Picture Perfect Picnic

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!

PHOTOGRAPH BY NATHAN BOLSTER

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
Black peppercorns
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
Ground pepper
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.

A Tropical Transformation: McKenzie Design’s 2017 Historic Macon Showhouse Dining Room

Our space in this year’s Design, Wine & Dine Showhouse, supporting the Historic Macon Foundation is finally complete! While we’re delighted with the way the dining room by McKenzie Design turned out, we’re even more thrilled to have been in the company of such talented designers from throughout Middle-Georgia, including Lisa Bellwin, Tracy BentonSally DraughonValerie Garrett, Judy Hodgens, Terry Holland, Carolyn Reichert, Carrie Robinson and Katherine Walden.

Most recently, our design team has been inspired by the all the lush, tropical motifs, which seem to be popping up everywhere! While we wanted to ensure we respected the history of the fantastic Porter House – moved to Weslyan University‘s campus – we also wanted to present our take with an updated sense of tradition. We’re so pleased with the results of our design plan, and are lucky to have had the opportunity to partner with some truly terrific manufacturers and artisans to help us realize our space…

We fell in love with Sherwin Williams’ “Iverness” and opted to use this luxurious hue throughout the dining room. The brass Pagoda light fixture by Currey & Company was a true jewel in the space! The cerused oak dining table, from Grange Furniture, was an ideal backdrop for our tablescape.

We had a ball with all of the fabulous Thibaut Design textiles used in the dining room – the “Tropical Fantasy” design from their Biscayne collection was the jumping off point and we went from there. Drape 98 provided all drapery fabrication for our space. As evidenced by the McKenzie Design showhouse dining space, we fell in love with the tropical, yet classic, design of our primary textile, featuring large leaves, colorful ginger jars and exotic animals.

The lush texture of the Moss colored velvet, paired with Selamat’s Sheridan wingback chair offered a smart juxtaposition of textures, and offers a natural element. These dramatic chairs, act as the “head” of our dining table, while the Sika Rossini chairs, act as the side chairs. Our showhouse dining space is anchored with a stunning, hand-knotted rug by Laura Walker for Verde Home.

This beautiful settee is by Bjork Studio, who provided all our upholstery. The settee, in bold animal print (Amur from the Menagerie Collection by Thibaut) is a highlight in the space and was the most talked about piece opening night – by far.

The hand finished mirror situated above the fireplace cannot go unnoticed. It’s by artist Stacy Milburn, and added needed contemporary element, which offers an exciting energy.

To set the table, we paired pieces from the new Jardins Extraordinaire collection by Gien with the classic handmade Chartreuse dinner plate by R Wood Studios. The exciting and fresh “Pebble in Blush” napkin, hand printed in India, by Collier Rose Ink, completes a memorable place setting.

Recently, we acquired six vintage pieces of glass from an old Midwest factory that still had the papers attached. Framed in these stunning steel frames, they make for an interesting, contemporary addition to the space, yet share a storied past. We love using pieces with a bit of history in our designs!

This glimpse of our showhouse tabletop is one of our favorite moments. We dubbed this little guy “Otis,” after Otis Redding, who was from Macon. He is by Avala International. In the background is the beautiful oyster vase, by Vine Garden Market, and a crystal votive from Harmonious Living by Tish Mills.

We hope you have enjoyed this little tour of our showhouse dining room! If you’d like to learn more about any of the products used, please plan a visit to our showroom or reach out via e-mail or phone.

We urge you to plan a trip to Macon to visit the showroom – the house, as well as all related Design, Wine & Dine events are absolutely worth the short drive! Please reach out to us for restaurant recommendations and be prepared to be inspired by this historic city. Visit the Macon, GA website for other fun excursions to enjoy while there. But, keep in mind, the showhouse will only be open through the 25th – you can see more details here.

Thanks again for joining us on this tour – please let us know your thoughts!

All photos in this post are courtesy of Marc Mauldin Photography except the photo of the Porter House from Historic Macon Foundation

How would you design the White House?!

That was the question posed to our very own Steve McKenzie by the wonderful team at Steelyard Access, when they approached him about e-designing a room fit for the President of the United States for their e-magazine, FOCUS

white-house-makeover

Those of you close to Steve may have heard him share his “dream project” – designing a set of Presidential china. So, this fun challenge caused some immediate ear perks. And when he learned his room to makeover was the Presidential Library, he was in!

