Part 2: A New York State of Mind

Last week, we shared “Part 1” of a post on Steve and Jill’s recent trip to New York, which focused on their time at the What’s New, What’s Next event. For part two, we’re talking ART and inspiration… One of our very favorite subjects!

First things first, Steve and Jill’s daughter, Molly, met up with the duo to become a trio on this art expedition… and they set off to MoMA – specifically to see the Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends exhibit. It is “the first 21st-century retrospective of the artist, presents over 250 works across mediums from his six-decade career.” And it was excellent!

 

While there, the trio caught a glimpse of the upcoming Louise Bourgeois exhibit and spotted this amazing spider – anyone up for another visit to MoMA?!?

Next up was the Donald Judd Home tour in the city, which offered an incomparable experience with his art and vision. The group was able to visit is formerly private living and working spaces, as well as enjoy Judd’s concept of permanent installation in downtown New York. Talk about inspiring – this is a not to miss portion of any minimalist appreciator’s visit to the city!

Together, Steve, Jill and Molly ventured to Bergdorfs, where even more inspiration was discovered, thanks to the Gucci home decor on view!

Can we please help to work this gorgeous pillow or this spectacular chair into someone’s home?!?

There was no lack of enthusiasm for color, texture or pattern matching here. Although you may know a Gucci piece when you see it, it’s truly the details which make these items so special.

Now, for a little Gucci motivation in interior design…

The new Jayson Home store in SOHO was practically calling out to Steve, who could just about move right in and feel at home. The art, natural elements and color palettes were awe inducing.

As a showroom retailer, it’s so much fun to visit other, inspirational showrooms and enjoy what they have to offer!

Finally, our traveling trio were ready to hop in their rental car for the drive out to Beacon, NY…
But – leave it to these three to hop into a sporty yellow convertible for the journey. It was the ideal mode of transportation to enjoy a bit of autumn in the Northeast!

Beacon is home to the Storm King Art Center, which is “widely celebrated as one of the world’s leading sculpture parks… Located only one hour north of New York City, in the lower Hudson Valley, its 500 acres of rolling hills, woodlands, and fields of native grasses and wildflowers provide the setting for a collection of more than 100 carefully sited sculptures created by some of the most acclaimed artists of our time.” Storm King was simply spectacular. The way the sculpture plays into the landscape and the Hudson River Valley setting is truly unmatched.

While in the Hudson Valley, the group couldn’t pass up a visit to the brand new Magazzino Italian Art museum. Founded in June of 2017, this museum is a private warehouse which hosts select works from the Olnick Spanu Collection, most of which have never been exhibited stateside.  Its mission is “to widen public appreciation and education of Post-war and Contemporary Italian Art in the United States.”
As you can imagine, the trio has returned to their respective homes after this art adventure feeling more inspired than ever! For Steve, who enjoys travels such of these from both an artist’s perspective, as well as that of an interior designer, making the time to experience art in all its forms is imperative. And being able to do it with family makes it all the more special!

Part 1: A New York State of Mind

Steve, with panel participants, Karl Champley, Elle H-Millard and Alberto Villalobos.
You may recall from a recent post, Steve was invited to moderate a panel on “Innovation in Kitchen Design” at What’s New, What’s Next (WNWN) in New York City. The panel was a success and the entire event truly delightful!

As an interior designer, staying abreast of the latest in design trends is paramount and events like WNWN make that possible. And fun to boot! By moderating this panel, Steve was able to learn even more about the newest trends in kitchen technology and looks forward to incorporating these trends into future client projects!

 

A highlight of this year’s WNWN for both Steve and Jill was the Grange suite, where the brand’s latest designs, finishes and inspirations abounded. As you probably know, Grange is a favorite line of ours, and is often times one of the first things guests to the steve mckenzie’s showroom take note of. The way Grange combines textures, finishes and styles – in addition to all of their customization options is seriously awe-inspiring. And the functionality is abundant.

Grange’s Rive Gauche Wardrobe

 

Grange’s Rive Gauche Occasional Table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having NYC as a backdrop to WNWN is absolutely exciting, but some of our most memorable moments was visiting with some of our Atlanta design friends – Barbara Westbrook and Beth Lacefield in particular – while there!

Steve’s art in the Grange showroom
A visit to Chelsea Frames/Gallerie Protege (the locale of Steve’s 2012 NYC art show) reminded us of the importance of not only art in a space, but beautiful, quality custom framed art in a space. It’s these details which elevate a space from fine to fabulous!

