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

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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!

Tabletop Tuesday – Mikado Modern

Have we got a tabletop for you on the second installation of our Tabletop Tuesday series! The colors, textures and patterns all blend to create an absolutely delectable setting, which will be ideal for any springtime gatherings from Easter and beyond. Today, we’re pleased to share our “Mikado Modern” tablescape with you..

For this tablescape, we turned to what has become a favorite collection of ours, initially introduced a few years ago by Royal Crown Derby, the Mikado collection. Mikado is an updated, contemporary take on a traditional pattern, first introduce in 1894. The individual pieces tell the story of the beloved opera, The Mikado. Respecting its past, yet appropriate for today’s modern lifestyle, is what we love about this pattern. The bright colors solicit feelings of fresh blooms, crisp spring air and bright sunny walks.

For this tablescape’s floral element, we were able to partner again with Erin Weston of Weston Farms. The timing could not be more perfect for us to incorporate the Japanese magnolia blooms, forsythia and redbuds, all combined with Weston Farms’ fantastic magnolias.

Our antique, French table provided a perfect backdrop for our table setting once again.

A lovely Le Jacard Francais runner was the base of our setting.

The RCD Mikado, in a lavender colorway is the base of our place setting.

We then layered the settiing with a turquoise salad plate and a lime bread and butter plate.

This cutlery is what we have at home and, to us, the ivory evokes the feel of a bygone era.

Clear, stemless glasses for the wine and water were chosen, so as not to compete with all the color we already have going on in our tablescape.

For the main centerpiece, Erin put the RCB Mikado canister in blue to use as a vase. It was then coupled with some blue and white ware with a variety of spring blooms

We even incorporated this beautiful crystal votive, in Green Calcite, by Tish Mills of Harmonious Living  and paired it with only the Stamens and Carpels of the magnolia blossoms.

Next, to celebrate the Asian feeling of the china, we added my favorite 3 Emperors bejeweled by Eric Cortina.

In the end, the table appears set for a king, or at least anyone celebrating the upcoming Easter holiday, or any spring occasion!

The full Mikado collection can be viewed here – the color combinations are absolutely fantastic!!

Will you be incorporating any Mikado pieces into your Easter and spring-themed tablescapes?!? We’d love to hear how you incorporate color and we hope we’ve inspired you to think a bit outside the box with your upcoming tablescapes!

Photos by Rustic White Photography.

Tabletop Tuesday: Jardins Extraordinaires

Welcome to the inaugural post of our new “Tabletop Tuesday” blog series! Seeing that steve mckenzie’s is known for for offering some of the south’s top tabletop products – along with inspirational tablescape ideas and entertaining tips to go along with them – we thought it was high time for a series of blog posts featuring fabulous tabletops.

Now presenting Jardins Extraordinaires, our first ever “Tabletop Tuesday” blog post. We hope you enjoy!

Our first Tabletop Tuesday feature was inspired by the Jardin Extraordinaires collection by Gien, all of the tropical design we experienced at Maison & Objet, as well as the new Justina Blakeney collection for Selamat Designs.

To begin this tablescape we partnered with Erin Weston of Weston Farms, who styled the floral. For this tablescape we used the magnolia topiaries created during our in-store class.

The base of our tablescape was an antique French table, which offered plenty of warmth and character.

Our place setting began with an R. Wood Studio chartreuse dinner plate.

Next, Erin’s floral brings an organic, soft touch to the table.

A cocktail napkin to ground the glasses adds depth and interest.

A blue tumbler introduces a rich hue.

A pretty vintage cut glass tumbler is brought in for the wine – we love going stemless for wine; taking a note from our European friends!

The Jardins Extraordinaires oblong tray juxtaposed with the round dinner plate works!

The Gien wine coaster serves as a bread and butter plate – think outside of the box and consider dual uses for the pieces you already have!

Vintage brass cutlery, found at a flea market offers a sense of history and ties back into the antique table.

A small R. Wood Studio salad plate is added and ties into the dinner plate.

A soup bowl in R. Wood Studio’s blueberry colorway adds another solid blue element.

A Le Jacquard Francais napkin in a cheeky citrus tone brings in a bit of brightness.

The canape plate from Gien completes the look! The Jardins Extraordinaires small plates are offered in sets of four, with each plate depicting a different garden setting… A conversation starter for sure!

See it all come together in a few quick seconds here:

If only it were that quick in real life!

This tablescape makes us ready to jump into spring.  Most products are available in store at steve mckenzie’s or on our webstore. Contact us for up-to-the-minute availability or if you have any questions. Happy entertaining and bon appetit!

 

All Photos by Rustic White Photography

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!