Designer Kevin Walsh honors the heritage of a historic Savannah home in a bath with live-for-today color and amenities
Kevin Walsh enlivens a classic Savannah bath.
history hangs beguilingly over Savannah like Spanish moss from ancient oak trees. Kevin Walsh could feel it as he began to shape the master bath for the 2017 Southern Style Now Showhouse.
“This is a historic house, and I wanted to pay homage to that,” Walsh says. “I wanted to create a bath with historical presence but, at the same time, make it feel current.”
The designer laid a base for a traditional-meets-modern bath with tile—a shimmery neutral mosaic on the floor and dramatic black subway tile in a crosshatch pattern on the lower third of the walls. “This twist on subway tile is something you don’t see—it makes the room special,” Walsh says. “I also like the subtle pattern.”
That pattern and color contrast yet jibe with Walsh’s chosen wallpaper and drapery fabric—in a gray-and-neutral colorway that tempers the energy of its spiraling design.
Other primary elements, including a freestanding soaking tub nestled next to the window, a double vanity cabinet, a skirted makeup table, and monogrammed towels, also speak to classicism while taking a decidedly contemporary turn.
“I’m a color person,” Walsh says. “I want a strong color story. So I had to bring in the green. Chartreuse adds a twist—it grabs your attention and feels current, but at the same time, it appeals to a lot of people because it’s a color we see in nature.”
The hue enlivens the table skirt, an animal-print bench, and a side chair while the vanity repeats the black of the subway tile. Hardware and faucets introduce warm brass tones. “Brushed brass brings the bath into the 21st century and adds softness,” Walsh says.
Art and accessories, meanwhile, supply the final layer, making the space feel personal and polished. “I’m all about collecting things,” Walsh says. “I’m a thrifter at heart.”
He put his magpie penchant to work as he assembled a menagerie of new and vintage, modern and traditional pieces that seal the room’s Southern grace.
“This feels like a place where a lady could relax, escape from the cares of the day, and take in her surroundings,” Walsh says. “It’s a throwback to a gentler time.”
I WANTED TO CREATE A BATH WITH HISTORICAL PRESENCE BUT, AT THE SAME TIME, MAKE IT FEEL CURRENT.” —designer Kevin Walsh
“With its toe caps and Emtek drawer hardware, the vanity is like a piece of furniture,” designer Kevin Walsh says. It’s painted semigloss “Black2132-10” by Benjamin Moore. “Randall” vanity faucets in satin brass are by DXV. Sconces are by Circa Lighting.
Crossville subway tile pairs with wallpaper and curtains in the “Bali Hai” pattern from Quadrille’s China Seas collection to set a graphic backdrop. Art includes a striking watergraph—a hybrid photograph and watercolor—by Martin Summers. The brass faucet complements the “Fitzgerald” freestanding tub, both by DXV.