By Carleton Varney- Special to the Palm Beach Daily News
If you’re browsing the antique shops on South Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach or if you spend a Saturday or Sunday visiting the showroom at Kofski Estate Sales, you’ll most likely pass interior designer Gil Walsh’s new offices on the corner of Bunker Road.
The large white sign and the lovely white building at 5505 S. Dixie Highway is the decorating and design studio of one of Palm Beach’s star designers. Gil is a shorthand name for Marigil, a name created by her mother.
Gil has been plying her trade for some 40 years and is married to Mason, a former director for the Mellon Foundation in Pittsburgh. She worked for the architectural design firm Astorino prior to opening her own firm, which was previously housed in West Palm Beach’s Northwood Village.
With a staff of 10, Gil offers a wide range of design services, from configuring floor plans to creating architectural interior details. And she’s a wiz at shopping and sourcing items, whether she’s designing residential or commercial projects. There’s lots of information about her work on her website, GilWalsh.com.
Her color sense is extraordinary, as revealed in her recent book, “A Case for Color,” published by Gibbs Smith. You can find it on Amazon or in the Palm Beach bookshops. The book showcases her belief that color can transform a bland room. You won’t get any argument from me there.
She’s also very good at layering textures and is equally adept at designing in traditional or contemporary styles. Her designs always feature a visually interesting mix of items.
Her Florida projects have taken her from Key Largo to Jupiter Island, where she has a home. In total, she has done $2 million in design work over the past several years.
She travels from her home in Martin County each day to her office. During the summer, she directs her design assignments from her office in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard.
Gil’s personal appearance is as striking as her rooms. She has a beautifully developed fashion sense and favors classic styles. She could very well be a model for Chanel.
Gil also knows the whys and wherefores of the local design community. Last season, she curated “Art and Décor,” an interior design exhibit featuring room vignettes at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County in Lake Worth. I was so taken with the show that I visited it twice during its run.
Those interested in creating a beautiful home — whether in Palm Beach or points north and south — would do well to make a call to Gil’s office. And her sample room is filled with a library of interior design catalogs and an array of fabrics and wall coverings like none other I have seen.
P.S. If, by chance, you’re headed to Antique Row this weekend, Palm Beach Modern Auctions is holding what promises to be another terrific auction Saturday and Sunday. It’s one of only a handful the company organizes each year. The showroom at 417 Bunker Road is filled with remarkable 20th-century furnishings, decorative accessories and art. You can get all the details by calling 586-5500 or visiting ModernAuctions.com.