With their chiaroscuro play of light and shadow and a soulfulness derived from the patina of antiques and artifacts evoking a kind of archeology of memory, McALPINE rooms feel romantically suspended in time.

All photos by Simon Upton

Lucky is the client who can double down on commissioning McALPINE, the Atlanta design firm overseen by Bobby McAlpine, Greg Tankersley and Ray Booth, a triumvirate of wizards of romantic architecture and lush design. First came the commission for the house, a Cotswolds-style cottage in Alabama completed some years ago, then came a rethink of its furnishings. In the first round, Booth says, “they wanted the interiors to be authentically traditional and appropriate to the style of the house. Well, as we all know, sometimes you can just have too much of a good thing!” To break the English-country spell, Booth introduced crisp contemporary seating from Minotti and, next to the hearth, a blue-velvet lounger by Edward Wormley, sourced on 1stDibs. Surprising everyone, the traditional architecture takes on a whole new shine.

“Even with some of the more contemporary upholstery and furnishings, we were able to integrate some beautiful clean-lined antiques,” says Ray Booth. “I like including a range of styles and periods in a room.”

Design philosophy?

“These days, as we are spending more time in our homes, we’re realizing they are more than sticks and bricks but emotional vessels that contain all our greatest loves, joys and sorrows. That’s why it’s ever more important that we strive to find furnishings that radiate authenticity, originality and creativity.”

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