Steve McKenzie is a recognized Atlanta interior/exterior designer and a frequent lecturer on design at AmericasMart. Often tapped to design the indoor or outdoor rooms of area show-houses, McKenzie is also the co-owner, with his wife, Jill, of Steve McKenzie’s. This is a store that offers a combination of products designed by the McKenzies with handmade pieces from Southern artisans. Steve also is known for his unique textile designs that are derived from the canvases of his original artwork.
Steve will be collaborating with CASTELLE on a vignette during the Atlanta International Home and Gift Market being held July 11 – 18, 2017. The CASTELLE showroom during the Atlanta market is located in The Gardens, 10-A-07.
The following interview with Steve was conducted by RestyleSource about his collaboration with CASTELLE as well as his outdoor design style.
Q & A
Q. How did you get started in the world of interior design?
A. 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.
Q. What inspires your creativity, in general?
A. 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.
Q. What inspires you about exploring outdoor style? How will your vignette explore the sophisticated modern theme of ‘Design Matters’?
A. I love designing outdoor spaces. Living in Atlanta, al fresco entertaining is a way of life. They are the rooms that will be used heavily and I think outdoor spaces are so important. For this vignette, we are channeling the beach cabanas of the French Riveria. It will be a cozy conversation area with an ombreyd back wall suggesting the sea and coastline. There are so many outdoor high performance fabrics today that I think we have chosen fun combinations in the color palette of Design Matters in interesting combinations.
Q. Which products from the CASTELLE line will you be featuring? Can you give us a sneak preview as to what your vignette will look like, overall?
A. We have chosen the Solstice Collection for the seating from Castelle in a gloss white finish and that will combine with beautiful teal textures and white piping. The walls will have the large Sunbrella(R) cabana stripe in Citrine. One of the Castelle features I am most excited about it the fire pit 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.
Q What are your favorite showrooms to visit while at AmericasMart Atlanta?
A. 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. Some of my favorites include Codarus, they represent so many great lines. I also love Currey and Company for lighting. In Building 2 I love Rosse and 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 Inc. 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.
Q. Any favorite general entertaining/design/style tips?
A. I speak a lot on entertaining and tablescapes. My number 1 piece of advice is relax. If you are stressed, your guests will be stressed. I recommend having a Tablescape closet with basics you can pull from. After that, I say you do not have to follow all the rules. Use something unexpected on your table it is sure to generate conversation. Just have fun.
Q. Do you have a favorite quote for us?
A. “Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it.” Robert Motherwell
About Steve McKenzie – Steve McKenzie’s . 999 Brady Ave NW, Suite 1 . Atlanta, GA 30318 . 404.618.0422 . www.stevemckenzies.com