Refined Rustic

Warm textures and nods to the past form a personal haven in a second home retreat by Joel Kelly and Whitney Ray

The narrative in the design for a new Lake Toxaway home was that it had existed for a generation or two, and Joel Kelly and Whitney Ray imagined that the bathroom was a side porch that had been enclosed to create the master bath.

Common elements in lake living, such as painted wood siding and bricklike floors of porcelain tile, were used for authenticity and functionality in the home for longtime Atlanta-based clients. They frequently asked themselves: “Does it feel like it could have been here for a very long time?” Those answers resulted in incorporating materials and ideas that were a first for them in a bathroom project, says Kelly, owner of Joel Kelly Design and a partner with Ray in Wyeth Ray Interiors.

Seeking to provide light, privacy and views, they used clerestory windows and transoms above the tub entry. The white palette, seen in the walls, ceiling and glazed ceramic tile in the tub space, also contribute to the charm. “What’s great about us working together is that almost every conversation was back and forth about not just interiors versus architecture, but the two of them really working together,” says Ray. Bronze cabinetry hardware mixes with unlacquered brass plumbing that will patina with the age of the house, she adds.

The pair accomplished a high-styled, yet rustic feel with choices like raw white oak cabinetry and an 8-foot-long bench. A Walker Zanger oiled soapstone also added the romantic notion of permanence. “If we can help transport you to a time that feels more relaxed and easygoing, and also bring back a memory from childhood of what it was like to be in those places through the decoration,” Kelly says, “I think that’s our goal.”

INTERIOR ARCHITECT AND BATHROOM DESIGNER Joel Kelly, Joel Kelly Design, (404) 221-0422; INTERIOR DESIGN Whitney Ray, Wyeth Ray Interiors, (404) 591-2324; CONTRACTOR Bronco Construction CABINETRY Karpaty COUNTERTOPS Gray Soapstone through Walker Zanger PORCELAIN TILE FLOORS Gio Tile GLAZED CERAMIC TILE TUB WALLS SpearTek Tile and Stone PLUMBING Watermark Designs through Ferguson SCONCES Circa Lighting CHANDELIER Mulligan’s through Holland MacRae BENCH Scott Antique Markets ROMAN SHADE FABRIC Holly Hunt VANITY CHAIR Custom design with Perennials fabric