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Westchester Architect Douglas McClure Shares His Favorite Designs

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Photo by Ellen Crane

The architect behind Irvington-based McC Architecture discusses his background, the thought process behind his designs, and his top trends.

Background

I’ve been studying and working in the field of architecture since my senior year of high school, but my childhood activities — building treehouses, imagining worlds — were probably a strong indication of where I was headed. That path has taken me from Syracuse University School of Architecture to offices in Boston, the Hamptons, and New York City before the fickle 2009 environment prompted me into starting my own office [Irvington-based McC Architecture].

Design Philosophy

The best design is invisible. When the project is complete, it should feel that it has always been this way.

Inspirations

My inspiration comes from my clients’ dreams for their homes. From the way they describe their needs, the special pieces of furniture and art they surround themselves with — that singular detail they point out in an image they are sharing. These are the building blocks that turn the house they live in into the home they love.

Hottest Design Trends

This past year has brought some older ideas back to the fore. The kitchen as the center of the home is more important than ever. There’s a renewed focus on connection to outdoor living, including the outdoor kitchen. The home office has returned, but now it’s not just for one person — there needs to be individual space for everyone to do their work. Technology has to be flexible and portable, and materials and finishes have to be warm, comfortable, functional, and timeless. People have spent so much time looking at their homes, they want an environment where they can continue to live happily and find inspiration.

Top Three Design Tips

  1. Be open to the opportunities of an unexpected “obstacle” in the field. Existing site conditions are a chance for creativity and often create a better end product.
  2. Problem layouts are rarely fixed by just adding another room. Look at designs that sew a house back together and bring unused spaces back to life.
  3. Prioritize the long view. A beautiful room is enhanced when you can look through to other spaces and understand its connection to the rest of the home.

Fave Projects

Photos courtesy of Douglas McClure

A dining room in an Irvington project.

The kitchen in an Irvington project.

Another kitchen in Irvington.

Another kitchen project.

A dining room in Dobbs Ferry.

Go-To Home Design Resources

Shelter Magazines (other than Westchester Home)

• Dwell
• Architectural Digest
• Metropolis
• The Architect’s Newspaper

Blogs

www.lifeofanarchitect.com
www.kottke.org
www.thisiscolossal.com
www.thirtybyforty.com/blog

Websites

www.behance.net
www.architecturelab.net

Instagram Feeds

@workshopapd
@nicolehollissf
@buildingsciencefightclub
@abstractaerialart
@morpholio
@marcuscederberg

TV Series

• Ted Lasso
• Watchmen
• Schitt’s Creek

Westchester Shops/Showrooms

• Artistic Tile, White Plains
• Mossy Fern, Bronxville
• East Hill Cabinetry, White Plains
• White Plains Marble, White Plains
• Irvington Hardware, Irvington

CT Shops/Showrooms

• RH, Greenwich
• Design Within Reach, Westport
• Terrain, Westport

NYC Shops

• A&D Building
• Stone Source
• LV Wood

Brands/Designers

• Dutton|Brown
• Boyd Lighting
• Holly Hunt
• Emtek