I’ve walked past MacKenzie-Childs at 14 West 57th Street many times, and peeked in to see the colorful, fanciful, one-of-a-kind home and garden-wear that remind me of Alice in Wonderland. There are also stores in Southampton New York, Palm Beach Florida, and their originating home, Aurora, in Upstate New York. The designs are a riot of color and opulence, featuring signature “Courtly Check” black and white checkerboard pattern and lots of tassels. Other stores like Saks and Harrods and even Neiman-Marcus sell pieces of the line.What makes MacKenzie-Childs a line that so many, love? In large part, it is because something from MacKenzie-Childs looks like nothing else. The colors are bold and right, the patterns, a crazy mixture. Plaids collide with stripes, big flowers run amok on plates and tea pots. Visiting in person is a bit like attending the Mad Hatter’s tea party. But most of all, MacKenzie-Childs is unique, and it’s fun. More than 81 artisans create each piece by hand at the Aurora, N.Y., headquarters. The designs are for people who want something different. I think the whimsical designs make you feel like a child again. A rich child, perhaps, as the larger pieces of furniture are not just hand crafted collectibles, they are also definitely not for the budget minded.
MacKenzie-Childs pieces are collectible, and cute. You have to have the right attitude to enjoy MacKenzie-Childs, but if you like it, you will want to be surrounded by it. Creatives will love over-stuffing a room with all the brilliant color and pattern in these unique pieces. But as I see it, MacKenzie Child’s furnishings are like jewelry. A few significant pieces make a statement, and pull a look together.You want people to look at them, and focus on them. home with so much color and pattern. But a Moroccan-inspired rattan lounger from the Flower Market Outdoor Furniture Collection, or living room couch in Courtly Check and stripes, will be the focal point of your room.
Even if you can’t afford a huge wing chair or a hand-painted chest of drawers, you can bring a bit of MacKenzie-Childs glamour to your home with their Courtly Check & Flower Market Enamelware, Courtly Check Ceramic serving pieces, Parchment Check ceramics (all handmade and had-painted in white and gold). Imagine how much more fun and happy daily life would be with MacKenzie-Childs in your home!
Spruce up your holidays with one of their holiday items, such as a collectible, mouth-blown, hand-painted ornaments from Poland. In the collection my favorites include a puffy old puffy owl, complete with the signature Courtly Check pattern on his front, a peach festooned in plaid, a carrot with a hint of Courtly Check on it’s “greens,” and even a Scottish bagpiper with Courtly Check socks. Hang MacKenzie-Childs stockings )$195) in rich fabrics in stripes, plaids, and Courtly Check, or perch a snow globe ($125)with a gift-laden bear in the middle on a Courtly Check tea cup, on a favorite table and bring smiles to all who see it.
Decor items for every day add that certain something, and make a wonderful gift. For example, $62.00 nets you a stunning, 7 oz. candle, in a beautifully decorated, hard-sided gift box too pretty to re-wrap, and definitely re-useable. Inside the box is a chunk of frosted, square glass filled with a scented, beeswax candle with lead-free wick from the MacKenzie-Childs Home Fragrance Collection. each votive is decorated with ribbon and a frilly, “Courtly Check®” button. The MacKenzie-Childs scents include: Studio, Lakehouse, Farmhouse and the one I tried, “Greenhouse,” featuring rosemary, lavender, and bergamot notes. It smells bright and fresh, perfect for men or women, gardeners, gourmets, and lovers of all things lovely.
Whether you just want some feel good eye candy or are looking for special gifts and decorating items, you will find them in one of the MacKenzie-Childs stores or shop on the MacKenzie-Childs web Site