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

SaveSave

Getting into the Holiday Spirit + Giving Back

It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas!  We’re getting in the holiday spirit this week as we prepare for the NMP Holiday Gift Show, this Thursday evening – Saturday.  You’ll find over 90 of the South’s most sought-after designers, artists, makers, food and more.

Here’s a quick preview of some what we’re bringing to the NMP Holiday Gift Show…

appetizer, plate, red
Melamine Appetizer Plates Allegra Red set/4
scripture, Bible, cards
Small Squares with Mighty Words by Thimblepress

As a true partner in the Atlanta community, this 34th annual event directly supports the preschool’s scholarship program.  We are honored to be part of this talented and dedicated group, and look forward to seeing you there, and at steve mckenzie’s!

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!

A Magical Tabletop for the 2017 Atlanta Food and Wine Festival

This past June, Steve had the opportunity to style a private dinner for 70 as part of the 2017 Atlanta Food and Wine Festival.

The theme of the dinner, “Dining by Personality,” was conceived by the talented Jason Tesauro of Modern Gentleman, also our host for the evening.

Also making the evening supremely memorable were four incredibly talented chefs – Asha Gomez of Spice to Table Cardamon Hill and Third Space, Kevin Ouzts of The Spotted Trotter and The Cockentrice, Kevin Ashworth of 610 Magnolia and Milkwood in Louisville, and Kelly Fields of Willa Jean in NOLA.

The dinner concept was loosely based on the Myers Briggs personality test, and each guest actually took at test at the beginning of the meal, which determined what they were served for each course, as well as what it was served on.

When Steve first encountered the concept of the dinner, it reminded him of the Rorschach (ink blot) Test – that’s where his styling began. He set about painting 70 individual paintings for the guests, using his ink drawings. Here is Steve’s Styleguide for the dinner, designed by Dena Verdesca and Erin Weston:

Steve was lucky enough to partner with Mayesh Wholesale, who provided the floral for the evening, along with Erin Weston of Weston Farms to provide the greenery – the beautiful plaster vases are from Accent Decor.

The natural, country feel brought to the tables is much thank to these cases, along with some of Steve’s favorite florals from the night, lilacs, peonies and budding magnolias.

The base of the tablescape was Steve’s gingham fabric, translated into a custom black version, adding another layer of comfort to the decor for the evening.

Perched at each place setting was a black napkin folded to showcase the menu, and then sitting atop this was the painting done for each guest. This really created an elegant atmosphere for the evening.

This truly translated into a magical evening – it was a dream come true to be partnered with so many talented friends and partners. Absolutely inspiring!

Click here to view the complete Atlanta Food and Wine Styleguide and enjoy tablescapes from other dinners by Erin Weston, Dena Verdesca, Natalie Reddell, Windy O’Conner and Mary Catherine Folmar. Such fantastic company to be in!

 

It was such a treat to be able to style a tablescape for the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival and we feel so fortunate to have been able to enjoy it with so many friends and colleagues!!

*All photos by Bertrand Ducuing

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

Tastemaker Tuesday – Paige Minear

One of our very favorite bloggers and stylists (and people) is here for Tastemaker Tuesday and we couldn’t be more excited to share her feature post here with you today!

Paige Minear, of The Pink Clutch, is a witty and wonderful person. She’s become fast friends with the McKenzies and even has a pop up in the steve mckenzie’s showroom, showcasing some of her classy, preppy decor from her styling gigs. Paige is not afraid of color or pattern and is an expert of creating memorable combinations we’d never think of pulling together.

Read on to learn more about page, how she’s become a blogger to watch and a few tips on how she pulls together her signature style…

