When she was 19, Gadsden native Sally Davis Thrasher thought she knew what her future held. An Interior Design major at Auburn University, Thrasher envisioned a career designing beautiful home interiors, incorporating her artistic flair and love of fashion. But during her sophomore year, an unexpected injury abruptly changed the trajectory of her life.
“I had a freak accident and fell on my right arm. It was paralyzed with no feeling for a year and a half. I couldn’t move my hand because of extensive nerve damage. The loss of use in my dominant hand meant I couldn’t draw, which was an integral part of my major and future profession as a designer.”
After countless surgeries and lots of physical therapy, Thrasher regained use of her arm and hand. She changed her major to accounting and moved to Birmingham for her first job out of college. She now works as Senior Director of Client Engagement, Government Programs for Prime Therapeutics. Despite her career change, Thrasher’s passion for decorating did not subside.
“I changed my major to something I knew I could always use in life, but my love for interior design and fashion are still there,” says Thrasher. “I get to have fun expressing myself through renovation and design in my own home.”
Thrasher’s expert eye for design and attention to detail are apparent in every corner of her Mountain Brook home.
“We were moving from Liberty Park,” Thrasher shares. “I knew I wanted to be in the Crestline area. When looking for a house, everything in my budget was outdated or just not me. I didn’t want to pay a premium for something that wasn’t my style. I really believe a person’s home depicts their personality.”
Thrasher found a gem in a home that offered lots of potential with carefully planned cosmetic updates. She enlisted the help of contractor Josh Haralson, who was able to execute extensive renovations in six short months.
Guests are welcomed into the home through a custom steel and glass door that Thrasher had made by Blackshop Birmingham and painted bright blue with auto paint to stand up to the Alabama sun. The walls of the entry bear a striking, abstract gold design. A sputnik light fixture and acrylic console table topped with a painting by Windy O’Connor set the tone for the thoughtfully-decorated home.
“I fell in love with a wallpaper that I wanted to use in the entry, but the price per square foot was outrageous. So, I found a freelance painter to replicate the pattern with gold paint on the white walls. It’s one of my favorite spots in the house.”
The entry is open to the light-filled living room. The area is anchored by a blush pink velvet sofa from Gadsden Lighting, re-upholstered white chairs, a cow hide rug, a marble-topped coffee table and a refinished curio cabinet that belonged to Thrasher’s grandmother.
Pops of black and gold accent the room in art, lamps and décor pieces along with pillows painted by her mother. Thrasher updated the wood-burning fireplace to gas and filled it with fire balls from Brandino Brass. An abstract black and white painting adds drama above the mantle.
Walls and trim throughout the home are painted white. Thrasher had all of the home’s interior doors painted black to allow them to stand out from the white. She was very intentional about planning renovations to the home to create a better flow for entertaining and daily living.
“The house did not have a powder room for guests to use, so we moved a wall and made the living room smaller to make space.” The walls of the half bath are clad in a striking leopard print wallpaper. A stunning gold and glass sputnik ceiling fixture casts light that bounces off the gleaming gold and white fixtures.
Behind the living room is a stunning dining room made for a dinner party. Thrasher had her carpenter, Sherwood Cox, build a large table with a thick wood top held up by squared bases. The table is centered under a pair of Tiffany blue beaded chandeliers from Circa, where Thrasher purchased nearly every lighting fixture for the home. Upholstered blue chairs from West Elm lend a relaxed and inviting vibe to the space.
Thrasher worked with local artist Carrie Pittman to create a custom abstract painting to hang above a distressed metal console from IO Metro. “Carrie came to see the house and took her inspiration from my home and what I wanted. The first version was a little brighter than I wanted, so Carrie toned it down to fit my vision.”
Modern gold and black iron replaced the tired wooden stair banister that leads downstairs to a home gym, den, bath and laundry area. Behind the dining room is the home’s kitchen—a true show-stopper. It features a Blue Star gas range and two-door oven with four burners, a grill and griddle.
