Advanced Aging

July 30th 2015 Comments: 3

Fashion may fare well in pop culture and technology but in architecture, it just looks shallow and desperate. After all, buildings should not be disposable goods. Developers often talk of building lifespan. Just look at shopping centers as an example. They open their door with an expiration date built in. … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Advanced Aging

Open House: Under the Carolina Sun

July 16th 2015 Comments: 8

In Frances Mayes’ book Under The Tuscan Sun, the protagonist of the story finds herself renewed after the impulsive act of purchasing and restoring a villa in Italy. This house’s story was not one of wanderlust but of roots; our particular hero built this home with his deep roots in … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Open House


July 9th 2015 Comments: 3

The 30A corridor of Florida’s panhandle is hot. No, not just because it’s July on the Gulf Coast. It’s because this area’s beach real estate market continues to set new design standards. It began with the picturesque ‘New Urban Development” of Seaside in the mid 1980s. Rosemary Beach quickly followed … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Model

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