1850s Row House Reimagined With Modern Color Palette

Tasked with renovating and furnishing an 1850s home in Savannah, Joel and Erika Snayd used a mixed-period style to breathe new life into the historic structure. The result is a stunning, eclectic design rich with color. 

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White Living Room With Yellow Sofa

White Living Room With Yellow Sofa

A buttery yellow sofa and gorgeous striped curtains take this living room from sedate to smashing. Large windows brighten the space with natural light and a crystal chandelier gives luxurious panache overhead.

Photo by: Richard Leo Johnson

Richard Leo Johnson

Drawn to a four-story row house in downtown Savannah, Ga., a couple turned to Joel and Erika Snayd of Rethink Design Studio with a hefty task: infuse the historic structure with new color while preserving key details from its past.

"We were renovating a great 1850s row house," says Joel. "That in itself offered plaster crown molding, original fireplaces and hardwood floors. It was a great fabric to work with."

It was also a welcome change for the owners, who then lived in a modern home just outside of Savannah with their two daughters. Where their former residence featured a sleek design, the couple wanted to showcase the traditional elements of their new home.

Colorful, Welcoming Foyer

Colorful, Welcoming Foyer

An eggplant purple door and console table welcomes guests into this bright foyer. A blue feather mural brightens up the wall over a wooden bench.

Photo by: Richard Leo Johnson

Richard Leo Johnson

Working with assistant designer Sarah Jennings, the Snayds' first task was to create a seamless transition from room to room. They found inspiration in a vintage watercolor painting, which they used to design a mural of a feather in the foyer. As it shifts from pastels to saturated hues, the feather blends the home’s different colors and encourages flow between spaces.

Though seemingly effortless, Joel admits that this custom design required great attention to detail.

We wanted to make sure that it erred on the side of quality and timelessness. It was important to find the right balance of color so everything wasn't too contemporary or too trendy.
Joel Snayd, Rethink Design Studio

Their thorough process shines in the parlor. By pairing a custom-made, curry-colored couch with floor-to-ceiling windows and striped curtains, the Rethink Design team infused the room with color and warmth. At the same time, soft gray walls and a crystal chandelier ensure that the parlor is balanced and retains its sense of period.

White Eclectic Dining Room With Tree Wallpaper

White Eclectic Dining Room With Tree Wallpaper

The designers used the traditional architectural bones of this stately dining room as a jumping off point for layering in a creative mix of eclectic details. A white marble oval dining table sits center stage with a dramatic backdrop of tree-covered wallpaper.

Photo by: Richard Leo Johnson

Richard Leo Johnson

To further highlight the history of the home, the Rethink Design team introduced wallpaper with a ghostly tree design in the dining room. As a backdrop for the Herman Miller chairs and modern cabinets, the graphic creates visual interest and alludes to Savannah's rich folklore and enthusiasm for the supernatural. 

In the kitchen, the Rethink Design team used contemporary features to bring the row house into the present. From the marble wall to the sleek countertops, the space was made streamlined, thus achieving a beautiful contrast with the rest of the floor.

For the second and third floors, though, the Rethink Design team wanted to get more personal with their approach.

Blue and White Bedroom With Chandelier

Blue and White Bedroom With Chandelier

This beautiful bedroom makes a fun mix of elegant and whimsical details. A crystal chandelier presides overhead, while an imaginative mix of patterns brings the space to life.

Photo by: Richard Leo Johnson

Richard Leo Johnson

Ascending the traditional brass staircase to the second level, the watercolor wall dissipates and gives way to a master suite seeped in lavender — so designed to evoke a sense of tranquility for the owners.

As their client's wife battled cancer in the midst of the project, the Rethink Design team wanted to provide the couple with an escape, a space of their own where they could find comfort and peace. For this reason, the English-modern bedroom is simple but elegant, with cool white and blues tones layered across the room to create a spa-like feeling. 

Blue Hall With White Wood Floors

Blue Hall With White Wood Floors

White painted wood floors and pale blue walls transform this hallway into a light, airy space, like stepping into clouds.

Photo by: Richard Leo Johnson

Richard Leo Johnson

For the teenage girls, the team focused on creating a youthful third floor. They achieved this with a wash of white-painted floors and pale blue walls, which transform the hallway into a heavenly space that leads into each girl’s bedroom.  

For Joel, personal touches like this were perhaps the most important part of the project.

"We wanted to make sure that each room had a distinct personality that reflected our clients," he says. "A lot of the time, that’s lost in the design. You don’t normally get the personality of each person."

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Colorful Foyer With Feather Mural

An eggplant-purple door welcomes guests into the foyer of this four-story row house. Along the wall, a feather mural shifts from pastel to saturated hues, reflecting the different colors found throughout the home. 

Photo By: Richard Leo Johnson

Purple Console Table and Mirror

A darling purple table with graphic artwork adds another pop of color to the foyer.

