Collaborative Efforts: Tom Berry Upholstery

June 18th 2015 Comments: 7

Recently, I needed some furniture reupholstered for my upcoming Manhattan move. I unhesitatingly went straight to my go-to furniture master, a jovial fellow named Tom Berry here in Montgomery. While visiting with Tom, it suddenly struck me that I’ve been working with him for almost thirty years. Way back before … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Upholstery

Style Files: Susan Ferrier

June 11th 2015 Comments: 2

You can read their splendid conversation here. I’ve called Susan friend and colleague for 15 years and there were some revelations here that even I didn’t know.

McAlpine Journal: Susan

Support Groupings

June 4th 2015 Comments: 3

Houses are no different. When a design calls for a cantilevered appendage (such as a porch, bay or balcony) to be projected, bracketing is a structural necessity. These can be rejoiced and celebrated – underpinnings are certainly functional defiances of physics but they can also be decorative as well, some … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Porch

A Knack for Knick-Knacks

May 28th 2015 Comments: 3

Designer, collector and intrepid shopper, Susan Ferrier knows how to finish a room with a handful of treasures. “Saturation of a collection into one room, devoted to its study, is always striking and strong,” says Ferrier. “The ultimate library of books and curiosities to stimulate the mind and emotions.” Within … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Ferrier

Art and Stagecraft

May 21st 2015 Comments: 5

Often in our interiors, we use large paintings as an atmospheric device; these become dramatic backdrops to create mood. This takes painting from mere object to stagecraft – think of the elaborate painted flats found in theatre or opera. Once lowered into place, these enormous backgrounds established setting, at once … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Art

Blank Check

May 14th 2015 Comments: 4

Even though Mlle. Chanel’s sage advice pertained to fashion, I think it’s a valid point for all types of design. I can’t count the times I’ve referenced this quote in terms of architecture or interior design. Seeing a blank wall, the natural tendency is put something there. I say leave … [read more]

Rights of Passage

May 7th 2015 Comments: 7

Transition has been on my mind a lot lately. Perhaps it’s because this week marks my sole child’s final stretch of high school. Soon, she’ll be moving off, starting a new life far away from us as a college freshman. Or, it could be because my wife and I are … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Column

Still Life Living

April 30th 2015 Comments: 2

With origins in the Middle Ages and Ancient Greco-Roman art, still-life painting emerged as a distinct classification and professional specialization in Western painting by the late 16th century and has remained a significant artistic genre since then. Can we, though, integrate this type of frozen artistry in our daily lives? … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Horrell Home

the prints of egypt

April 23rd 2015 Comments: 11

As far back as I can recall, mine has always been Egypt. Back before there was Google or Wikipedia, there was this thing called “The World Book Encyclopedia”. This bulky compendium inevitably sprawled over an entire shelf in everyone’s rumpus room in the ’60s and ’70s. The “E” book (no, … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Travel

grecian yearn

April 16th 2015 Comments: 3

This year, the immortal city of Athens, Greece was the setting for the assemblage. Considered the cradle of classical architecture, Athens was an apt backdrop for our annual convocation. The city of Athens has always been one of my “bucket list” items. How can one possibly call oneself an true … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Travel