Office Hours: Bobby McAlpine’s Home Work Space
The Atlanta architect’s study exudes warmth and is brimming with a trove of choice antiques
For Atlanta-based architect Bobby McAlpine, every home is an opportunity to create a poetic moment. His A-list clients call on him to weave magic, tranquility, and warmth into the spaces they inhabit—and he always delivers. Textured wood and subtle palettes are undercurrents that add to the overall effect, but at its core each project possesses a timeless grace that knows no specific period or era.
Here, he shares his ideal home office setup at his Atlanta home and the details that make the room remarkably functional and beautiful.
“The best you can do is have a situation where you can work at a surface and also be able to have a person come in while you work. A lot of what we do is show pictures online, so I like that I can multitask and have someone in there with me at the same time. That’s what I call a home office–lounge situation.”
“I prefer a table over a desk. It’s easy to swing your legs under spontaneously and still have knee space. The table that I use is something that I’ve had in the warehouse for over ten years. I bought it in France, and it has a steel-with-brass-ormolu decoration. I bought it with a client in mind who never had the right environment for it. So as is the case with many things in my house, it’s something that never sold. It’s beautiful in that it’s an elliptical desk.”
TAKE A SEAT
“The rolling chair is a classic Eames desk chair. I love the channel quilting and contrast with the table, which is probably from the Art Deco era. I like the pop of white and the high back. It’s a go-to to throw in, even when paired with an antique.”
IN PLAIN SIGHT
“The drapery is part of a system that exists throughout the house. It gives us a hiding place for all the stuff that you need but don’t want out or if you need to clean up quickly you can stick it there.”
“The fabric on the chaise and all the drapery in the house are made out of vintage tablecloths. We used 130 old Irish linen tablecloths all sewn together to cover everything. You’ll randomly even find a monogram here and there. Domestically, it’s one of the finer fabrics anyone used to possess, but in the market it’s of very little value.”
“This slim lamp by Juniper is my favorite task light. It’s just a wand in metal that’s dimmable and has great light quality. And it’s not so bright that you can’t also watch TV with it turned on.”
“On the wall behind the desk is an antique decorative Italian gilt shield. At the top of the shelves, there are five shields that my partner made.”
“The floors are marble slabs and the walls are slotted in white oak, while the steel bookshelves on the wall were made by David Adams in Atlanta. It’s more for treasures than for books. I have filled it with curiosities from our travels that help us remember the great trips.”