Tag Archives: home

Sage Living:: the design book with soul

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Last weekend I curled up with my friend Anne Sage‘s new design book, Sage Living, Decorate for the Life You Want. I wasn’t surprised that it was beautiful or unique because that pretty much sums up Anne in a nutshell.

However, what did surprise me was that this book is really a helpful guide on how to be happy at home. It’s a simple premise, but it’s never been done. Anne is not only brilliant in her approach to design and how it ties to our sense of well being, but this book will have you looking at your spaces and how you live in a fresh new way.

Lucky for me she agreed to come along and share her expertise with my June Style + Photo Workshop students in Italy this summer. Of course she wowed the crowd, and she will be back next June to do it again!

Lucky for you she has written one of the most soulful design books out there. While most design books cover beautiful spaces page after page, chapter after chapter, in a rather formulaic fashion, Anne goes the extra mile and illustrates the relationship between our home and our happiness.


Anne reminds us that “Your best life starts at home.”

In Sage Living, Anne Sage opens the door to 28 covetable dwellings designed to boost the dreams of their occupants, from the sunny kitchen of a holistic nutritionist to the eclectic living room of a world traveler. With page after page of stunning interiors and design tips for every room, Sage Living goes beneath the stylized surface to help you decorate for the life you want.

our dining room

When Anne asked me if she could photograph the entertaining spaces in our home for this book, I was not only honored, but excited to share why our home is the place that makes me and my entire family feel happy, centered, and at ease. We have created a place to make everyone feel comfortable and relaxed.

You may know Anne as the City Sage, but I know her as a smart cookie. This book will change the way you look at your space and yes, even your life. I urge you to pick up a copy. It’s not only a design book; it goes deep and will have you thinking about the way you live in the most important space in your life: your home.

Thank you Anne for including our home. Our happiest place.

Photos : via Emily Johnston

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Steve McKenzie’s :: A Home Store with Heart & Soul

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Hi Everyone! Nicole here, Annette’s web-manager and friend. You might remember me from my post about being completely awestruck at one of Annette’s photoshoots back in the spring.

While Annette wraps-up her amazing summer in Italy, she asked if I would go on assignment for the blog and write up a little something about one of my favorite home decor shops in Atlanta, Steve McKenzie’s. The chance to gush about beautiful art, furniture, and home accessories? Say no more because I’m in!

Steve McKenzie’s is owned and operated by husband-wife duo, Steve & Jill McKenzie. Serving as an interiors and lifestyle store in Atlanta’s blossoming Westside Design District, Steve McKenzie’s is home to beautiful Grange furniture, art and prints by Thimblepress, ceramics by R. Wood, and much more. In fact, Steve McKenzie’s recently became the exclusive showroom for Cotton & Quill. Not too shabby for a shop that only opened in 2012; they clearly have the eye for design and the longevity to last. This well-curated space is not only showcases high end brands, but also has a special place in its heart for local southern makers, making it a dream to explore and get lost in.

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Of course, I would be remiss not to mention that Steve is a brilliant artist and the man behind much of the art in the store, along with his own line of textiles carried exclusively at Steve McKenzie’s. Jill and Steve have this whole co-owner thing down to a science. When in the store, it is truly evident that they work as a partnership as Jill admiringly describes Steve’s artwork while making each customer feel right at home; she’s a true southern hostess.


Not only does Steve McKenzie’s feature the very best in home decor, but they’re also embracing the community and lending a little creativity to Atlanta. Partnering with local artists and creatives like BlackCatTips, Steve McKenzie’s offers Saturday morning Kickstart Creativity classes regularly. On August 29th, they’re helping everyone get ready for Atlanta’s upcoming Beltline lantern parade. For $30, you can join Xavier Neuner, the shop’s resident paper and party expert, get all of the lantern supplies you need, and enjoy a little creative class to jumpstart your weekend. Buy tickets here.

If you’re in the Atlanta area, be sure to visit my friends Jill & Steve at Steve McKenzie’s. You’re bound to find the prefect hostess gift, some stunning art, and books you just can’t live without.

xo, Nicole

photo credit: me portrait found on Erika Ward’s blog

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key areas to organize in your home

bdf36a6284d151777e404f9f85058725 Happy New Year everyone! Hope you had a fabulous time celebrating. I had an amazing New Year’s Eve. I was on the Today Show sharing last minute party ideas in the morning and at home with my husband drinking champagne and eating steak frites while watching Casablanca that night. You can check out the Today Show video here.

It’s resolution time! I know many of you will vow to become more organized so I wanted to share some of my best tips with you. I am crazy organized, it’s just how I am so I love helping those who are more challenged in this area because it clears your mind to have an uncluttered space. My biggest tip is to start small. This is always the way I start…

Even the smallest of organizing projects can launch you into a full-on organizing frenzy. In order to keep from being overwhelmed I like to pick one project per week. It’s totally doable and will make a huge difference in your home which will trickle into the rest of your life.

First things first, identify the areas of attack. Let’s go room to room, shall we?

1. Kitchen – check your pantry for expired items and toss accordingly. You will be surprised how quickly your pantry clears out. If you make it a regular practice to toss and check labels your pantry will stay organized. This is also a great time to throw out things that are unhealthy, high in calories, or processed. Clean up your pantry and clean up your diet. This will be hugely helpful if you’re following along on my 21 day juice cleanse. 101751139.jpg.rendition.largest 2. Closet – I like to go through my clothes and purge every 3 months. If you are starting fresh in January with a closet purge, start with reorganizing your jewelry. These display cases are fantastic. I found them in a closet I styled in New Orleans. I loved that the homeowner paired down her collection to only the things she wore regularly. I find that the Container store has some great jewelery storage solutions, I personally love the pocket style storage bags. b87976cd217d13c2a2da2411a2dd8a5d 3. Home office – I work from my home, as many of you do. This is an on-going trend, more and more people are working from home these days. With that being said, staying organized at home is even more important. An organized office makes for an efficient work place. I styled this office for my dear friend Erika Ward for Better Homes and Gardens magazine. As many of you know by now from the behind the scenes I post, as a stylist it is sometimes my job to create spaces with the homeowners for a story. In this case Erika had a great home office, but she and I tweaked it for the shoot. We added this organizational wall. It was a pretty easy fix using IKEA elements, washi tape and some chalk board paint. 25d8e6e1d8a133ec2cc08822949c9202 5. Laundry room – I don’t know about you, but I love a well appointed laundry room. Sometimes this is the easiest room to effectively change. Storage bins and baskets on an added shelf might be all you need. Something decorative like a small piece of artwork makes this work space feel pretty. You want a great place to fold laundry, especially if you’re like me and you spend an awful lot of time there. A quick and easy fix is to color coordinate some pretty soap and laundry products. There are so many available now at any store like Target and Mrs. Meyers detergents and cleaning supplies are some of my go-tos. It makes for instant design and it’s functional too. I also love using galvanized bins from Pottery Barn. Trust me, they will last forever. 9d9abe5ad0059feb2062fcc58ffa91be I would love to hear about your projects. Use the start of the year to challenge yourself to organize your home and create peaceful and beautiful spaces to live in. All the best for 2014, make it a good one. xx

all images styled by me and photographed for Better Homes and Gardens Magazine


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