Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Home Within Us

Several months ago, I published a posting about conversations my close friend GC and I were having about decorating a Tudor style home she is thinking of purchasing.   In our heads we already had it redecorated in the style of LA designer Rose Tarlow.  For reasons to numerous to list, now it seems that particular house is no longer an option and the latest possibility is a renovated Mediterranean.   I’m told this new choice has good bones, but lacks character.   This caused us to ‘what if” about how to add more style and charm to the house.    GC says it’s currently decorated in an Italian villa mode with layers of ‘Tuscan’ style painted finishes (which really means sponged).  As she says ‘that theme can easily go Mexican restaurant very quickly’! 

GC mentioned she had picked up Bobby McAlpine’s latest book called ‘The Home Within Us.”  Except for the title I’m sure it’s a great book.  I knew a book of his work had been published last spring, but I had forgotten about it and oddly enough, I don’t remember seeing it anywhere.  If I had to pick, I think I would pick Bobby McAlpine as one of my favorite designers.  There for a while I got a little tired of his work being featured in every magazine.  But, with so many of the shelter magazines now out of publication I guess periodical over exposure is not an issue any more.  I certainly didn’t mind seeing his work.  I love it.  I think its more about hoarding something precious.  You know, like acquiring a special possession and you think is so wonderful that you do not want to share it.  I’m so afraid that his look and style will go main stream.  The color palette (which I have been doing for ever, I might add) and his fabric range are already permeating the designer market, as I mentioned in my last posting about the Highpoint Furniture Market.  And I guess people blogging about it doesn’t exactly keep it on the down low! 

Since it came up in a recent conversation, the next time I’m near a book store a copy of the book will be coming home with me.  Until then I thought I would re-look at some of his work. 

This particular home was built by some other friends of mine and was one of the first published houses McAlpine designed.  My friends have since sold the house and taken up penthouse living.   The house was published in Southern Accents in 1999 and shows the early McAlpine philosophy.  The color palette is a little lighter than some of the more current work, but the bits and pieces that thread themselves through all of the McAlpine houses are quite obvious.  In the SA article McAlpine describes the house as ‘timeless’, and as you can see from these photos the design still holds up beautifully.  Trust me; having visited this home, the photos can not capture the full detail and spirit of the design.

As far as GC’s house goes, I think the McAlpine style (with a little Rose Tarlow thrown in for good measure) would be great for her Mediterranean house.  But, I’m not going to put too much thought into this one.  Who knows, next week I may get the call that she’s found the perfect Mid Century Modern and I’ll have to run out and by a bunch of Albert Frey books! 

photo credit:  Michael Mundy


Sometimes I will write the blog posts several days in advance and schedule them to be published at a later date.  Being the procrastinator I am this advance work can make my life much less hectic!  This was one of those times when I tried to get ahead of the game.  I wrote this post last Friday and scheduled it to release today - Wednesday.  And of course between Friday and Wednesday, GC called and told me the Mediterranean house went under contract!  She’s on the hunt again!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for featuring our work and our book on your lovely blog.


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