downsize matters

November 13th 2014 Comments: 3

I’m walking through the sun-drenched courtyard of the A&P Lofts, manicured grass I’ve crossed countless times. I used to live in this building, but as I ascend the stairs I’m not headed to my old apartment on the right, but to the one on the left. Before today, I’d experienced … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Living

what style of house are you?

November 6th 2014 Comments: 16

Apparently, you answer a series of multiple choice questions about your own personality and said quiz tells you what Star Wars character or Walking Dead personality you are.  I don’t know what great insights come about in realizing, of the Seven Dwarfs, I am a “Doc” or of the hucksters … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Inspiration

portal authority

October 16th 2014 Comments: 5

Most see doorways as a practical necessity – a simple way to get from one room to another. I see them as avenues for potential glorification. After all, good buildings are more than just studied plans and composed elevations. Left as architectural exercises in flat artistry, they will be just … [read more]

parapet peeves

September 25th 2014 Comments: 0

While the angular form of the traditional (and more common) triangular gable has a certain staid formality to it, the frivolity of the Dutch and Flemish parapeted gable always seem to convey friendly invitation. They almost hint the owner has a touch of humor or kind countenance. Their roots originated … [read more]

musical shares

September 11th 2014 Comments: 4

We have a long-standing Friday ritual called “Show tune Friday.” It’s a musical custom, adored by some (mainly me) and abhorred by others. But in the words of Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof” – it’s tradition. Every day, we help to imagine houses that eventually become homes. Recently, I … [read more]

creole testament

August 7th 2014 Comments: 5

His project, a large house in Montgomery, Alabama, basically bankrolled our backbone. This charter commission gave us the courage (and funds) to hang out a shingle. Fast forward many years – kids grown and gone, retirement looming, golf courses softly calling his name. He and his wife, now older and … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Entry

walk with me

July 24th 2014 Comments: 7

After all, hallways and galleries are simply a means to an end – they’re not something that deserve elevation. These spaces are usually seen as the roadways of the house, efficiently depositing the pilgrim from one part of the house to the next. Decorating these secondary, but necessary, corridors and … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Crow Home

a roof over your head

June 5th 2014 Comments: 13

Years ago, I was working with a client and the topic of roof material arose.  I started talking about all the options appropriate for her new house and she exclaimed “Before this discussion, I don’t think I’ve ever even looked at a roof before!”  I was shocked. I then realized … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Gardens

opening act

May 22nd 2014 Comments: 4

In a house, a good foyer should create the same awaiting promise; as soon as the door opens, an act one scene should be expertly set for the play unwinding within. It’s the grand opportunity to create drama – aside from a place to step out of the elements and … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Mirror

still life lessons

May 15th 2014 Comments: 0

This new book focuses on five wooden cabins at Lake Martin, Alabama. The structures, part of the Camp at the Ridge, share basic architectural DNA but their interiors, all masterfully done by Susan Ferrier, are very different in style.   Siblings all, but with their own distinct personalities. I want … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Interior Design