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Art of the House: Reflections on Design Hardcover – 25 Mar 2014


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Review

."..love to explore relationships between ancient and modern elements in such a way that memory, emotion and all the senses are piqued. Their forthcoming book depicts... extraordinary homes they designed." -"Southern Living

""A serene and thoughtful approach to design in an age of ostentaion, this book epitomises understated elegance." "-Vogue Living"

"Ten inches square, with gilt print and gilded edges, the tome is meant to sit on the very top of the stack. Images are beautifully paired to poetic musings...it's a revealing look inside the firm's soulful manner of creating elevated, inviting and highly personal dwellings."" -Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles"

."..a visual treat...filled with the spectacular images we expect from these two brilliant designers."" -Splendid Sass"

"More than just beautifully illustrated photographs, the book dissects the designer's method for creating atmospheric environments..."" -Array"

..".love to explore relationships between ancient and modern elements in such a way that memory, emotion and all the senses are piqued. Their forthcoming book depicts... extraordinary homes they designed." -"Southern Living
""A serene and thoughtful approach to design in an age of ostentaion, this book epitomises understated elegance." "-Vogue Living"
Ten inches square, with gilt print and gilded edges, the tome is meant to sit on the very top of the stack. Images are beautifully paired to poetic musings it s a revealing look inside the firm s soulful manner of creating elevated, inviting and highly personal dwellings. " Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles"
a visual treat filled with the spectacular images we expect from these two brilliant designers. " Splendid Sass"
More than just beautifully illustrated photographs, the book dissects the designer s method for creating atmospheric environments " -Array""

About the Author

Renowned architect Bobby McAlpine is the principal of McAlpine Tankersley Architecture. Noted interior designer Susan Ferrier is a partner of McAlpine Booth & Ferrier Interiors. They are included in the AD100 and "Elle Decor"'s A-list. McAlpine Home has handcrafted furniture lines with Lee Industries and MacRae Designs, and Susan Ferrier designs fabrics for Coleman Taylor Textiles. Susan Sully is an expert on Southern style. She has authored numerous books, including "Houses with Charm," and is a contributing editor to "Southern Living." Adrian Ferrier is a fine arts photographer.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2.8 out of 5 stars 13 reviews
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Bright, but odd" 16 May 2014
By A Book Collector - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If this book were a person, I would describe it as: nice-looking, bright, but odd. As in, perhaps, there's been a little too much time spent navel-gazing.

McAlpine's previous book, "The Home Within us" was excellent, romantic in flavor, and seemed right on the mark. This effort, in collaboration with interior designer Susan Ferrier seems to be working too hard to be something else and what "it" is isn't clear.

The book has essentially two story lines going that the authors weave together. The first is a series of still life photographs created with disparate objects purportedly representing the yin/yang of their design philosophy and process. They are handsome, cerebral, esoteric. These still life photos are, according to the authors, also specifically reflective of the five houses presented (the second story line), all of which were designed by McAlpine on contiguous lakeside plots with interiors by Ferrier. The resulting architecture, while individual, clearly shares the same DNA while the interiors are understandably more distinct. We aren't given a great deal of access to the external architecture; the focus is on the interior architecture and design. While two of the houses (McAlpine's being one) are engaging and reminiscent of the projects presented in the earlier book, the remaining three really fail to pass the "So what?" test.

Peppering the commentary-style text are quite a number of highlighted statements meant to be profound or even poetic, but these tend to fall flat. One such gusher: "White transports us to an innocent age. As pure and wholesome as milk..." Really? Bathroom tissue is white, garbage bags are white, FedEx trucks are white. I'm not feeling particularly transported, or for that matter, wholesome.

The pair speaks of drawing from the five senses and four natural elements to experience created spaces. Emphasis is given to the energy created by contrast and there are several notable examples: a highbrow gold-leafed Venetian bench that curves its way to a dark-stained raw saw-cut floor beside a structural column (actually some sort of utility pole) washed in translucent gray paint. Another shows the view through a large multi-paned window to sunlight reflecting on the lake from the shadowy interior made more enveloping by a wall hung with dark mohair curtains. Beyond those few photos, others might be best categorized as "nice" but most fail to elicit real enthusiasm.

In the end, it's an elegantly-finished volume, refreshingly intimate in size, with excellent photography. But I'm not sure it's quite ready for prime time or, perhaps, prime time isn't quite ready for it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars and am great admirer of Mr 21 Mar. 2015
By Elsie Hickman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While I live on Lake Martin, and am great admirer of Mr. McAlpine's designs, I wasn't blown away with this book. The pictures of some the interiors are lovely, but so not my taste. Lake Martin is beautiful and deserves a great backdrop, but I don't think it calls for the darkness of some of these interiors. It reminds me of those minimalistic interiors that just make me tense looking at them. Some of the commentary, while thoughtful, seems to border on naval gazing and feels a bit full of itself. It's obvious that on a lake that one would lean towards a rustic interior, and I would imagine that most of the interiors on the lake reflect this. And no, it doesn't have to be lake tacky either. Rustic elegance, but isn't that what would be expected in $1M+ houses located on Lake Martin. No surprises here.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected 4 Jun. 2014
By Mark N. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a huge McAlpine/Ferrier fan, but this book isn't nearly the book "The Home Within Us" is. It's a little TOO poetic, and definitely focuses more on interiors than architecture - which isn't all bad, it's just not what I expected. I pre-ordered it months ago and had forgotten about it, so when it arrived I was very excited, but then somewhat disappointed.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I like Bobby McAlpine and have several pieces of his furniture 15 July 2014
By Texas Designer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Extremely disappointing.....I like Bobby McAlpine and have several pieces of his furniture.....I love his work.....This is a book of accessory and detail vignettes, many that did not warrant a photo ....I would have returned it but didn't want to go thru the hassle....I hope he publishes another book that will be more interesting.
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's Not What You Would Expect 23 May 2014
By Leslie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is just a bizarre book. While the quality of the photos are superb
the subject matter is about light/dark and mixing odds things together
for a "still life". Not at all what I expected and am returning the book.

Really like McAlpine's work and enjoyed his first book but this one is
very disappointing.
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