Steve McKenzie Atlanta, GA
Interview with Steve McKenzie
Welcome to our new series of Designer Spotlights, focusing on the group of top bloggers and designers who will bring to life the Vignette Gallery Exhibition at AmericasMart beginning in July 2017. This summer market, the theme of the exhibition looks ahead to 2018 with the theme “The Great Reset: Redefining How We Live, Design and Do Business.” A select group of creatives will explore four trend forecast themes using their favorite furnishings and accessories sourced from the market. The next of our designers to be featured is…Steve McKenzie! This in-demand designer will offer his take on the season’s theme while highlighting the handcrafted luxury furnishings of CASTELLE, in an outdoor-themed vignette that is not to be missed!
An artist at heart, Steve McKenzie found his creative niche in the interior design community after Steve’s 20-year tenure as president and CEO of Larson-Juhl. Steve and Jill McKenzie opened steve mckenzie’s interiors and lifestyle store in September 2012. The brand offers a design sensibility that converges two fundamental influences—the graciousness that they have grown to appreciate while living in the South and their personal love for the mid-century modern aesthetic. McKenzie Design has completed projects throughout the Southeast and Midwest, has been published in Atlanta Homes and Lifestyle, and has been recognized by other national publications, including House Beautiful and Traditional Home. REstyleSOURCE has all the details on Steve’s design philosophy, what inspires him about outdoor living, and what market-goers can expect to see from his CASTELLE vignette at AmericasMart Atlanta in July…
Photo c/o McKenzie Design
How did you get started in the world of interior design? I have always been in the home industry. I began my career in college working for Sherwin-Williams in their research labs as a summer intern. I was a chemistry major. My entire career has involved product design for the home in various capacities. In 2012 my wife, Jill, and I opened our showroom, steve mckenzie’s as well as our interior design business McKenzie Design LLC.
What inspires your creativity? I have been a painter and artist for over 25 years, so much of my creativity is fueled by art. However, you never really know what will push your creative button. Sometimes it is a particular piece of fashion. Lately I have really been inspired by floral arrangements, color relationships and shapes.
Steve’s Favorite Quote…“Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it. ”
Designer Notes: Inspiration
Take a peek “behind the design” with this French Riviera-inspired mood board by Steve McKenzie!
How will your vignette explore the sophisticated modern “Design Matters” theme? I love designing outdoor spaces, I think [they] are so important. Living in Atlanta, al fresco entertaining is a way of life. For this vignette, we are channeling the beach cabanas of the French Rivieria, creating a cozy conversation area with an ombré back wall suggesting the sea and coastline. There are so many outdoor high-performance fabrics today…I think we have chosen fun combinations in the color palette of Design Matters.
We have chosen the Solaris (shown at left; now known as Solstice) Collection for the seating from CASTELLE in a gloss white finish, and that will be combined with beautiful teal textures and white piping. The walls will feature a large Sunbrella cabana stripe panel in Citron. One of the CASTELLE features I am most excited about it the firepit coffee table in their contemporary line. I think it would be just dreamy to sit around a fire in your coffee table on a cool evening.
Steve’s Must-See AmericasMart Showrooms
“I have so many favorites, we spend a good deal of time at AmericasMart both during and off market. Our business is only 10 minutes away, so we are there frequently. One of my favorites is CODARUS, they represent so many great lines. I also love Currey & Company for lighting. In Building 2 I love Rosse & Associates, they are our go-to for all things tabletop and entertaining. Tango is a showroom we love for their melamine line, Le Cadeaux. We frequent Accent Decor in Building 1 for floral containers. A must for us always is Eric Cortina, the objects he makes himself are all one of a kind and really special in a space.”
Designer Tips on shopping the market?
“For interior designers you will want to plan to spend most of your market time in Building 1. A lot of the design activity takes place on Floors 14 and 15, however do not restrict yourself to just these floors. Do a little homework before you come and plan your visit so you are not running up and down the escalators constantly. Definitely visit the High Design temporaries as well as Floor 8 temporaries in Building 1. Wear very comfortable shoes!!!”
Finally, any style or entertaining tips for us?
“I speak a lot on entertaining and tablescapes: my number one piece of advice is relax. If you are stressed, your guests will be stressed. I recommend having a ‘tablescape closet’ stocked with basics you can pull from. After that I say you don’t have to follow all the rules–use something unexpected on your table, it is sure to generate conversation. Just have fun!”
Up Close & Personal with the Designer
Coffee or Tea? Coffee / Salty or Sweet? Salty / City or Country? City!!! / Hunt for Antiques or Buy New? Hunt for antiques / Cats or Dogs? Dogs all the way / Text or Phone Call? Phone, conversation is a dying art
Luxury Hotel or Camping Trip? Luxury Hotel / Linen or Silk? Linen / Night Owl or Early Riser? Both / Read the Book or See the Movie? Movie / Home Cooked Meal or Fancy Restaurant? Home Cooked Meal