Ashley and Chase Anderson had lived in a midcentury modern home in Dallas, but when they moved to Birmingham they had a different style in mind—a “charming Southern style home,” Ashley says.
What they found was just that on Surrey Road, a 1933 Georgian style home that had been on the market for six months at the time despite the fact that it had been recently renovated inside. “It was perfect for what we were looking for, and it was our only option,” Ashley recalls. “It was like a golden sign.”
Although the couple met in Dallas, Ashley grew up in Arkansas and Chase, an Auburn grad, in Knoxville, Tennessee, so they always wanted to move back to the Southeast. And when their family business acquired Birmingham-based fishing company Bassmaster, the opportunity came in the form of a dream job for Chase, an avid fisherman. Two years later, Ashley says they are loving raising their two daughters in a community that moves at a slower pace and has the most beautiful spring seasons—and the “sweetest street” too.
But when the Andersons first moved from Texas, they’d sold all of their midcentury style furniture with their house there and started fresh on Surrey Road with seemingly infinite white walls and only one headboard they planned to keep. That’s when Ashley connected with designer Allene Neighbors through one of her neighbors, and as it turns out it was perfect timing for Allene, who was getting back into the workforce after taking a few years off to spend time with her children.
The Andersons did, however, move into a freshly renovated kitchen and bathrooms and all the 1933 home’s original hardwoods, windows and crown molding. “It’s classic and stands the test of time, so it doesn’t need a lot of changing,” Ashley says.
Ashley likes a light, fresh look, and Allene worked with her to mix these styles with more traditional elements characteristic to the style of the home for an overall bright aesthetic. Ashley, a former dentist, brought her attention to detail to the design project to collaborate with Allene’s “impeccable taste” and connections to local shops, artists and craftsman from both growing up here and having a mother, Allene Parnell, who is also an interior designer. “She helped with the layering, the warmth, helped us find things we love,” Ashley says. “Every piece I have I want to stand the test of time.”
Today the Andersons’s home is warm and cozy—stately on the outside but approachable inside with kid-friendly fabrics and soft furniture for their daughters, now ages 3 ½ and 18 months, to grow up with. It has all the character and charm of a home its age but with far more windows—and natural light—than often found in homes from that era.
The dining space, inspired by Estee Lauder style director Aerin Lauder, has lavender walls and blue and white décor accents. A butterfly installation by Dallas artist Claire Crowe brings a modern element to the traditional fireplace, and a triptych by Wellon Bridgers on the opposite wall adds the fresh greens of spring that Ashley loves and was inspired by one of her favorite hymns, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” The custom made drapery are a pale shade of the wall color, and the navy band along the drapery edges compliments the navy velvet dining chairs. The oak table made through The Nest seats six but can accommodate 12 when both leaves are inserted to accommodate the Andersons’ extended family for holiday meals.
Allene found a more traditional English bow front chest when on an antique road trip, and Ashley likes mixing it with an abstract piece of art commissioned by Amanda Norman and a vintage rug.
Ashley wanted this family space to be calm and comfortable for their family, with a large sectional covered in child-proof fabric and a custom made mohair ottoman both through Circa Interiors. Like the other rooms on the main floor, sisal rugs add to the beachy, earthy vibe Ashley likes in combination with traditional elements. This room was part of an addition to the house from the 1980s in addition to a powder room and a master bedroom upstairs.
A funky piece of aviary art by Jen Ramos that Ashley commissioned for her now 3-year-old daughter Scarlett anchors the design of this youthful room with soft pink accents. The ceiling is wallpapered in a starburst paper and kid-proof linens, draperies and a custom-made three-sided daybed allows everything in the room to be enjoyed by the hands of a child.
When Ashley contacted Allene about designing a nursery prior to the arrival of their second child, the sex of the baby was unknown. Ashley wanted the room to have a bluebird theme, and Allene ran with the idea, incorporating pale blues and soft creams. Allene intentionally left a few details untouched until they found out if the baby was a boy or girl at the birth. Indeed it was another girl, so Allene then added pops of pale pink to the crib skirt and through an upholstered chair custom made with pink cording and band through MCJ Co.
An uplifting piece of art by Carrie Pittman paired with more traditional bedding—including a monogrammed satin and velvet lumbar pillow on the bed – offers a peaceful retreat for Ashley and Chase. One of Ashley’s favorite parts of the space is the view of a Japanese maple tree from the bathroom when it’s in bloom.
Behind the Scenes
- Interior Design: Allene Neighors, Allene Designs
- Reading Room and Den Upholstery and Ottomans: Circa Interiors
- Select Area Rugs: Billy Brown Flooring
- Cabinet and Door Hardware: Brandino Brass
- Select Lighting Fixtures: Circa Lighting
- Dining Table: The Nest
- Nursery Chair: MCJ Co.
- Master Bedroom Pillow Monogram: B. Bayer & Co.
- Landscaping: Peter Falkner
- Sunroom Contractor: Franks Building Company