Dreaming up house plans and drawing them on paper is what Jason Thomas does for fun.
“I’ve always loved houses,” he says. “Ever since I could pick a pencil up, I’ve drawn houses. That’s my pastime. It’s relaxing for me.”
For the last five years or so, Jason has taken his plans from paper to production, renovating and flipping houses. He started what is arguably his greatest house renovation to date when he purchased an 11,300-square-foot home in Greystone in 2014. This renovation was a total design transformation. From many limestone accents to towering chimneys, he designed the house with influences from European castles that he studied while in living in London during a study-abroad program at Samford University.
“Almost everything has been changed,” Jason says of the interior and exterior of the home. “It’s really neat to see it come to life. I had no idea I would ever have anything like this, but I’m really happy with how it turned out.”
Past the heavy iron front doors is the foyer, in which the first of the home’s many chandeliers hangs in golden splendor. The chandelier is from Fischer-Gambino in New Orleans. White columns and crown molding set the tone for the rest of the stately home.
To the left of the foyer is the study, an intimate room with dark walls, tall windows, built-in bookcases, a leather ceiling and a crystal chandelier.
FORMAL DINING ROOM
The room to the right of the foyer has the elements one would expect of a resplendent formal dining room: wainscoting, crown molding, a long table, a china cabinet and a crystal chandelier hanging from a ceiling medallion.
Hovering 25 feet above the floor of the great room is one of the most spectacular sights in Jason’s home. A local artist was commissioned to paint a dramatic mural, a work of art whose composition mirrors that of Michelangelo’s masterpiece on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Recessed lighting illuminates the mural in a subtle way.
Gold finishes stand out against the off-white cabinet doors and black island and vent hood in the kitchen. Calacatta Borghini marble from Italy also pairs well with the gold faucet and light fixtures suspended above the rectangular island. Sleek brass barstools with white cushions provide extra seating. “I tried to make it a little bit modern with traditional elements like brass,” Jason says.
Doused in soft neutrals, the den features 18-foot ceilings and tall windows. The room’s positioning at the back of the house gives it enough privacy to eliminate the need for drapes over the windows. The fireplace design came directly from one of Jason’s drawings.
The chandelier theme continues in the master bedroom. Wall sconces flanking the bed and chairs in the room’s sitting area tie in with the gold of the chandelier and a gilded mirror over the limestone fireplace.
Antique chests from New York dating back to the 1800s serve as vanities in the bathroom. Heated floors give way to a claw-foot bathtub with Kingston Brass hardware and 24-carat gold plated claw feet. Another crystal chandelier hangs over the bathtub, next to a 32-square foot steam shower.
The luxurious master closet resembles a dressing room at a posh men’s boutique in New York City. The space contains built-in shelves and clothing racks, along with a dresser for accessories and a fur-covered bench in the center of the room, under a contemporary metal and glass light fixture.
OUTDOOR LIVING SPACE
Jason calls the back of the house “the best part of the whole house.” A light-colored travertine tile floor, white columns, white painted brick and white furniture cushions work together to create a bright, airy outdoor living area reminiscent of a lakeside villa’s terrace in Europe. “This house feels like you’re at a spa,” Jason says.
Jason built a giant dual-heated infinity pool that overlooks the lake behind the house. “When I bought the house, you couldn’t even see the water,” he says. “I cut down all the trees, and now, there’s panoramic views of the water from all the rooms inside the house.”
Jason knocked out the main center of the house in the basement and installed a commercial glass wall with floor-to-ceiling doors that open in the outdoor living space in the back. “When you’re in the basement den looking out, the pool looks like it runs into the lake. It feels like a high-end resort, and there’s over 2,000 square feet of new outdoor living space.” Jason also installed two 75-inch TVs and a 50-inch TV that all sync together for game days. Whitewashed wood ceilings keep the area light, even on overcast days.
Immaculate landscaping and stonework in the backyard contribute to the back of the house’s elegance.
A sitting area in the basement gives off an old Hollywood vibe, with a velvet sofa, paintings of celebrities’ likenesses and a large crystal light fixture. The basement also consists of a gym with a large spa bathroom and wine room.
While it’s slightly less ornate than the main kitchen, the basement’s full kitchen is impressive in its own right. The backsplash is made of white marble and inlaid brass, and the countertops are quartz. The goal with the basement kitchen was to create a full functioning kitchen that can dual serve as a bar with its backlit natural brass island front. It’s high-end and sleek.
Each of the home’s guest rooms on the basement level features a unique theme based on the furnishings. The “Peacock Room” is a fan favorite, but the “Ralph Lauren Room” with hunting dog paintings and the “Global Room” with maps being the design element in a gray and cream color scheme are equally welcoming.
BASEMENT DINING ROOM
“You can tell I like art,” Jason says as he walks into the basement-level dining room, the walls of which are lined with signed Salvador Dali paintings.
Jason’s office is a simple, clean space where he can retreat to get work done at home. Two flat-screen televisions have been mounted to the wall which serve as computer monitors. A long black granite countertop stretches the length of the room for ample desk space.
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BEHIND THE SCENES
Floorplan and Design-Construction: Jason Thomas
Upholstery, Interior Design & Select Furnishings: Ansley Turncliff with ATM Designs
Outdoor Living Space Furniture: Restoration Hardware
White Outdoor Drapes: Made by Daniel Richie with Sunbrella fabric
Door and Cabinet Hardware throughout House: Brandino Brass Company – Homewood
Faucets and bath elements throughout: Kingston Brass
Landscaping: Doug Travis with Liberty Environmental Contractors
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