As always, our time in NYC always seems to move past with great speed. But, this time, Steve and Jill were able to take a few days to enjoy much art and inspiration both within and outside the NYC limits… Which we’ll share in Part 2 of this post :-))

 

A unique perspective of the Empire State Building… street level, aglow at night.
For now, we’ll end thanking all of those who made our time at WNWN truly memorable – especially  the Grange and Viking teams who invited Steve to moderate the panel. This was an event that will not be soon forgotten!

And please keep an eye out for Part 2, which will highlight some unforgettable art and sweet family time for the McKenzie’s…

 

Giving Back: A Ravishing Room Reveal with Dwell with Dignity’s Thrift Studio

You may recall when Steve and the team worked to create a truly memorable and inspiring home for a deserving family here in Atlanta with Dwell with Dignity. It was a remarkable project – and talented group of professionals to work with – providing a warm and welcome place for a local family to thrive in.

Steve had another opportunity to create an inspiring space and give back to Dwell with Dignity again, this time via their Atlanta Thrift Studio event.

Dwell with Dignity’s Thrift Studio fundraiser provides one-third of the operating revenue that allows Dwell with Dignity to change lives through design by bringing good design to those who can afford it the least.

Thrift Studio is a pop-up shop selling donated furniture, housewares, accessories and high-end designer finds to the public, showcased in stunning vignettes created by professionals of the local interior design industry. The best part – 100% of sales benefiting Dwell with Dignity’s mission!

The folks behind Dwell with Dignity know it takes a village to make the awesome things they do possible, and we couldn’t agree more…

It’s this “takes a village” theme Steve ran with, working with some pretty amazing vendors and artisans, who graciously and generously donated their talents and wares to help make Steve’s Thrift Studio space such a success.

The first thing most commented on first about Steve’s space were the amazing watercolor walls. Steve, along with Team Member, Xavier Neuner and local decorative artist, Kass Wilson, worked to create this stunning treatment and it turned out better than we could have ever imagined!

And a big thank you to Robert Allen, who donated the dining table, yellow zebra chairs (seriously fabulous!) and even these beautiful Madcap Cottage pillows (fabricated for RA by Drape 98) as the “icing” to the Steve McKenzie Design’s space!

We had so much fun creating this fun and inspiring space – and it can ALL be yours (at a huge savings off retail) if you shop Dwell with Dignity’s Thrift Studio between now and October, 20th!

*All photos courtesy of Christina Wedge photography.

Who you NEED to Meet: Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke of Madcap Cottage

We’re looking forward to a fabulous fall working with the equally fabulous duo behind the magic that is Madcap Cottage – Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke! Keep an eye out for some exciting happenings between steve mckenzie’s and Madcap Cottage, taking place soon. In the meantime, enjoy getting to know one of the madcaps, Jason Oliver Nixon in our latest “Who you NEED to Meet” installment…

John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon are the dynamic duo behind North Carolina- and New York-based interior design firm, Madcap Cottage. Known for their whimsical use of color and pattern, the Madcap gents—along with their pound-rescue posse, Jasper, Weenie, and Amy Petunia—scour the world for eclectic finds that capture their unique and gimlet-eyed viewpoint. Imagine a British country house that pairs Granny’s antiques and a spirited dash of Chinoiserie chic with a dash of Morocco-meets-India élan. Shake, stir, then pour.

steve mckenzie’s: Will you please share a bit about your background/how you and John started Madcap Cottage and how you gained the courage to break out on your own?

Jason Nixon: John and I both come from backgrounds as magazine editors and television producers, we really see ourselves as storytellers. In our previous lives, we produced, styled, and wrote stories, and at a certain point we asked, Why are we writing about everyone else? We started the design business and the first project we crafted was snapped up by a magazine, and the phone started ringing and we were off and running. We kept the day job as long as we could, and then took the plunge. We are thrilled to have 4-5 interior design projects each year and to have moved into the realm of product development–from fabric and bedding to window treatments, wallpaper, and wall art.

sm’s: What inspires you and John/your work? 

JN: Travel is a huge part of our world, and we carry sketch books and diaries when we travel and document our adventures. We find inspiration everywhere we go–from Iowa to India. We also lap up great homes and gardens as well as vintage movies and design books. The legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland once said, “The eye has to travel,” and we couldn’t agree more.

sm’s: What is your vision, not only for the Madcap Cottage brand, but also the individual designs/products you create??

JN: We want to create designs that make you dream–but that are also attainable and affordable. We believe that good design should be available to all. Everything that we do is hand touched, sketched, and painted, whether that is a 40,000-square-foot home or a bedding collection for Home Shopping Network. Our goal is to be a lifestyle destination such as Laura Ashley back in the day.

sm’s: Do you have any “mainstays” in your work – is there something you’re always drawn to? 

