Television Settings

June 25th 2015 Comments: 15

Ask any architect or designer what influences them most and they’ll ramble on about the most esoteric things – travel to exotic lands, operatic arias, paintings and sculpture. Few fail to notice what truly inspires them most is intrinsically ingrained in them: it was the way they grew up. Growing … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: TV

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

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

manhattan project

April 2nd 2015 Comments: 5

We’ve been playing a design ping pong game where he will send me a real estate floor plan (these are common in New York apartment listings) and I quickly do a renovation scheme. This allows him to evaluate the potential of the apartment before he makes an offer.  It’s a … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Floor Plan

a conservatory of hope

March 19th 2015 Comments: 10

When I arrived at the meeting, I was surprised to see a fellow not normally associated with the zoo. Dickie Blondheim and his exuberant wife, Joy, are the founders and heads of The Joy to Life Foundation, a dynamic organization promoting hope and awareness in the field of breast cancer. … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Watercolor

ice box tops

March 12th 2015 Comments: 15

Over the years, we’ve come up with a number of ways to beautifully and gracefully accommodate this unwieldy frigid casket. Following are a few of our adroit solutions. Here, the unit is paneled in a stained pecky cypress.  It’s mass is balanced with a matching pantry cabinet which mirrors the … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Kitchen