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Ray of Light

Ray of Light

Jeni Ruisch

Stephanie Hayward and husband Brandon Pence are designers by trade and by nature. Hayward is an architect at The Columbus Architectural Studio, while Pence has his own web design and development business. It’s no wonder then, that their gorgeously designed and decorated, modern, eclectic home found itself featured on the website Design Sponge, for all the citizens of the internet to tack onto their vision boards. The Columbus couple rented the home for four years, all the while imagining how they would make their mark on it. They didn’t assume that, in time, they’d be given just that chance. After purchasing the home, renovating, painting, and curating their collection of interior items, the pair have themselves a bonafide beauty of a pad. Hayward allowed (614) a peek inside and a personal tour:

Pop of Color

We tried to be cautious on where we used the bright colors just because it can be something you end up regretting. So when we were going for really bold we opted for items that were easily replaceable like the shelf at the entryway. As for the powder room, I fell in love with that wallpaper pattern a couple years ago, and was so excited that I finally had an opportunity to use it, that I wasn’t concerned about regretting that decision. I loved the idea of having this little hidden room and when you open the door it’s something completely unexpected.

Dresser Hunting Trophy

Similar to the wallpaper, it was love at first sight when I stumbled across this line of furniture years ago and every now and then would search through Craigslist to see if there was anything available. I found a couple pieces locally but they were usually in pretty bad condition or I just couldn’t make the them work in our house. Once we did the renovation and were seriously furniture shopping, we broadened our search range and found a Broyhill Brasilia dealer out of Florida on Etsy. Brandon had it shipped up to our house. He had hoped it would come during the day while I would be at work, but he got a text that it was coming around 7 p.m. one night while we were eating dinner, so he made me put on headphones and sit up in the bathroom with the dog until it was delivered.

Frankenstein’s Creation

In the example of the Ikea STÄLL cabinet, we totally frankensteined that because we didn’t consider the floor base when we bought it and it ended up being a happy accident. But I wouldn’t say that’s typically our process. Our inspiration usually comes from necessity because what we love is way too much money so how do we make something less expensive work for us. The biggest example is probably the kitchen cabinets. We wanted white cabinets but Ikea’s white options just weren’t fitting the bill, so we decided to paint the wood BJÖRKET doors. That simple Shaker profile was what we would consistently pick out when we priced out cabinets at more expensive places.

Into the Darkness

I had a slight panic attack while painting the dark gray in the office walls. It just seemed so dark when it was going on and it was the entire room! But I think the dark walls in that small room actually make it feel brighter somehow. That room gets great natural light and all of the white accents really help brighten it up. Our bedroom is probably the darkest room in the house, but I’m totally cool with that because it’s a bedroom and it’s a great place to sleep. I don’t think it feels closed in at all, just not super bright. Keeping the décor simple and not as cluttered opens it up a lot, too.

Living the Dream

It’s always a work in progress. We ended up with a lot of off-the-shelf, low-end items to start because we needed something, but now we can slowly add and refine as we come across the perfect piece. I think the most satisfying part is how perfectly it fits our lives. Since we lived in it as a rental for so long, we knew exactly how we used the space, and how we would want to change it. Then when we bought it, we were able to tweak it to fit how we already lived in that house. I don’t think we’ll ever get to “test drive” a house for 4 years before deciding to buy it again!


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