Paige Minear is the author, mother and preppy creator behind the design blog The Pink Clutch.  Paige is known for her home full of color, Palm Beach style and antique treasures.  With a love for all things design related she writes five days a week allowing her readers to indulge in colorful posts and inspiration.  She is a lover of a strong latte, champagne cocktails, a stack of magazines, crisp button downs, popped collars, a sweet treat and a house full of fresh flowers and monogrammed linens. She can be seen most days in a gingham button down, pearls galore sporting leopard flats and ready for adventure.
Paige lives in Atlanta with her husband and three kids. 
1. Three words that describe your style?
Classic (preppy), Southern and very colorful!
2. Would you please share a little about your favorite styling project to date?
Anything I style in my own house makes me so very happy, but the room I think I love the most is our master bedroom. We have a large area to work with, so we’ve added a sitting area. Since we don’t have a television in our den, the kids gather here to watch movies and we all hang out together. As the grow up, they start pulling away, so this time together is priceless. We also have a dedicated date night on Thursdays and the Hubs and I have wine and cheese and just catch up in these same chairs. The idea for a sitting area in our room was brilliant!
3. What’s the source(s) of your inspiration for both your blog posts and interior styling gigs?
Literally everywhere! I take a ton of photos and read so much, I’m constantly filing ideas. My favorite places I garner inspiration are Instagram, Town & Country (online) and my favorite shelter publications – House Beautiful, Veranda and Town & Country magazines. My blog and Instagram feed are meant to inspire others as it inspires me, so I’m constantly sharing things I love. I may snap a picture months before I use it and then one day it will call to me.
4. Name three people (alive or dead) you’d invite to your dream dinner party…
What a fabulous question! Jackie Kennedy (such a story of strength and endless style), Coco Chanel (so creative and never wavered in her style or her vision) and Martin Luther King.  Clearly I am drawn to people with a vision and a strong sense of self!
5. A piece of/type of furniture you couldn’t live without?
I am not sure there is one thing I couldn’t live without. I love things but I am super attached to people and memories so most of what I couldn’t live without is tied to the people I love.
I do love a fabulous and comfortable couch to snuggle with those I love for long conversations and quality time. The bigger the sofa, the more people can squeeze on it! 
6. Would you please share some of your blogging best practices? What do you think makes up a successful blog post?
Be true to you. I have found the success of writing for me has been never straying from who I am .  When I grew, the blog grew … when life changed, the blog changed.  At any point if I had tried to pretend to be someone other than me I would have fizzled out and failed.  I only know how to be me and to share my heart and life with others. 
My goal with the blog and my social media is to inspire and share what inspires me.  Sometimes that is a fabulous room or a new Rosé, sometimes that is a deep post on parenting and life.  Since I share what inspires me that is very personal and can change with the days and months.  At the moment with summer coming to a close I am inspired by pinks, oranges and lots of adventures and that is what I am currently sharing.  I am also really inspired by a few things from the last market which I have been sharing
7. Trending… What is something you are currently “into” and something you are “over?”
I am very into table settings at the moment… china, linens, monogrammed flatware, flower arrangements. I can not get enough! On the flip side, I don’t know that I am tired of anything. There are very few things I don’t care for and those I truly do. I can usually enjoy just about anything in the right setting. Even the color purple, which I don’t care for at all, I’m starting to appreciate in tones of lavender. I can’t seem to get enough of images of lavender paired with dark ink. Lavender and navy for the win!
8. When first planning for a refreshed space, where do you start? How does artwork fit into your stylings?
Anything I do at home or any styling project starts with one thing that inspires me. I am working on my home office at the moment and have a fabulous oversized bulletin board covered with inspiring things. I am working to add that into my office makeover. For my den it was the desire for white walls and an emerald green sofa. For the kitchen it was an incredible Clearance House wallpaper. I start with one thing and it grows from there. This week it was a fantastic blue and white sugar post I scored while antiquing. I fell in love with it and the next thing I knew I was styling a coffee bar around it. I get inspired by an item or an image and just run with it! I love art – all kinds of it. I love to mix what I love hoping it’ll all make sense; if to no one else but me. We have a few originals recently added to our home and I love them so much. For me, art is just another amazing source of inspiration.
9. What would be the one thing you would have if you were stranded on a deserted island?
My bible, which was given to me by my mother in law early on in my marriage. It is something I will treasure and will pass it along to one of my children.
10. Please share a piece of advice you’d offer to someone looking to become a blogger/interior stylish, such as yourself?
Once again, be you. There have been times I have written or shared something I was inspired by that didn’t receive as much notice as another post. All in all when you step back and look at my blog in its entirety, it’s me. So, I am okay with the posts that may not strike as much of a cord with folks. Any time I do something in our home, write a blog post, style a vignette, teach a class it is 100% me and because it is me it is easy to do. Don’t get sucked into the way someone else writes their blog or their social media accounts, you can only do you. You can’t sustain anything pretending or trying to be like someone else and in the end you won’t love the way it turns out.  It will drain you instead of fueling you and the goal in this life is to grow and to change and to participate in things that allow you to grow and change.  Being yourself will attract people to you for who you are and it will be nothing short of magical.   
Last, but surely not least, surround yourself with those who inspire and challenge you. Pick a mentor (or two!) and ask for help. If you want to start a blog, I say go for it. Mine has blessed me beyond words!
Isn’t Paige just wonderful – and don’t her images just get your creative juices flowing?!? We so appreciate Paige’s mantra about staying true to yourself. Being authentic is a big part of being successful and she certainly has that in spades!
A big THANK YOU to Paige Minear of The Pink Clutch for participating in our Tastemaker Tuesday series! If you’re near the steve mckenzie’s showroom, stop in and take a look at some of her styling gig goodies.

