above and beyond

March 26th 2013 Comments: 0

They’re considered such a step child. There even exists a bland paint color called simply “ceiling white”. Poor, distant and untended ceilings. The Cinderella of surfaces, never invited to the ball. Being so far above the visual scope of our experience, why should one bother slathering it with expense or … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Boan Tower

mirror, mirror on the window

March 19th 2013 Comments: 2

It’s a shining precursor to the day’s first cup of coffee. With this in mind, one time-honored Southern room-type makes a perfect model for the design of a bathroom – the sleeping porch. In historic Southern houses, the sleeping porch was traditionally located off a major bedroom and served as … [read more]

cuba libre

March 12th 2013 Comments: 11

Therefore, I jumped at the chance when a friend of mine told me he was putting together a group of architects and designers to visit our long-snubbed neighbor. Though only 90 miles away from the US, it’s like visiting another faraway planet. Some preconceptions I had of Havana were true, … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Travel

be my guest

March 5th 2013 Comments: 2

To have a guest cottage on the property is true luxury indeed. It’s like having your own little motor court lodge. Toss the keys to your guest and point to the path. These miniature houses sit picturesque in the landscape. They beckon and welcome, offering grand hospitality but under their … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Outdoors

shed a little light

February 26th 2013 Comments: 2

I think its because they need so little program; their uncomplicated jobs are simple and intelligible. Standing as the quiet witnesses of the property, they offer shelter to the humble. A refuge to yard tools, a roof to the automobile, harborage to birds or an umbrella in the storm, these … [read more]

anniversary giveaway

February 19th 2013 Comments: 64

Thanks for being interested in our thoughts on design, architecture, interiors and life in general. At least we’ve spared you recipes (although we have some good ones if you like). To applaud our fans and followers, we’ve decided to have our second giveaway. Our book, The Home Within Us, is … [read more]

faucets, fashion & fanfare

February 12th 2013 Comments: 3

I asked myself this question when I was graciously invited by a plumbing fitting company to join them at their annual New York gathering. Every year during the outlandish hubbub that is Fashion Week, Brizo (a boutique branch of the Delta faucet company) invites a select small number of designers … [read more]

dodgie: goodbye grande dame

February 5th 2013 Comments: 9

Dodgie Shaffer liked architecture, but she really loved architects. She married one, gave birth to another–who in turn married one. And, she was friends with, a confidant of, and mentor to countless others. But even a field as varied and far-flung as architecture is, it proved too small for her. … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Inspiration

close quarters

January 29th 2013 Comments: 4

Take our personal natural surroundings, for instance. Man (as designer and self-designated caretaker) throughout history has attempted to lion-tame Mother Nature. As a matter of fact, I’m sure even Adam grew frustrated trying to weed the Garden of Eden. When we are able to shrink the landscape down to an … [read more]

lounge act

January 22nd 2013 Comments: 2

This arrangement certainly works well with modern family life. It encourages social interaction and eliminates stuffy formal rooms (remember the rooms you were never allowed in as a child, but were forced into service on holidays and you couldn’t wait to escape?). Those dusty, imposing caverns are a thing of … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Interior Design