As empty-nesters, this time of year always makes us feel a bit sentimental. Thinking of all those first days of school, bringing our oldest to college, dropping our youngest off to college. Coming back home, just the two of us… It’s bittersweet.
While we’re so proud of our children and the people they’ve become – and looking forward to so much in the future (our middle child, Carter, just got engaged to his fiance Robin!) – there’s so much we miss about raising our children in a home we built around them.
These days especially, kids seem to grow up so quickly. Maybe it’s the technology available to them and us, maybe that’s how all parents feel once their kids have flown the nest…?
It seems the nagging of toddlers quickly transitioned into the sweet notes shared with our elementary and middle schoolers and then on to the long, heartfelt letters as the kids grew. Our communication styles have certainly changed.
How fun it is now to think of our kids not just as our children, but also our friends! And how wonderful to be able to have a full conversation just about any time of day via quick text messages with our adult children?!?
One thing Jill has really enjoyed and been able to sympathize with is Gretchen Rubin‘s Happiness Project podcast (also a book) – especially as she’s been preparing for her oldest to begin college.
We hope our slightly weepy, sentimental posts may help those of your experiencing these same feelings know you are not alone. We’re in this empty-nester phase together and are truly enjoying our new normal!
*As you may have noticed, we’ve peppered the post with thoughtful little items your college-age or grown children may appreciate as a start of school or even a just-because gift. After all, they’re your babies no matter if they’re 12 or 22… Contact our team today and we’ll be happy to help you select the perfect little thoughtful something for your child, as well as gift wrap and shipping, if necessary.
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!
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
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
We’re feeling pretty astounded here sitting on the heels of two amazing titles awarded to steve mckenzie’s!
A recent kitchen in a full home remodel project recently received the ASID Georgia Chapter Design Excellence Award, Residential-Kitchen, SILVER AWARD!!
Steve McKenzie, along with Debbie Blumencranz of Design Galleria, are honored to have their “Baking Kitchen Remodel” project granted the ASID Silver Award!
The big feature for this kitchen is the light blue La Cornue stove in a 1910 Candler Park home. The full project was highlighted in this Style Blueprint feature!
Another thrilling accolade for our team here – Steve specifically – was a top recognition in a floral design competition. After taking a class in floral composition with Christy Griner Hulsey of Colonial House of Flowers, Steve, along with his classmates were given a design challenge. They had to use Mayesh Wholesale flowers to create a stunning arrangement in a caraway vessel from Accent Decor. As one of only two non-florists in the group, Steve wasn’t sure of his chances, but low and behold – he won!! Follow along on Instagram for more design details.