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Showhouse Bath with Classic Style

Designer Kevin Walsh honors the heritage of a historic Savannah home in a bath with live-for-today color and amenities

Written by Sally Finder Weepie

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.”


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 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.


The brass faucet complements the “Fitzgerald” freestanding tub, both by DXV.

“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.”


“With its toe caps and Emtek drawer hardware, the vanity is like a piece of furniture,” designer Kevin Walsh says. It’s painted semigloss “Black 2132-10” by Benjamin Moore Sconces are by Circa Lighting.

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.”


“Randall” vanity faucets in satin brass are by DXV.

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.”

Click here to tour the rest of the Southern Style Now Showhouse in Savannah.

Photography: Jean Allsopp  
Produced by Jenny Bradley Pfeffer

Interior designer: Kevin Walsh, Bear Hill Interiors, 1420 Rebsamen Park Rd., Little Rock, AR 72202; 501/907-9272; bearhillinteriors.com.

Ceiling paint “Cloud White” CC-40: Benjamin Moore; benjaminmoore.com.
Wallpaper “Bali Hai Gray on Almost White”: China Seas-Quadrille; quadrillefabrics.com.
Wall tile “Savoy” in gloss black: Crossville; crossvilleinc.com.
Plants on wall brackets “Double Hollyhock”: Tommy Mitchell; tommymitchellcompany.com.
Artwork on wall vintage: Redefined Décor; redefineddecor.com.
Sconces “Vivian Double Sconce” by Thomas O’Brien: Circa Lighting; circalighting.com.
Mirrors “Trumeau Mirror with Etched Star”: Mirror Image Home; mirrorimagehome.com.
Cabinet custom-fabricated: Bear Hill Interiors; bearhillinteriors.com.
Faucets “Randall Widespread Bathroom Faucet with Cross Handles” in Satin Brass: DXV; dxv.com.
Artwork on sink vintage: Chairish; chairish.com.
Floor tile “Yin + Yang” in Snow Flower”: Crossville; crossvilleinc.com.

PAGE 90. Tub overview—
Ceiling paint “Cloud White” CC-40: Benjamin Moore; benjaminmoore.com.
Ceiling fixture “O’Connor Chandelier” by Aerin: Circa Lighting; circalighting.com.
Wallpaper and curtain fabric “Bali Hai Gray on Almost White”: China Seas-Quadrille; quadrillefabrics.com.
Trim in lime: Décor de Paris; decordeparis.com.
Wall tile “Savoy” in gloss black: Crossville; crossvilleinc.com.
Plants on wall brackets: Tommy Mitchell; tommymitchellcompany.com.
White-and-lavender artwork Blackberry Pie: Maura Segal; maurasegal.com.
Gold-framed artwork Water Color I: NG Collective Studio; ngcstudioart.com.
Fabric on vanity “Manasa” in Absinthe by Manuel Canovas: Cowtan & Tout; cowtan.com.
White lamp on vanity “White Opaline Glass Lamp,” mirror and mirrored tray on vanity vintage: Bear Hill Interiors; bearhillinteriors.com.
Stool vintage: unavailable.
Fabric on stool “Tigre” in greens and black: -Scalamandré; scalamandre.com.
Bathtub “Fitzgerald Freestanding Soaking Tub” in Canvas White: DXV; dxv.com.
Bathtub tray custom, vase, and soap dish vintage, metal chair “Brass Chivari”: Bear Hill Interiors; bearhillinteriors.com.
Fabric on cushions “Manasa” in Absinthe by Manuel Canovas: Cowtan & Tout; cowtan.com.
Floor tile “Yin + Yang” in Snow Flower: Crossville; crossvilleinc.com.

Bathtub vignette—
Wallpaper and curtain fabric “Bali Hai Gray on Almost White”: China Seas-Quadrille; quadrillefabrics.com.
Trim in lime: Décor de Paris; decordeparis.com.
Wall tile “Savoy” in gloss black: Crossville; crossvilleinc.com.
Partial image artwork Midnight: Maura Segal; maurasegal.com.
Gold-framed artwork (not available): NG Collective Studio; ngstudioart.com.
Bathtub “Fitzgerald Freestanding Soaking Tub” in Canvas White, bathtub faucet “Transitional Floor-Mounted Bathtub Faucet with Randall Cross Handles”: DXV; dxv.com.
Bathtub tray custom, vase, and soap dish vintage, metal chair “Brass Chivari”: Bear Hill Interiors; bearhillinteriors.com.
Cushion fabric “Manasa” in Absinthe by Manuel Canovas: Cowtan & Tout; cowtan.com.