the re-purpose driven life

May 12th 2016 Comments: 6

Currently, the trendy buzzphrase in the architectural word is “Green Design.” This is basically defined as a philosophy of creating buildings that minimize negative environmental impact. This is accomplished by efficiency and moderation in the use of materials, energy, and development space. When asked if we practice this concept of … [read more]

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

burden of roof

March 26th 2015 Comments: 1

No, like most historic architectural elements, these devices have their roots in good old-fashioned practicality. Heat rises, which tends to build up in attic spaces creating a hot, damp and mildewy environment. Back before houses were hermetically sealed and insulated within an inch of their life, monitors and dormer vents … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Clock

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

curtain call

August 20th 2013 Comments: 2

One night while seeing Nathan Lane in The Nance (a very good play, by the way), I had finished reading my Playbill and was studying the grand drape: this one in particular was rich red velvet heavy laden with gold fringe masking the proscenium of the gorgeously decadent Lyceum Theatre … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Interior Design

wall to wall

May 7th 2013 Comments: 5

Today, walls get their due spotlight.  The wall plane is by far the most beheld of all room elements (it’s is at eye level, after all).  Dressing the wall, however, can go far beyond the drab frock of sheetrock.  Here are some examples of where we took the concept of … [read more]


April 23rd 2013 Comments: 9

The following four categories pictorially illustrate some of our favorite floor finishes: wood, natural tile, concrete tile and concrete.  All offer durable, beautiful richness and each were carefully selected for appropriateness in their respective design.  These may be underfoot but the impact of gorgeous flooring should never be underrated. WOOD … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Interior Design

rock of ages

April 3rd 2012 Comments: 2

Maybe it recalls a time when a hole carved in the living rock was our ancestor’s first shelter. Whatever the call, being blanketed in the permanence of stone is like being embraced by the earth itself. Creating the look of an aged stone house in modern-day construction is always a … [read more]