MacKenzie-Childs fan favorites
September 17, 2019
Happy Birthday, MacKenzie-Childs! For 36 years, we’ve created beautiful products that add joy and grace to homes around the world. We’re celebrating our legacy all month with Simply Smashing September, and here we look at a selection of our fan favorites throughout the years that are still in our collections today.
Rebecca Proctor, our chief brand officer and creative director, has been with the company almost every step of the way, joining it in 1991. Here’s her take on what stands out over the years.
We introduced The Entertaining Kitchen, that central space in the home where everyone gathers for food, fun, and so much more. In addition, it’s where the host takes center stage. All the vibrant tasks of homemaking and entertaining family and friends are now shared in the space that is considered the heartbeat of the home. And with the kitchen’s bigger role comes the opportunity to dress the space and fill it with a variety of new pieces.
We also introduced a new ceramic pattern, Sweetbriar. Quietly charming, Sweetbriar is clean and simply white with interest coming from a variety of embossed designs. Entirely handmade at our studios in Aurora, New York, it’s a perfect example of our Aurora Artisanal collection, which also includes furniture and lighting.
Says Rebecca, “White is a new platform for MacKenzie-Childs, and Sweetbriar is full of interesting texture and character. It has a uniqueness to it that celebrates our tradition of one-of-a-kind.”
Our home furnishings category expands with Finishing Touches, a broad group of decor products that help to transform a room from floor to ceiling and give it our unmistakable personality. This group includes everything from what’s on the floor (rugs) to what’s on the table (napkins, table runners, and placemats) to what’s on the walls (wallpaper and curtain panels), as well as accents like pillows, decorative hardware, and tassels.
Two new Taylor patterns—Poplar Ridge and Hitchcock Field—expand on the legacy of our Taylor ceramic collection. Both patterns are bright and playful and draw inspiration from landmarks near our studios in Aurora, New York. We also introduced the concept of Underpinnings, which are foundational patterns to which multiple layers and surfaces can be added. Courtly Check, for example, is a major Underpinning because it invites the mixing and matching of other patterns with it.
We introduced the now iconic hand-painted Courtly Check Enamel Tea Kettle. It’s practical, of course, helping to make countless cups of tea, while the pretty color-dragged pattern dresses up stovetops everywhere. Made of heavy-gauge steel that’s rimmed in bronzed stainless steel, it’s finished with a wood handle and a lid topped with a carved faux-cinnabar bead. We also embarked on a major expansion of our seasonal category, which had been focused mostly on glass ornaments, with the addition of Santas, nutcrackers, and a wide variety of holiday decor.
In 1995, we started making enamelware, using the same time-honored process we use today. Our first pattern was Courtly Check, which was the new name that we gave to a pattern originally called Roasted Marshmallow that was part of our Camp MacKenzie-Childs collection. That iconic color-dragged check, by the way, began to take shape years earlier when it first appeared as a painted accent on an armoire.
So, what’s ahead in the years to come?
Just about anything, Rebecca says. “Our joy is to bring a happy, beautiful viewpoint to everything we do. From enamel dinner plates to hot air balloons, the sky’s the limit. It feels like we are just getting started!”