A space reflective of their global travels, Cheryl & Luis Stauffer welcomed Columbus Monthly into their ornately decorated Bexley home.
“Your home tells your story,” Cheryl says. “It tells you where you are and where you’re going.”
Walking through Cheryl Stauffer’s Bexley living room is like flipping through the pages of a travel magazine.
A child’s garment from a tribe in Thailand is displayed in a glass case. Underfoot, a multi-patterned, red runner, purchased from a bazaar in Istanbul, covers the floor. A rose-colored crystal on a front table was left by the home’s previous owner. Other pieces from India and Argentina all share stories and lived experiences.
On the mantle, mixed and matched frames display a variety of artworks. “We love art, and when we travel, we often buy pieces. We collect things from around the world,” Stauffer says. She estimates that she and her husband, Luis, have been to 70 countries combined. “I think we were, in another life, wanderers. … We’re still wanderers.”
Travel can offer insight into other cultures, provide perspective, and help stretch our comfort with and understanding of others, according to Stauffer, who founded Crimson Design Group in 2003. Her designs are influenced by this philosophy, not only in her own home, but with her clients, too.
From the main entryway, two vivid chairs command attention in a sitting room, just off the dining room. The room is small, with a large bay window that lets in warm sun rays.
Stauffer picked up the chairs for $25 each at an antique store, and had the frames lacquered in a bright blue to complement the fabric’s Schumacher design, which is called Magical Ming Dragon. Locally, Fortner produced the final products.
On the window ledge above the chairs, blue-and-white Ming vases in a variety of shapes sit on top of thick, hardback books about plants and design. They complement a white vase filled with fresh hydrangea. “This is one of my favorite rooms in the house, especially in the morning with the sun,” she says.
“Nature is our number one inspiration,” she says. “The dirt [in South America] was bright red, and there were tropical trees and flowers. Color can fill us and drive us and help us live vibrantly.”
Just like at home, travel destinations, and even the types of hotels people stay in, are a big part of Stauffer’s work with design clients. During initial conversations, she asks where people travel. “Hotels are a getaway, they’re a sanctuary, so what is it about those places that they love that we can help translate into their homes,” she says.
Clothing choices, such as colors and patterns, plus “distinct objects” like heirlooms and antiques, also provide guidance. “Using those pieces or things they’ve collected, their children’s things … it’s more than just filling the room. It adds purpose and belonging,” she adds.
A large family room, also packed with items from their travels, leads to the backyard, which is where the family does much of its entertaining. Lush shade trees blend with potted plants to fill the space with welcoming freshness.
“We live out here in the summertime,” she says. The spacious yard boasts a comfortable outdoor dining area, pool, and cabana room and bar, which pops with baby-blue subway tiles that cover the walls.
You can read the full Columbus Monthly article here.