JN: Of course, we are smitten with prints and patterns and offer opportunities for consumers to bring florals, graphics, stripes, and more into their lives–from baby steps to all-in. Think a classic, relaxed American sensibility paired with an English vibe, and that’s our vibe. Timeless. Sophisticated. And fun. We always have vintage and antique pieces in our design projects and offer surprise-and-delight details such as contrast welting and buttons, unexpected matting and frame treatments, and more.

sm’s: What are the differences in your collections – i.e. how do you create such unique pieces that remain a part of the Madcap Cottage family?

JN: John and I craft colors and patterns that run between our various fabric collections to give tools that allow designers and consumers to connect the dots easily. We layer-in new colors in each collection that adds a further storyline and moves the adventure forward. Each collection takes you on a new journey: We think of each collection as a chapter in a book that moves the story along.

sm’s: What do people need to consider when looking to purchase a Madcap Cottage design?

JN: Nothing! Dive in. We give you the tools to bring the adventure home.

sm’s: What’s on the horizon for you and John/Madcap Cottage?

JN: Lighting! Rugs! Fashion accessories! Paper products! And maybe a TV presence. And we would love to start another book project.

sm’s: As artists/business people how do you recharge?

JN: We love hanging out with our three pound-rescue pups and lounge about with them and read books on the weekend. We also love having friends over for long, boozy dinner parties. And gardening is our favorite hobby

sm’s: Anything else you can think our readers would enjoy learning about you and John/your business/designs? 

JN: We believe that design should be fun and put a smile upon your face.

Smiles and fun are absolutely what design should be about. Cheers to the men of Madcap and all the fun and smiles we have planned in the upcoming months! And a big thank you to Jason Oliver Nixon for participating in our “Who you NEED to meet” feature!

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Steve McKenzie at What’s NEW, What’s NEXT in NYC!

If you’ll be in The Big Apple next week, make plans to attend What’s NEW, What’s NEXT, and see Steve as moderator for the “Innovation in Kitchen Design” panel!

Info on the panel from WNWN:

Join GRANGE and Viking Range, for a panel discussion on innovation in kitchen design including top industry names and NKBA Insiders: Karl ChampleyAlberto Villalobos and Elle H-Millard with moderator Steve McKenzie. Bites will be provided by Michelin-Star rated Executive Chef Abram Bissell of The Modern in Grange’s contemporary test kitchen.

Such a great lineup for the panel and the full lineup for the day is even more impressive! Click here to check out all the details for What’s NEW, What’s NEXT 2017 and let us know if you plan to attend!!

Here are the details of Steve’s panel…
Date: Thursday, September 14th
Time: 7:15 pm
Showroom: Grange Furniture and Viking Range, Suite 201
Hope to see you in NYC!

Labor Day Greetings from steve mckenzie!

With all the parades and barbecues planned in celebration of the holiday today, we wanted to take an opportunity to share Labor Day greetings and to thank all who make it possible for us to do what we love. We’re so grateful to be able to work within such a fantastic industry with so many talented professionals who have become our friends. 

Happy Labor Day to all!!

A Studio Tour with Steve McKenzie

Folks frequently ask about Steve’s studio – and lucky for us, he loves sharing his happy place with others! It’s perfectly situated to fuel his creativity. Back in April, Paige Minear shared a visit to Steve’s studio on her blog, The Pink Clutch.

We thought we’d take this opportunity to share some of the same tour and offer a behind the scenes look of where the magic that is Steve’s art happens…

Steve’s studio is located in the loft above the steve mckenzie’s showroom. He can be a bit messy, so it’s smart to contain the work in a space that can be somewhat hidden. Up in the loft, he has various areas set up for working. A large easel is built on the wall and is the spot where Steve works on his larger pieces.

Commercial, stainless kitchen carts easily roll with Steve as he works.

An antique drafting table serves as his workspace for ink and watercolor drawings. This is also the place where Steve’s fabric patterns are created.

The curated objects in Steve’s studio are what inspire him most to create… Here are a few. Note the Illy coffee – nothing like an Italian espresso to keep you going!

Lately, Steve has been spending a lot of time in the studio, creating works for some upcoming shows, fabric lines and more!

Come visit the steve mckenzie’s showroom and experience the art of Steve McKenzie for yourself; and stay tuned for some exciting things coming up for Steve’s art!

*All photos by Marc Mauldin Photography