Nature’s Calling in Stephen Shutts’ Bath Design

What a gorgeous time of year—especially since it’s so warm outside to enjoy all that cacophony of color in the trees. That’s why I was so pleased to receive these beautiful bath photos from a newly constructed house in Morgantown, WV, where Stephen Shutts oversaw the interior design.



“In the master bathroom, I drew inspiration for the palette from the incredible views of the rolling hills in the background.” Stephen says. And he brought that gorgeous autumn flavor inside with a pop of red maple leaves.

And as you can see, he played with the tile, running a strip resembling river rocks straight up to the ceiling, so it looks like it leads you on a path straight out to those hills. “I knew I wanted to take the tile up and onto the walls for the strongest impact,” he explains. “While there is a lot of detail, the natural, clean aesthetic keeps it serene and comfortable.”


The (sustainably harvested) teak vanity was also an inspiration for this nature-inspired space, he told me, in keeping with the home’s overall green, energy-efficient design. “The homeowners live close to nature, and enjoy an organic lifestyle. I wanted that to come through in the design as well.”

Going back to the tile, the stone-like pattern embraces the sky and hills outside, emphasizing the views that come through at all levels.


Stephen didn’t stop at the master bath. In the home’s powder room, he amped up the color and pattern to reference the great outdoors.


“The powder room all started with the amazing large-scale wallcovering by Jocelyn Warner,” he says. “I always like to do something extra bold in the power room, because you can get away with it.”


The contractor fabricated the vanity top from local cherry wood, and mounted it on mill-grade stainless brackets. “I love the way the cherry color complements the turquoise of the paper,” Stephen says. And the pendant light, he adds, “reminds me of a Calla lily. It was made by Hubbardton Forge in Vermont.

For the record, Mills Group was the project architect, and Rising Sun Construction was the builder.

What a beautiful way to bring the seasons inside—especially at this time of year. And even though Stephen works in West Virginia, smart design lovers in DC will do well to keep and eye on him. My gut tells me his designs won’t stay hidden in those beautiful hills for long.