Tabletop Tuesday – Taken with Tulipe by Gien

We’ve been taken with Gien’s Tulipe faience china pattern for some time now and we’re thrilled to have finally made this pattern the stars of a Tabletop Tuesday post here on the blog for steve mckenzie’s!

While it offers an absolutely classic sensibility to any table setting, we’ve found it can become quite modern – especially with paired with Gien’s Allure pattern.

This tabletop post begins with a graphic black and white dinner plate from Gien’s Tulipe collection.

The salad plate pattern aligns perfectly with the dinner plate, when stacked.

This stunning pewter Gabriella flatware by Match 1995 was an ideal match with these plates!

Now comes a modern edge, with the dessert plate in Gien’s Taupe colorway.

Bring in the blue! This canapé plate offered us a much needed dose of color.

Placing this Libeco Linen napkin on the diagonal helped to add texture and softness to the setting.

With all the colors and textures going on already, this tabletop didn’t call for added pattern; instead we completed the formal setting with a pair of clear water and wine glasses.

A simple pop of purple floral offers a natural element and completes the tabletop. Bon appetit!

Please stop by the steve mckenzie’s showroom today to begin pulling together a tabletop that’s ideal for you and your lifestyle. At steve mckenzie’s we love to create tabletops, which are unique to each family!

Tabletop Tuesday – Dreaming of a Derby Dinner

Our inspiration for today’s tabletop today is, of course the Kentucky Derby coming up this weekend, and these beautiful dishes of Julie Wear. Julie is recognized throughout the world for her Thoroughbred paintings. She has painted for notable horse owners and breeders throughout the equine world. Julie eventually turned this talent into a fine tableware line – and we’re so glad she did!

Our base for this is a French antique table, and our first layer is a charger of Julie’s in Cheval Black featuring the iconic snaffle bit. The sophisticated gold detailing combined with the black creates the foundation of a beautiful tablescape.

We paired this with her dinner plate of the same pattern in chestnut brown, adding warmth and interest with layers.

To top the dishes off we have used a salad plate by Julie in her Bluegrass pattern. Featuring the iconic Kentucky Thoroughbreds, this design was made for a derby dinner, but will serve as a smart setting all year round!

For the beverage service, we used a highball by Sideshow Press featuring their Lucky pattern and an iconic mint julep cup – not just for juleps anymore!

To continue the theme, we incorporated a beautiful set of vintage brass cutlery from the mid 20th century made in Thailand, which was found at a flea market. The vintage element adds depth and personality.

Next, a folded Le Jacquard napkin was tucked in the highball glass for an pop of color. To make it a little more fun,  a horseshoe cocktail pick offers even more personality!

You know we love adding unique floral to our tables and once again, partnered with Weston Farms to create these pheasant feather arrangements. Weston Farm’s iconic magnolias are combined with roses to create magnificent floral decor for our Derby Dinner tabletop.

Once the floral is placed, it’s time to enjoy a Mint Julep and a fun Derby Dinner with friends!

What are you up to this Derby Saturday?!? If you’ll be hosting a little soiree, stop in to the showroom and the steve mckenzie’s team will help you select the essentials for your equine-themed gathering!