Our next 2020 Holiday Tastemaker introduction features Steele Marcoux, the Editor-in-Chief of VERANDA magazine. Steele covers design trends, architecture, and travel for the brand. After receiving a Master of Arts in American History, she served as editor of Coastal Living, Executive Editor and Style Director at Country Living, and Design Editor at Southern Living and Coastal Living. She has been a freelance writer, editor and producer for a number of brands including Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, Flower Magazine, HGTV Magazine, and Better Homes & Gardens.
Steele was paired with Dogwood Hill artist Willa Heart who dreamed up and painted the beautiful artwork found in Steele’s Tastemaker Collection. Willa used Steele’s Instagram feed to gather inspiration for the collection and immediately went to work sketching all of the beautiful greenery she found which evolved into the classic ivy vines, wreathes, and topiaries found throughout the collection. Continue scrolling for some of Willa’s initial sketches as well as the final product in Steele’s finished tastemaker collection which can be shopped here.
We hope you enjoy our Q&A with Steele below!
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Hosting Christmas Eve dinner at my house. My mother always hosted when I was growing up, and I picked up the torch in 2010 just before giving birth to my oldest son. We always host our parents and my sister and her husband – and friends or colleagues who cannot travel home to see their families for whatever reason.
What is your most memorable holiday and why?
Last year’s Christmas Eve – it was lovely, and the last Christmas with my father. (Of course, we didn’t know that at the time.)
Which cards (from your Tastemaker Suite) will you be sending out to family and friends this holiday?
I am torn between the garland and ribbon/bows or the topiary tree!
For Holiday cards, how do you compile your list?
Our list includes family and friends from college, our time in DC, and our original hometowns, and our current hometown. It’s hard – we are lucky to love so many!
Do you have a consistent go-to gift for family? friends? work acquaintances?
Something potted from Shoppe in Birmingham
What is your go-to holiday hostess gift?
Something cheeky from Rebecca Gardner, House & Parties
What is your favorite last-minute holiday gift idea?
This year, I plan to make small donations to Family Promise, which is working to help prevent homelessness among families in honor of friends and family.
What keeps you inspired during the busy holiday season?
Most years I would say the chance to spend more time in my beautiful and festive hometown of Birmingham. I will probably feel that way this year too – even though I have not been traveling this year, of course!
What brings you a sense of calm during the busy holiday season?
Savoring the season of winter. It’s begging us to slow down, calm down, quiet down. I love to walk in the winter and soak in the silence.
What is your favorite holiday dessert? Would you be open to sharing the recipe?
My mother’s chocolate mousse cake, for sentimental reasons. I also love the NY Times Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Maple Brown Butter Glaze!
What is your go-to favorite holiday scent?
I love the scent of fresh Christmas trees, even though I am allergic! I also love Dyptique’s Feu de Bois candle – not holiday per se but just as cozy.
Who is on your dream holiday party guest? If applicable, please share their Instagram handles.
ANYONE, I miss my friends!
Where are you daydreaming of traveling to in 2021?
ANYWHERE! We had to cancel our trip to Italy this past March. That would be nice. But, we are hoping we will have the chance to ski out west, maybe visit California with our boys, and spend a nice long part of summer in Western North Carolina.
What are you most thankful for this year? And what are you most looking forward to in the New Year? 2020 has been such a strange year!
I am thankful for my family and my health. I am looking forward to, hopefully, reconnecting with more of my beloved friends and colleagues in person once again in 2021.