The Ultimate Luxury

For their newly built home on the edge of a North Atlanta country club, homeowners Ed and Cathy Johnson called upon the deft design instincts of The Mercantile’s Barbara Heath


21st Annual Bath Contest

MEET THE HOMEOWNERS Ed Johnson is a leader of an Atlanta-based corporation and travels frequently for work, so he requested the convenience of resort-like amenities in his master bathroom. Cathy, a CPA by trade, is an active stay-at-home mom who helps keep their four children—two girls and two boys—engaged in activities around the clock.

THEIR STYLE The Johnsons’ look is traditional but—at the same time—serene, simple and understated. Designer Barbara Heath took these fundamental desires and injected the freshness of new products and ideas while melding their masculine and feminine preferences into one harmonious look.

FAVORITE FEATURE While Cathy favors the elegance of her custom vanity, Ed was particular about the jetted soaking tub. “He had recent back surgery, so he insisted on a therapeutic Jacuzzi tub. I picked out a few options and made him go to the showrooms to sit in and try them all,” Cathy laughs. The shower, which they both adore, features Ed’s favorite rain showerhead, which he discovered at Reynolds Plantation.

THEIR BEST ADVICE “Look at lots of homes and lots of bathrooms, and save several pictures of what you like,” says Cathy. “Take plenty of notes; that way, a skilled designer can help you combine your favorite things in a way that works for you.”


­­Designer Insights…

“Cathy and I shopped for antiques together and loved one buffet we found at Scott’s. My cabinet maker studies the production of English antiques, so he was able to recreate a vanity inspired by that very buffet, right down to the casters. The custom design allowed us to hide things like plumbing that we wouldn’t have been able to with an actual antique.” Custom vanity by Brian Young, Nottingham Antiques, 44 Bennett St. NW, Atlanta 30309. (404) 352-1890;

“I wanted to give them a sense of luxury, as if they were at a wonderful resort. An in-shower bench, hand-held sprayer at the tub and a tilt-glass panel in the shower are a few of these conveniences. The husband also loved the rain showerheads at Reynolds Plantation, so the couple tracked down the exact style for their master bath.” Michael S. Smith For Country showerhead P214400-00 for Kallista, available through Ferguson Enterprises, 764 Miami Cir. NE, Atlanta 30324. (404) 495-9919;

“It’s funny to mix the word ‘efficient’ with ‘luxury,’ but the two things have been incorporated here—as with the vanity. One side stores the wife’s cosmetics and the other provides locked storage for her personal treasures.”

“The husband’s water closet backs up to his home office and, as we were paneling that room, we saw a great opportunity to turn one of those panels into a secret passage. Before, he had to walk all the way around the house and through the master bedroom to get to it; now, it’s right at his fingertips.”

“Blue is almost a universal favorite, and it is the wife’s favorite, but getting the right shade of blue is more difficult. The Murano glass lamps and art by Elizabeth Stockton were the catalysts that brought the neutral scheme together. We used a very, very pale blue on the ceiling, which feels very serene.” All art and accessories available through The Mercantile, 1430 Dresden Dr., Suite B-100, Atlanta 30319. (404) 816-0060;


INTERIOR DESIGN Barbara Heath, The Mercantile, 1430 Dresden Dr., Suite B-100, Atlanta 30319. (404) 816-0060; ARCHITECTURE Mark Kane, The Builder’s Design Group, 625 Old Ellijay Rd. E, Dahlonega 30533. (706) 867-1080 DOOR HARDWARE Rocky Mountain Hardware Suwannee Decorative Hardware, 1810 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. NW, Duluth 30097. (770) 623-6015; OTHER FIXTURES AND HARDWARE Kohler, through Ferguson Enterprises, 764 Miami Cir. NE, Atlanta 30324. (404) 495-9919; TILE INSTALLATION Renee Boyd, Boyd Designs & Installs, LLC (404) 597-6664 ANTIQUE OUSHAK Keivan Woven Arts, 425 Peachtree Hills Ave. NE, Suite 17, Atlanta 30305. (404) 266-3336;