The following story, a tour of Bobby McAlpine’s Lake Martin, Alabama home, appeared as an article on Architectural Digest’s newly expanded online content. We are reprinting it with their kind permission. The article was written by Jacqueline Terrebonne and photographed by Erica George Dines.
Leave it to an architect to create a weekend retreat that rivals most people’s primary residences. In his vacation home on Alabama’s pristine Lake Martin, AD100 designer and architect Bobby McAlpine has created an enviable multifunctional getaway: On the one hand, it’s a place that offers respite from a jam-packed schedule divided among four cities; it’s also an idea laboratory, where he can experiment with new design concepts—taking risks with contrasting pieces here, adopting bolder color schemes there—as well as a gathering spot for friends and loved ones.
“The main value of the house is that there are truly no distractions,” says the designer, who is known for his idiosyncratic yet beautifully crafted homes. “Between early-morning coffee and late-night talks, you really get to know someone so much better than in any other venue.” Much of that has to do with the cozy finishes and intimate layout. McAlpine pairs a curator’s eye with his trademark sense of humor. Case in point: He describes the open living and dining room as “a white-underwear party in a paneled library,” a reference to the somehow harmonious mix of a deep-brown leather Chesterfield with a crisp white Saarinen table. Fluffy white carpets in the guest rooms offer what he considers the ultimate indulgence—unless you take into account the designer’s signature Sunday morning Mexican breakfast, complete with guacamole, chips, and “really spicy scrambled eggs.”
The rest of the home is filled with innovative uses for unexpected materials. In the living room he sewed Turkish rugs together to create one-of-a-kind curtains, and the cocktail tables rise and fall at adjustable heights; he infused a dose of modernity in a guest bedroom with a creative plate-aluminum headboard, a surprisingly contemporary addition. Of course, incredible views of the lake and closeness to nature bring unparalleled freshness to the house. “It’s exhilarating to be there,” he says. “It makes you feel young and smart at the same time.” With results like these, we’re sure McAlpine has no shortage of guests.
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