It may be large, but the Dublin home of Shelley and Urban Meyer is more laid-back than lavish. That's exactly how they want it.
Shelley Meyer bought the couches in her great room at Ashley Furniture. All her lamps came from T.J. Maxx and HomeGoods. She clips recipes from the newspaper. She even mows her own lawn.
Meyer is as unassuming and welcoming as they come. So it's no surprise that the home she purchased last year with husband Urban, head coach of the Ohio State University football team, follows suit.
Built for entertaining, the 11,700-square-foot brick house in Muirfield Village is decorated with practical yet stylish appeal. Family photos line the walls. Sports memorabilia-including three paintings of Woody Hayes-catch the eye throughout. Comfortable seating is abundant in every room.
"I like relaxed," Meyer says. "I never wanted a house where people felt like they couldn't touch anything, or it was cold and stuffy and not warm and inviting and friendly. I'm just very simple."
That doesn't mean the 1985 home is without wow factors. Distinctive features include a spiraling oak stairway off the main living area that connects all three levels of the house, a six-walled Florida room overlooking the rear of the 2-acre property, a floor-to-ceiling pocket door that can close off an entire wing of the downstairs for energy efficiency and four fireplaces-only two of which get used, Meyer says.
Yet the real selling point for the Meyers was the open layout and abundance of natural light.
"I know there's not a lot of light here in the winter, so I wanted a house that had a lot of windows," she says. "I was also looking for that open floor plan, which I was having a hard time finding. Everything is just so chopped up around here. This house is so open, but it's also so much more than we really need-but we also got it for a really great price."
According to The Columbus Dispatch, the Meyers bought the home for $1.45 million, which is slightly more than half of the original 2010 asking price of $2.8 million.
Another nice perk is the home's location off of the seventh fairway of Muirfield Village Golf Course, where the Memorial Tournament is held each spring.
"Urban loves golf," Meyer says. Their teenage son, Nate, has also grown fond of the game. "When we found this house and it was on a golf course and it was in a nice area, it all came together. This was the house."
Have decorator, will travel
Meyer loved the look, layout and feel of her Florida home, where she and her family lived before moving to Ohio.
"It was all wicker and palm-tree designs," she says. "It was decorated totally Tommy Bahama-ish."
Unsure of how to make tropical-themed furnishings fit visually into a Midwestern home-and unwilling to purchase all new items-she turned to her trusted Florida interior decorator, Sharon Adair.
"I told Sharon, 'I know I can't have Florida in Ohio, but I want a flavor of Florida in Ohio because that's what I like,' " Meyer says.
Although she is retired, Adair traveled to Columbus before the closing to take measurements and returned a few weeks later when the Meyers were moving in.
"Sharon stayed with me five days and helped me unpack and place everything," Meyer says. "She was fantastic. She made it work."
The Meyers' dining room set with a subtle tropical look made the move from Florida, as did some richly colored, padded wicker furniture that now aptly resides in the Florida room.
Adair also created a first-floor guest room with a Key West feel-from the Caribbean-blue walls to the ginkgo -leaf print on the comforter.
"It just all came together," Meyer says. "We only painted three rooms and replaced the carpet in one room. Everything else we tried to jazz up with colorful furniture or bedspreads or something like that."
The Meyers also removed dark brown carpeting that covered an entire wing of the downstairs, including the kitchen, to reveal dark-stained hardwood floors below. After adding a few decorative rugs for warmth and color, the space soon became one of the family's favorites.
"This is where we spend most of our time," Meyer says, settling into one of two high-back chairs in a window nook along the back of the house, adjacent to the kitchen.
"Urban likes to watch film here with the fire on in the winter," she says. "We don't have to go far to the kitchen, and I'm close enough if the doorbell rings."
In warmer months, the Meyers relax on the brick and concrete back patio, overlooking their in-ground swimming pool and the pristinely manicured golf course beyond.
The second floor is home to what Meyer calls a "sports art gallery," with walls covered in photos of their son and two college-age daughters playing various sports at different stages of their lives as well as of Urban coaching.
"Urban is the one who really loves pictures," she says. "As you walk around, there are pictures of our kids everywhere and our history with college football-all the things we've ever done. He's a nut about pictures."
Her husband's home office includes photos of several iconic football coaches.
"Urban has a shelf dedicated to his mentors," she says. "He has a miniature of the new Woody statue that was just dedicated. He has a picture of Woody Hayes, Lou Holtz, Earle Bruce, Sonny Lubick-all the head coaches that he's worked with who helped shape his career."
Only a few pieces of wall decor in the Meyer home are not centered around sports. One such painting, done by a friend, hangs in the great room. It depicts the view from the family's lake house in Melrose, Florida.
"You feel like you're in a whole different world when you're there," Meyer says. "It's a very tiny, quiet little community. It's beautiful. When I go down to Gainesville to visit friends, I stay there. We spent two weeks there at Christmas last year because we had no bowl game. We won't get to do that anymore."
Nancy Byron is a freelance writer, editor and publicity consultant in Dublin.