“The kitchen is my absolute favorite room in the house,” Sally shares. “Blue Star is what Frank Stitt cooks on in his kitchen. I just loved the black and gold and it fit right into my vision for an elevated kitchen space. In order to break up the monotony of standard cabinetry, I worked with Brandino Brass and they brought my vision to life with exquisite floating shelves. I got all the hardware, doorknobs, shelf brackets and outdoor gas lights for the house there.”
Thrasher selected brass finishes to coordinate with the range’s accents for a classic look in the kitchen. Her carpenter built custom cabinets, panels to hide the refrigerator and dishwasher and a hood above the range. In order to break up the monochromatic color scheme, Thrasher had a section of cabinetry painted Sherwin Williams Inkwell. The kitchen also features an enviable Gaggenau built-in coffee/cappuccino/espresso maker and Bosch convection oven/microwave.
“Walking into a kitchen, I didn’t want the refrigerator and dishwasher to be the focal points. My goal was to let the countertops, range and floating shelves take center stage. I have kids sitting at the bar stools frequently, so they had to be easy to wipe clean. I love the modern, clean look of the island’s waterfall edge.”
Thrasher selected Alabama White marble for the kitchen counters, backsplash and island. She was so intentional about the material that she went to a quarry in Bessemer to select the exact slab she wanted.
The kitchen adjoins to the open den in a perfect entertaining space. The room is anchored by a leather sofa, a pair of white club chairs, and marble-topped tables from West Elm and IO Metro. Thrasher had her carpenter build custom shelves surrounding the fireplace that complement the kitchen cabinets. The shelves are artfully filled with hand-blown vases and books from A’Mano, an acrylic tray featuring a photo of Gray Malin’s well-known umbrellas, bookends from Chickadee and a painting by Thrasher’s mother.
The mirror-backed shelves to the left of the fireplace offer the perfect spot for a fun and vibrant bar. Thrasher collected an array of beverage glasses at favorite stores like A’Mano. “I think every house needs a bar. It’s just so fun to have a spot where guests can help themselves to a drink when you’re entertaining.”
Two bedrooms are connected by a Jack-and-Jill bath. Thrasher painted an old twin bed a deep shade of navy to coordinate with neutral furniture in her son’s room. Baskets and bins provide hidden storage for Legos, art supplies and gaming items. A framed cheetah print reading “Live fearlessly, love fiercely” and a colorful glass fish from a trip to the British Virgin Islands decorate the walls.
The black and white full bath features two square sinks under wall-mounted black faucets for a modern look. Thrasher says the black tiled floor helps hide dirt.
Thrasher’s carpenter built custom full-over-full bunk beds for the second bedroom that also serves as her home office. The beds are topped with white linens from West Elm and pillows from Little Design Company.
“My carpenter made the dining table, the bunk beds, kitchen cabinetry, all bathroom cabinetry and the shelving in the den. His name is Sherwood Cox. He is extremely easy to work with and a super nice guy. I tell him what I want and he draws it out, then builds it. He’s very talented.”
A third bedroom is perfectly outfitted to welcome an overnight guest. Jennifer Vought completely transformed Thrasher’s dark wood bedroom suit, painting the pieces a lighter color, adding new hardware and enhancing the nightstands with grass cloth.
Another sputnik light fixture crowns the master bedroom. The king-sized bed is upholstered in dark grey velvet with white linens from Restoration Hardware and pillows from Little Design Company. Matching bedside chests and lamps bring order and symmetry to the room.
The master bath is filled with grey and white marble from floor to ceiling and includes a soaking tub and double shower. Thrasher loves the hexagons repeated on the mosaic-tiled floor that perfectly coordinate with the black, white and gold color scheme of the space.
Thrasher says the home turned out exactly as she envisioned and she loves the private lot they found in the popular neighborhood. “Living in Crestline makes me so happy. I love the schools, the convenience, the community and neighborhood feel. It’s like Mayberry. I can walk my son to school. You don’t get to do that many places!”