McAlpine Communiqué

March 24, 2010 | 23 comments
Everyday, it seems, the online design dialog grows larger and larger. At first, it was a design-crazed blogger here and a blogger there. Now, there are new design blogs popping up every day. Interior designers have blogs, antique stores have blogs, magazines are joining in also - augmenting their regular print-bound content with more up-to-the-minute content online. Furniture makers, designers and architects are joining the dialog with Twitter and Facebook accounts too. Social media is changing all the rules. It is giving design voyeurs like me unprecedented access to the thoughts and portfolios of some of the best design minds out there.

Of course, all of this is likely not news to you if you're reading this blog. What might be news to you, though, is the entrance to the conversation by the architecture and interior design firms I most admire: McAlpine Tankersley Architecture and McAlpine, Booth & Ferrier Interiors. They now are tweeting away on Twitter and have begun sharing insightful quips and unpublished portions of their amazing portfolio of work on their new Facebook pages here and here.


McAlpine and his oh-so-talented cadre of creatives didn't stop there, however. Much like the spellbinding architecture and design that they continually produce, they have raised the bar with their online content. They have just launched their own online magazine of sorts, aptly named Communiqué. Their intent is to keep us up to date on a regular basis of what they're working on. I couldn't be more excited to hear this. I've devoured the first issue and am already anticipating the next.


I ride by the Mcalpine Booth & Ferrier Atlanta office in Avondale Estates at least once a week on one of my training treks from Sandy Springs to Stone Mountain. I had intended to do a Ride-by Architecture post about the office and it's stunning design. My pictures probably wouldn't be able to do it justice though. Thankfully, the first edition of Communiqué provides you an excellent glimpse of the office (pictured above). Often it's close to 8pm when I pass by a 2nd time on my way back to Sandy Springs and I will see Susan Ferrier burning the midnight oil, working tirelessly to bring us all so much inspiration. For that I am grateful.

I don't want to steal any thunder from the launch of the new magazine, so you'll have to visit the Communiqué website to see more of the beautiful imagery from the 1st edition. I'd recommend subscribing to their Twitter feed and becoming a fan on Facebook too. If you're like me, you don't want to miss anything they have to share.

Oh, and don't forget that Bobby McAlpine's new book comes out next month. So much great stuff all at once.

The Quatrefoil

March 1, 2010 | 30 comments

Inspired by a recent post on the Tracery Interiors blog, I've been noticing the quatrefoil motif more and more. I hadn't realized quite how prolific the motif is until I read their post and started paying attention a bit more. I would characterize the quatrefoil as being in the league of the greek key, appearing everywhere from architecture, to furniture, to lighting, to iron work, to textiles, even a business name.

With my heightened attention, I've been amassing quite a collection of quatrefoil-inspired design. Along the way my appreciation for the design has grown. I enjoy it as a subtle detail that adds depth and whimsy.

We'll start the tour of my collection of quatrefoil-inspired design with one of my most interesting recent finds. I was out exploring parts of Buckhead on my bicycle and strolled into a small cul-de-sac out of curiosity. There I discovered the rear entrance to the estate of an Atlanta billionaire. It's kind of the secret bat cave exit I suppose. That wasn't what got my attention though. The entrances's gate perforated with quatrefoils did.


At the time of discovery I didn't have my camera with me so I went back yesterday to get this picture. I decided to check out the front entrance instead, though, because there is full-time security sitting in a car by the back gate. I didn't want to raise any eyebrows for the sake of architectural tourism. I assumed the front gate would be of the same design. It wasn't the same, but it did indeed have the quatrefoil motif.


You may have to enlarge this picture (by clicking on it) to see the quatrefoils. Of course, as you just saw, I risked upsetting the security detail and got the back entrance photo too.


This house photographed by architectural photographer David Duncan Livingston is filled with Gothic motifs. The kitchen has Gothic arches in the cabinet windows, a large Gothic arched opening into the breakfast area, and there are qautrefoils everywhere. Quite unique are the quatrefoils embossed in the kitchen's crown molding. They also appear in the cabinetry woodwork above the sink.


The quatrefoils are a dominant element in the light-showered breakfast area too. Notice them in the band ringing the chandelier and again in this room's trim molding.


A perfect example of the quatrefoil adding a subtle bit of whimsy is this picture of a mirror from the Tracery Interiors portfolio. This is one of my favorite quatrefoil designs. The mirror could be used in so many places in various design schemes.
Another favored quaotrefoil design is this side table from Ironies. I think I may just have to get one of these tables. It would make a great night stand or occasional table in another room.


I recently found another quatrefoil-inspired side table on the katiedid blog. The table is made by Oomph and is available in several different hues. I like the white version in this bathroom.


In the whimsical department is this pedestal sink with two carved quatrefoil bowls that I discovered on the desire to inspire blog. The house is actually a mission-style church that was converted into a castle by design firm Urban Nature Inc. The castle has several other quatrefoils in its design, paying further homage to the church it once was.


The architecturally rich city of St. Petersburg, Russia has several unique bridges spanning the canal that runs through the city. I recently discovered this bridge while flipping through a magazine and it caught my eye because of the quatrefoils in the iron work. I could imagine this style railing in a residential setting, albeit in the more stereotypical black color of iron.


The Gothic-style patio furniture at this house designed and built by the Poulton Group has both the arch and quatrefoil motifs going.


You'll have to look closely to see the quatrefoils in this photo from the June/July 2007 issue of Domino Magazine that I discovered today on the dress, design, decor blog. Reflected in the mirrored cabinet is a leaded window with quatrefoils forming the pattern of the leading.


When I read the Things That Inspire post about Ray Goins, the image that stood out most to me was this Gothic-inspired swing with quatrefoil cutouts. I was able to get an in-person glimpse of the swing recently when the house it is located at was on the Cathedral Tour of Homes. Its unique Gothic design really captures your attention.

Speaking of Things That Inspire, recall that I mentioned a business name being inspired by quatrefoils. Quatrefoil Design is the name of Holly's intaglio business. I recommend checking out her wares. She has an excellent product at an excellent price point.

The quatrefoil image at the top of this post is of a decorative radiator grill from The Radiator Cabinet Company. The quatrefoil motif really is quite prolific in design!