The White House China Room
The White House China Room

Here’s a bit about Steve’s concept for the design:

Designing for the next President’s innermost sanctum, left me appealing to the desire for a personal space that truly reflects taste and inspiration. The President, a modernist at heart, needs a private place to escape and think, read and simply be… uninterrupted. A love of mid-century was the springing-off point for clean lines and a warm palette. Not encumbered by the need to reflect the Federal traditional style seen throughout much of the White House, we focused on using elements that the President alone will use and enjoy thoroughly.

presidential-project

Some of the items included in this space fit for our country’s leader are a sumptuous sofa from The Eleanor Rigby Company, stunning shelves by French Heritage, a sculptural lamp from Theodore Alexander, a steve mckenzie’s rug design by Verde Home and a Perry Luxe console.

steelyard-focus

We were in some fantastic company in this FOCUS e-magazine makeover feature – so be sure to check out all of the amazing spaces by Gary Inman, Eric Haydel, Ashlina Kaposta, NAR Design Group, Joy Moyler and Steelyard’s Steven Avitable.

We’re so grateful to have been included in this fun spread and hope it inspires you to go a little presidential with the interior design of your home! If you’d like help with designing a space you’ll love, reach out to the McKenzie Design team today.

Behind the Mix: Sherwin Williams’ ColorMix 2016

Last night was the unveiling of McKenzie Design’s vignette for Sherwin Williams 2016 ColorMix event at ADAC, and we have to say we are so thrilled with our space!

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This design was a bit of a boundary-pusher for Steve. He and Jill selected Sherwin Williams’ Noir color palette to work with, which offered an opportunity to audition color combinations he’s been marinating over in his mind.

noir-color-palette

The Noir palette is full of deep, rich, and somewhat moody hues that we loved working with.

steve-colormix

To highlight the full range of the palette, we worked with a custom stencil to create a one-of-a-kind look for our walls. Here’s Steve working with the stencil and revealing the finished design:


Challenging ourselves to work with a pre-specified palette of trendsetting colors helps inform future design concepts and even inspires upcoming steve mckenzie’s fabric collections. Here’s a link to Sherwin Williams’ full 2017 ColorMix forecast – so exciting to see what’s on the horizon!

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Most of the products in Steve’s interior designer space for ColorMix2016 were sourced from the superbly curated Martin Nash showroom at ADAC. The amazing rug is by Laura Walker from Verde Home.

Other Interior Designers featured at this year’s Sherwin Williams ColorMix event are Heather Roberts, Chris Scocci and Ann Wisenewski – and we couldn’t be more pleased to be in such fantastic company!

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Thanks to all who came out to enjoy the interior design vignettes. We hope you were inspired by some fabulous, trendsetting color palettes!! Reach out to McKenzie Design to bring some inspiring color into your own home.

steve mckenzie’s Partners to Design Serenbe’s Tiny Artist Cottages

If you follow steve mckenzie’s on Facebook, you may have seen that over the past few months, Steve has been working with our friend, and fellow designer, Kerry Howard to create inspiring interiors for two brand new tiny cottages for Serenbe, slated to be used for their Artist In Residence (AIR) program.

(photo by Cody Guilfoye)
(photo by Cody Guilfoye)

With Steve being an artist himself, this project has been especially rewarding, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to share the completed design with you all! We first announced our participation in this project in this blog post, which offers a bit of background on Serenbe’s AIR program their partnership with Auburn University’s Rural Studio, where the goal of creating low-cost and inspiring living solutions began.

(photo by Cody Guilfoye)
(photo by Cody Guilfoye)

Many people had to join together to make this project a reality – after all, there were some lofty goals put in place for all involved! Not the least of which was designing the cottage interiors in a way that would inspire a plethora of artists who are fortunate enough to participate in Serenbe’s AIR program, while maintaining a realistic view of what future cottages would look like, when not given the opportunity to work with interior designers.

(photo by Cody Guilfoye)
(photo by Cody Guilfoye)

Because these cottages will work as examples for future Rural Studios dwellings, Steve and Kerry wanted to ensure their designs work to make the most of these unique dwellings. They donated their time designing and installing the interiors, while a number of vendors, including Verde Home, Selamat Designs, R. Wood Studio, Cherry Hollow Farm, Cosentino, Bosch, Workstead Design Shop, Marmoluna, TOTO, Top Shop stone, AuthenTeak, and Robert Allen, all donated products and materials to make the team’s designs come to fruition.

