You never know when the perfect item may just be down the road! Lucky for Steve, he was on shoot and Jill was back at the showroom… Blue hued pillows for the kitchen banquette were needed. So, she gathered up all they had and they were brought to the home where the photoshoot was in progress. A selection was made and the kitchen shot was a winner!

Steve's bedroom design made the cover!
Steve’s bedroom design made the cover!

So, there you have it. Our advice on becoming a photoshoot savant and a little behind the scenes of our photoshoot with Atlanta Magazine’s HOME. It was such a fun experience and now we’re ready to tackle the next shoot – and whatever it may bring!

Keep an eye out for a feature post here, on the blog for steve mckenzie’s, where Steve will share more about the clients and the space he designed for them.

Headlining!

Summer is shaping up to be a great season here at steve mckenzie’s! We’re especially excited to see so many recent mentions of steve mckenzie’s in many of our favorite magazines and blogs and we wanted to take a moment to share a quick shout out…

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Our friends at Restyle Source recently interviewed Steve for their blog as the first in their summer series of Designer Spotlights focusing on the group of top design experts who will be featured this July at AmericasMart’s Vignette Exhibition.

This is a wonderful series and they get into everything with these interviews – they’re so fun! Steve dishes about the inspiration behind his upcoming vignette, his must-see AmericasMart showrooms, and even shares a few personal tidbits.

Thank you to Restyle Source for including Steve in this exciting lineup, we’re thrilled to learn more about the other designers in the AmericasMart Vignette Exhibition!!

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Next up, you may have seen us share this cover shot, but we’re too elated about this amazing feature not to post about it on our blog as well… It’s our first ever interior design magazine cover – thanks to Atlanta Magazine’s HOME!!

The feature story offers stunning photography by Anthony Masterson and savvy writing by Lisa Kline Mowry. We’re so very honored to have this project showcased in this way, and are so appreciative to our clients for trusting us with their home.

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Not to be overshadowed, was a mention of Steve’s fabric, as a part of Garden & Gun magazine’s blog feature on “Six Southern Fabrics that Say Summer.” Here is an excerpt from the post:

“Steve’s ‘Gingham’ is a brushstroke version of the classic pattern gives it a modern twist.”—Kristen Gish

Thank you so much to the Supply Showroom team and to Garden & Gun for working to pull together this excellent blog post!

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Finally, a visit from a new friend of steve mckenzie’s and talent behind Thou Swell blog, resulted in a wonderful feature by Kevin O’Gara.

Kevin is a brilliant student and designer, who we’re honored to have the pleasure of collaborating with over this summer.

So that about wraps up our most recent media mentions… Another BIG thank you to all of our friends, clients and colleagues who’ve been so generous with their support of steve mckenzie’s!

A Sensational Summit with The Southern Coterie

Steve and Jill attended and presented at The Southern Summit, hosted by the folks over at The Southern Coterie, last month in Charleston – and it was an absolute delight!

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A highlight for them was the luncheon workshop they hosted, in conjunction with Atlanta Magazine: Home editor-in-chief Betsy Riley, where they shared with guests the basics one needs to effortlessly achieve gracious living and how to tailor seasonal tablescapes without breaking the bank.

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During this workshop, Steve and Jill offered participates a list of items that should always be on hand to create a warm, memorable design for their tabletops. This way, they’d be ready to host with only a moment’s notice.

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Grocery store flowers were taken from “meh” to magnificant during the workshop, in a centerpiece makeover, which guests really seamed to enjoy.

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Four tablescapes were designed for the presentation, one for each season. The summer table setting closed out the luncheon gathering, and wase used as inspiration for the next day’s luncheon for all 325 summit attendees.

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Together, Steve and Jill designed all of the tables for the summit’s feature luncheon, which took place at the beautiful, historic William Aiken House.

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But, as you know it takes a village to achieve such stunning results and a number of vendors came together to make the luncheon space so lovely. They include, Vietri dinnerware, Dot and Army linens, Royal Crown Derby fine china, Le Jacquard Francais table linens, Sasha Nicholas dinnerware, and The Vine, who provided an array of glorious succulents for the centerpieces.

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The Southern Coterie is an impressive gathering of Southern entrepreneurs and tastemakers, and we were elated to have been in such esteemed company at The Southern Summit! Some of the other presenters were Eddie Ross, Libbie Summers, Mandy Kellog Rye, Kristy Tiglias of Southern Living, Brian Hart Hoffman of Hoffman Media, Julianne Taylor and Holly Hollingsworth Phillips. Many on this list are friends of our ours, and some have even been tastemakers here, on the blog for steve mckenzie’s – such a fantastic group!!

Steve with Mandy Rye
Steve with Mandy Rye

Mandy Rye – of Waiting on Martha fame – presented on building your brand with social media (a personal highlight for Steve and Jill), and she will be doing an intensive social media seminar here in Atlanta. It’s very limited, and one day only (June 17), so sign up ASAP if you’re interested. steve mckenzie’s will be hosting a kickoff cocktail party the evening before Mandy’s seminar, so put it on your calendar… Details forthcoming.

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If this sounds like fun, that’s because it was! And next year, you should be a part of it! Thanks to all of our friends – new and old – who we enjoyed at The Southern Summit, and thanks to The Southern Coterie for inviting us to participate in this memorable event. We left feeling energized and inspired!

steve mckenzie’s Partners to Design Serenbe’s Tiny Artist Cottages

If you follow steve mckenzie’s on Facebook, you may have seen that over the past few months, Steve has been working with our friend, and fellow designer, Kerry Howard to create inspiring interiors for two brand new tiny cottages for Serenbe, slated to be used for their Artist In Residence (AIR) program.

(photo by Cody Guilfoye)
(photo by Cody Guilfoye)

With Steve being an artist himself, this project has been especially rewarding, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to share the completed design with you all! We first announced our participation in this project in this blog post, which offers a bit of background on Serenbe’s AIR program their partnership with Auburn University’s Rural Studio, where the goal of creating low-cost and inspiring living solutions began.

(photo by Cody Guilfoye)
(photo by Cody Guilfoye)

Many people had to join together to make this project a reality – after all, there were some lofty goals put in place for all involved! Not the least of which was designing the cottage interiors in a way that would inspire a plethora of artists who are fortunate enough to participate in Serenbe’s AIR program, while maintaining a realistic view of what future cottages would look like, when not given the opportunity to work with interior designers.

(photo by Cody Guilfoye)
(photo by Cody Guilfoye)

Because these cottages will work as examples for future Rural Studios dwellings, Steve and Kerry wanted to ensure their designs work to make the most of these unique dwellings. They donated their time designing and installing the interiors, while a number of vendors, including Verde Home, Selamat Designs, R. Wood Studio, Cherry Hollow Farm, Cosentino, Bosch, Workstead Design Shop, Marmoluna, TOTO, Top Shop stone, AuthenTeak, and Robert Allen, all donated products and materials to make the team’s designs come to fruition.

(photo by Cody Guilfoye)
(photo by Cody Guilfoye)

For a full look at Serenbe’s new artist cottages, check out this article from Atlanta Magazine. To learn more about Auburn University’s Rural Studio’s program and how these cottages provided a real-world example for them as the program expands, see this story on inhabitat.com. Finally, this article from Mother Nature Network beautifully highlights the cottages themselves. We’re so grateful this collaboration has been so well received and we’re honored to play a role in the project’s success!

(photo by Cody Guilfoye)
(photo by Cody Guilfoye)

If you love the artsy, eclectic feel of these cottages, and would like to bring a bit of this lovely look into your own space, please contact the steve mckenzie’s design team today!