There are those brands that we wear or have in our home simply because we like the way they look, and there are those that do just a little more in our lives. They tell a story, evoke our senses, and inspire the very way we live our lives. I’ve long known that MacKenzie-Childs falls in the latter of those categories, and earlier this month, I got to find out why for myself.
Nestled atop rolling fields of hay and blossoming gardens sits the charming MacKenzie-Childs farmhouse, a Victorian-style house that’s so picturesque, it feels as though a Virginia Lee Burton illustration from a children’s book has come to life before your eyes. In the quaint, historical town of Aurora, New York, you’re a long way from Texas, but it’s almost impossible to believe you’re in the same state that’s home to the hustle and bustle of NYC.
As you look just beyond the farmhouse, amidst the nostalgic chatter of roosters cuckooing, ducklings chirping and the all-too familiar (for this Texas girl) bellowing of cattle, you’ll find a former dairy farm-restored- MacKenzie-Childs palace. This is the MacKenzie-Childs Headquarters, a whimsical, wondrous property I thought only existed in fairytales.
Keep reading to explore the magic of the Mackenzie-Childs headquarters and the brand’s home town of Aurora, New York…an experience I was so lucky to be a part of earlier this spring.
SHOP MY FAVES FROM MACKENZIE-CHILDS
The adventure began as we pulled up to our home for the week…a dreamy, cozy cottage-meets-mansion in which each of us had our very own room (mine even had a fireplace, which I used nightly!). As we walked through the wooden arched double doors, we were greeted by the most kind and welcoming hostess, Cody, who would be our live-in “house mom” over the next fews days. We were staying at the E.B. Morgan House, a bed-and-breakfast-like inn in the namesake of the man who used to call the home his private residence, and also happened to be the man who co-founded the New York Times and American Express, Colonel Edwin Barber Morgan.
Here’s a peek at the front of the stunning E.B. Morgan House. We got to tour each of the four Inns of Aurora, all homes that were more than 100 years old (some closer to 200!) and have been beautifully restored thanks to the people of Aurora. The rich history of the town was evident in each corner, and it was truly incredible how the people had restored so many of its original buildings.
As I opened the door to my room with my actual key (which I also loved!), I was surrounded in a happy, sunshine yellow. The beautiful floral print was featured not just in the wall paper, but also in the fabric of the furniture, and I loved how immersing it was.
As a color lover, I swooned again over my bright coral bathroom – just gorgeous! Click here to see more photos of my guest room at the E.B. Morgan house!
I was even more delighted to find the sweetest of gift baskets, featuring MacKenzie-Childs goodies and local finds from around Aurora. I think I got actual butterflies when I opened another gift box to find dog treats for Lucky and Lady and a hand-written note, mentioning each of my fur babies!! Swoon! These sweet folks know the key to my heart. Thoughtfulness and detail is the name of the brand’s game, and that was seen in every detail of the experience.
I had a stunning view of the Finger Lakes just outside my bedroom and my bathroom.
First up on the agenda, a tour of each of the Inns of Aurora (every one is a time-capsule – absolute magic!!) followed by a floral arranging lesson, which I absolutely loved!! Each of us got to pick out our very own MacKenzie-Childs vessel (I chose a vase in the classic Courtly Check!) and got to select from hundreds of flowers to create our very own centerpiece. Naturally, I went for colors that matched my dress, but you can see all of our arrangements above.
Next on the list was a tour of the MacKenzie-Childs farmhouse (that’s the stunning Victorian white building at the top of this post!) I thought this ruffled eyelet sleeve tee was the perfect farm girl chic staple for the tour. If you thought the outside was dreamy, just wait until you see the inside!
This is the dining room inside the farmhouse, a pink haven of gorgeous-ness adorned in everything MacKenzie-Childs. We were treated to two incredible lunches in the space, complete with entire MacKenzie-Childs tabletop setups. It was almost too stunning to eat on!!Here’s a closer peek at one of our lunch tabletop settings, featuring the classic Courtly Check Collection mixed in with the Taylor Collection and the most stunning, handmade diorama dining room table (which made every meal more magical, in my opinion).
From the hand-painted headboard and wardrobe to the ruffled pillow perfection and the heavenly blue wallpaper, this room was calling my name. You can’t get these exact pieces, but MacKenzie-Childs does sell some absolutely incredible hand-painted furniture, which you can shop here.
I simply had to photograph the Courtly Check room, located at the third floor of the farmhouse, because it shows off the more masculine side of MacKenzie-Childs (and I needed proof to take home to Cole!) The walls are hand-painted y’all – it’s truly a masterpiece.
Side note – this tour is not limited to influencers or MC employees – you can totally go to Aurora and tour both the farmhouse and the headquarters for yourself, which I definitely recommend!! It was magical!
Our first day at the MacKenzie-Childs grounds and headquarters was followed by a wine tasting at a local vineyard (I mean, can you ask for a better way to end the day?!) It was so lovely to listen to the couple behind the Hand and Heart wine company speak of how they got into the business and their love for wine-making. Passion is something that’s found throughout the people of this small and charming upstate New York town.
PS – you can shop the lilac floral maxi dress I wore here.
We finished off the night with another beautifully set MacKenzie-Childs tabletop and a locally sourced dinner at the stunning Aurora Inn Dining Room. This time, the table setting featured the MacKenzie-Childs Thistle and Bee Collection.
Next up, we headed back to the MacKenzie-Childs farmhouse for a tour of their headquarters. This was the dairy farm turned MacKenzie Childs palace I described at the beginning of the post. Wrapped in blossoming tulips of every color, the MC-HQ building was giving me all of the inspiration for my future (like, very far off future) dream ranch house (something my husband is insistent on).
If seeing the work in its final masterpiece phase at the MacKenzie-Childs farmhouse was magic, this was something beyond. Here is where the magic actually happens, where each individual plate, mug, vase and piece of furniture is handcrafted and hand-painted by some truly incredible artisans. Seeing the step-by-step process was truly mind-blowing. Instantly, I began to realize the passion and process that went into every individual piece.
Shop MacKenzie-Childs’ incredible selection of unique, head-painted furniture here.
Here are some just-finished pieces from the iconic Courtly Check collection.
My respect and understanding for the process grew even deeper when I got to make my very own MacKenzie Childs mug. From crafting the very delicate clay molding (confession – I broke two!! You have to be very gentle!) to hand-painting the mugs (which took me like 45 minutes!), I was able to experience the true art (which I do not possess) that goes into each hand-crafted MacKenzie Childs piece..
Last of all, we got to tour the expanse of the MacKenzie-Childs grounds, which included a whimsical duck pond surrounded by draping myrtle trees, a stunning Gothic-Revival-style chicken palace, and a 1930’s greenhouse flourishing with blooms, to name a few of the highlights.
I think this little note that was sitting atop my bed (along with chocolates and ambient music!) at the E.B. Morgan House after our first night at MacKenzie-Child’s hometown of Aurora can perfectly sum up why I love this brand and the town of Aurora so much. All-in-all, it was a truly incredible experience to escape into the whimsical, charming world of MacKenzie-Childs for a few days. The experience made me rethink the idea of Southern hospitality (because Northern hospitality is the real deal, y’all!) and I highly recommend the experience for anyone who’s looking for a getaway that’s both relaxing and thought-provoking, nostalgic and new.