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!

SaveSave

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!!

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.

Have You Heard?

It’s our End of Season Sale this week with 20% off the entire store, special furniture pieces at deep discounts, a 75% off Table and lots more.  Spruce up your outdoor living space, office, home and don’t forget to stock up your Gift Closet!

Stop in soon or email us for details as we love to ship to our clients far and wide.

Quick look at some crazy deals on some amazing furniture pieces…

We look forward to seeing you at steve mckenzie’s, and bring a couple of friends because friends are fun!

 

Who you NEED to meet: Sara Ossana of O&G Studio

It’s all in the details – that’s one of our mantras, as we’re willing to bet it’s one of O&G studio’s mantras as well. Today, we’re sharing an interview with Sara Ossana, one of the founders of O&G Studio, a modern furniture company, featuring American-made Windsor designs. Sara’s talents span an array of industries, including movie production, but our partnership with O&G Studio is how we were initially introduced. O&G Studio’s designs are classic with a nod to modernity and brilliant touches, which make them true heirlooms. We’re fans of Sara’s and O&G Studio and think you will be too! Enjoy today’s “Who you NEED to meet” post, featuring Sara Ossana…

Jon & Sara – co-founders of O&G Studio

sm’s: Can you please share a bit about your background/how you started O&G Studio and how you gained the courage to break out on your own?

Founded in 2009, the duo met over ten years ago as graduate students at The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where Jonathan studied jewelry and Sara studied interior architecture. Their combined backgrounds allow them to blend intricate detailing with a play on scale and proportion to bring traditional motifs into the 21st century. 

Atlantic Counter Stools

sm’s: What inspires you/your work? 

Based in Warren, Rhode Island, O&G Studio looks towards the rich history of American design traditions for inspiration. Particularly the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as local auctions in and around New England. Essentially we take inspiration from our surroundings, from nature as well as craft. 

Metacom Arm Chair

sm’s: What is your vision, not only for O& G Studio, but also the individual designs/products you create?

Quality and timelessness are a main focus.  We tend to play a lot with scale and proportion and are known for color, particularly our rich stain selections all custom mixed by us in our 20K sf combined studio, showroom and shop.  We are not interested in trends or forecasting.  We look to design pieces that can work in a multitude of interiors spanning contemporary to transitional and traditional.  The pieces pair well with other antiques or modern designs thus making them quite flexible in any interior.  We usually start with a ‘room’.  We see the entire space with the piece sitting from afar. It must make an impression immediately.  Upon closer inspection more detail is revealed adding intrigue.  Then when used additional details are discovered through touch and feel of the piece satisfying multiple scales of interaction.

Athenaeum Settee

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

We are always drawn to narrative and legacy.  We like to imbue our work with meaning beyond a simply aesthetically pleasing object.  I wouldn’t say that we have any mainstays.  We love all of our ‘children’ the same:)

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

Magic!  No – just kidding, we are neurotic, fastidious work-a-holics.  We have to thank our respective spouses for putting up with us.  We are very detail oriented but all see the big picture.  We never release a piece that we are not fully behind or confident in.  I think that the dual partnership also keeps us in line.  It creates a constructive critique environment to discuss designs and their merit.

Colt High-Back Side Chair

sm’s: What do people need to consider when looking to purchase from O&G Studio? 

I would say a few things, take your time.  We make everything to order.  We can help with decision making and understand that our work can be a focal point in a room.  Feel free to ask anything about a piece.  We like to match our clientele up with work they will be happy with forever.  Everything is made to order so we will pick the wood for your piece by hand to match the stain you choose, this takes time.  Pieces can take up to 12 weeks to produce during busy times of year, although sometimes we have unfinished stock available on a quick ship lead time.

sm’s: What’s on the horizon for you/O&G Studio?

The best thing about creativity and business is they way they build their own momentum.  Every idea, every challenge sets in motion an exciting series of events. This coming year is all about feeding our creative vision through speculative one of a kind, one off pieces. These allow the full blown expression of an idea that can give birth to an entire new production line. 
sm’s: As an artist/business person how do you recharge? 
Good question, we love to eat so really good food is always a must.  Going to the beach, enjoying Rhode Island and spending time with our families.  Both of us have small children so weekends are off limits for work.  We spend that time with our children enjoying everything that the Ocean State has to offer.  We also find a lot of inspiration from teaching; both Jonathan and I teach at the collegiate level at RISD.  Working with young designers is important.  We want to give back and help others on their career paths.

 

Absolutely fantastic! As are the designs from O&G Studio. We invite you to visit the steve mckenzie’s showroom to see Sara and Jonathan’s work in real life and learn what they may be able to create for you.

 

Thank you to Sara for agreeing to participate in this spotlight feature – we’re officially fans!