(photo by Cody Guilfoye)
(photo by Cody Guilfoye)

For a full look at Serenbe’s new artist cottages, check out this article from Atlanta Magazine. To learn more about Auburn University’s Rural Studio’s program and how these cottages provided a real-world example for them as the program expands, see this story on inhabitat.com. Finally, this article from Mother Nature Network beautifully highlights the cottages themselves. We’re so grateful this collaboration has been so well received and we’re honored to play a role in the project’s success!

(photo by Cody Guilfoye)
(photo by Cody Guilfoye)

If you love the artsy, eclectic feel of these cottages, and would like to bring a bit of this lovely look into your own space, please contact the steve mckenzie’s design team today!

The Lyric Collection for Verde Home by Steve McKenzie

It’s here – the launch of Steve’s fantastic rug collection, Lyric, for Verde Home – and we couldn’t be more thrilled to share it with you!

sm's for verde home
Rug pictured: Jeté : No. 895

As we shared earlier, Steve previewed the new collection for Verde Home while in NYC for What’s New What’s Next – and this Thursday evening, we’re celebrating with a launch party in conjunction with Eddie Ross’ Modern Mix book signing soiree in the steve mckenzie’s showroom

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Slash (Orange) : No. 929

Here’s a bit about Verde Home’s newest rug collection, by our namesake, Steve McKenzie:

The Lyric Collection by Steve McKenzie for Verde Home is a collaboration; A journey between the expression of an artist, the interpretation of a weaver and you. Each carpet is a woven rendition of a modern vision, using an ancient craft to articulate progressive design. And at this crossroad of art and function, Steve McKenzie & Verde Home invite you to engage in the making of floor art of immense creativity and range. All designs in the Lyric Collection can be custom sized and colored allowing you to
share in the final vision by selecting your own color palette and scale. 

Commencement : No. 1024
Commencement : No. 1024

Steve’s artistry provides the foundation for determining the ideal floor covering for your home. His work exhibits an array of modern themes, from sparsely drawn elements of vibrant color, layered over abstract backgrounds of borderless movement to more intricate, textile patterns inspired by Steve’s renowned fabric design. 25 years of earnest art making is reflected in the works that make up the Lyric Collection and we look forward to collaborating with you on the work yet to come.

Scalloped : No. 1027
Scalloped : No. 1027

All pieces from The Lyric Collection are hand knotted in India using wool and wool/banana silk blends. All rugs are made to order. Custom sizes and colors are encouraged. To learn more, and begin creating your custom Lyric rug, please contact the Verde Home team.

If you can make it to our Verde Home Lyric Collection launch party and Modern Mix book signing event Thursday from 5-8PM, please RSVP to shop@stevemckenzies.com.

Preview Verde Home Rugs by Steve McKenzie at WNWN in New York!

We’re thrilled to share that in partnership with our neighbors, Verde Home, Steve McKenzie will be launching a new rug collection, to be previewed at the upcoming “What’s New What’s Next” event at the New York Design Center!

wnwn

In addition to Steve’s fine artwork, textile collections and the steve mckenzie’s showroom, he’s now taken his design prowess to the ground level, by designing a collection of fine quality, handmade area rugs for Verde Home.

Steve’s distinctive aesthetic translates beautifully from his art and textiles to what we consider “art for the floor.” Verde Home’s philosophy of style and sustainability fits seamlessly with his stylistic attitude, an attribute apparent in the beautiful designs featured in this inaugural rug collection.

In addition to previewing his new rug collection for Verde Home, Steve will also be attending “What’s New What’s Next” as a panelist for New York Spaces “Progressive Design Panel,” in part with Grange Furniture, taking place Thursday, September 17th at 3:45PM in suite 201 at the New York Design Center.

wnwn panel

Other panelists include Stacy Garcia and Kimberly Lewis. Jason Kontos, Editor-in-Chief, New York Spaces, will lead the discussion.

If you’ll be attending WNWN, we hope you’ll visit Verde Home and catch a glimpse of this new collection by Steve McKenzie, and join in on his panel discussion Thursday afternoon!