Photo By: Richard Leo Johnson

Curry-Colored Sofa Adds Warmth to Parlor

Using the owl gray walls and traditional architecture as a base, the curry-colored sofa adds warmth and vibrancy to the parlor. Above the fireplace, a streetscape of Brooklyn pulls all the colors and details together. 

Sofa and Curtains Create Structure In Parlor

Set against floor-to-ceiling windows and gorgeous stirped curtains, the curry-colored sofa adds structure to this eclectic sitting room. Overhead, a crystal chandelier ensures that the parlor retains its sense of period. 

Dining Room With Tree-Covered Wallpaper

Moving from parlor to dining room, the color palette shifts to pink and gray. In this space, an oval table with Herman Miller chairs sits center stage, while wallpaper with a ghostly tree design alludes to the rich folklore of Savannah.

Modern China Cabinets Add Symmetry to Dining Room

On the opposite end of the dining room, two modern china cabinets anchor the space. The back of the cabinets have been painted fuschia for an additional colorful surprise. 

Contemporary Kitchen With Marble Wall

With sleek surfaces and modern appliances, this contemporary kitchen creates a beautiful contrast with the rest of the home. A mix of patterns and materials adds visual interest to the room.

Photo By: Richard Leo Johnson

Powder Room With Gray and Yellow Feather Wallpaper

In the powder room at the end of the hall, gray and yellow wallpaper offers an instant graphic. The feather pattern connects this room to the mural in the foyer. 

Barn-Style Sliding Doors

An office gets a chic and innovative upgrade with a sliding barn-style door, creating a sense of flow between rooms.

Photo By: Richard Leo Johnson

Watercolor Stairwell Leads to Second Floor

Ascending the brass staircase to the second floor, the watercolor wallpaper dissipates and gives way to a soothing white hallway. 

Photo By: Richard Leo Johnson

Elegant English-Modern Master Suite

On the second level, an English-modern master suite provides a place of comfort and peace. The cool blue and white tones keep the space simple, while the chandelier adds a touch of elegance.

Master Bath With Wood-Paneled Tub

A set of double doors leads into the master bathroom. The wood-paneled side of the tub ties in with the hardwood floors of the bedroom, unifying the two spaces.

Photo By: Richard Leo Johnson

Master Bathroom With Wood Vanity

A mix of neutral tones and clean, crisp lines turn this master bathroom into a tailored, peaceful oasis. The floors and shower walls add welcome texture to break up the many smooth surfaces.

Neutral Double-Vanity With Vessel Sinks

White vessel sinks bring contemporary polish to this neutral bathroom with its beautiful marble backsplash and floor.

Photo By: Richard Leo Johnson

Spacious Sitting Room With Vintage Sofa

In the next room, a vintage sofa provides a comfortable place to lounge and read. Glass doors on either side of the sofa lead onto the deck, making it easy to move outside when the weather is inviting.

Serene Sitting Room Features Vintage Details

Calming shades of blue and green add color to this serene sitting room off the master suite. The varied textures and patterns of the furniture, artwork and even the chandelier help create visual interest.

Urban Deck With String Lights

A small urban deck becomes a charming outdoor area with the addition of string lights and comfortable, chic seating.

Laundry Room With Wood Floors

This generously sized laundry room includes a sink, washer and dryer, and ample countertop room for folding and organizing. A window provides lovely natural light.

Pale Blue Walls Create Heavenly Hallway

White-painted wood floors and pale blue walls create a heavenly effect on the third floor. Moving along the hallway evokes the idea of walking on clouds.

White Transitional Bedroom With Zebra Art

In this bedroom, the all-white palette is given contemporary crispness with accents of black and turquoise blue.

Black and White Contemporary Bedroom

Graphic patterns and a punchy palette of black, white and blue make a striking visual statement in this bedroom. Traditional underpinnings like the chandelier and fireplace are jazzed up with the crisp lines and bold color scheme.

Canopy Bed in Contemporary Black and White Bedroom

Graphic black and white patterns take this bedroom in a bold and dramatic direction. Pops of pale blue break up the monochromatic scheme.

Photo By: Richard Leo Johnson

Sage Green Bedroom Features Blue Rug

Where the other bedroom is bright and bold, this sage green room is calm and soothing. A wallpapered accent wall adds a vintage touch to the space, while an ocean-blue rug anchors the room in place.

Sweet Metal Bed in Sage Green Bedroom

A sweet metal bed brings shabby-chic charm to this sage green bedroom. The mixed-pattern throw pillows and vintage mirrors are the perfect accents.

Patterned Wallpaper Offers Vintage Charm

A series of mirrors in different shapes helps brighten the bedroom, while the patterned wallpaper adds a touch of vintage charm. 

Photo By: Richard Leo Johnson

Gold Mirror Adds Old World Glamour to Bathroom

Ornate gold embellishments on this bathroom's mirror bring a touch of old world glamour to the sophisticated gray-and-white space. 

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rethinkdesignstudio.com/ 554 East Gordon Street Savannah, GA 31401 912-236-3022