Oils of tango dancers, engraved Smith & Wesson guns and beaded folk art from Mexico line the walls and shelves of the 2,000-square-foot condominium of Sharon and Jerry Pitstick. The home's richly colored Southwestern and Mexican decor offers a narrative of the couple's life.

Sharon Pitstick stands in her living room, offering drinks to an intimate group of friends on a recent snowy afternoon. Her husband, Jerry -- happily accommodating the takers -- heads to a bookshelf lined with Dickens and Thackeray.

Husband and wife share a conspiratorial grin at their guests' furrowed brows. And like magic, the top shelf of the chest-high oak bookcase folds down with a satisfying clink of crystal decanter on glass.

Unique pieces like this Prohibition-era bootlegger cabinet are combined with desert colors to create the eclectic Southwestern look of the couple's New Albany condominium.

"I wanted something Southwestern and Mexican in style," said Sharon, 66. "But I didn't want something yippee-aye-o-ki-ay."

Souvenirs from the couple's extensive travels and their collection of antique pieces from various periods were blended using textured cloth, patterns and color-golds, browns and terra cotta.

When the Pitsticks downsized from their 3,200-square-foot Kettering home of 20 years in May, Sharon and interior designer Chris King selected pieces that she and her husband wanted to keep and used them as the basis for the dcor. They passed the rest of it on to their children.

"I looked at the pieces that they had decided to keep and the sofa that they had decided to keep," said King, founder of Manifesto Inc. "And that was our first appointment."

The next step was the floor plan. King laid out the remaining pieces and made a list of what they needed to find. "Then," he said, "we started making tile selections, carpeting and paint to match their established look."

Sharon is an artist and former art gallery owner. Her oil paintings, bronzes and stone sculptures accent the condo's living spaces. Jerry, 67, is a collector of Civil War- and Old West-era pistols. The Pitsticks travel frequently to the American Southwest and winter in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Oils of tango dancers, engraved Smith & Wessons and beaded folk art from Jalisco, Mexico, line the walls and shelves of the 2,000-square-foot condo and offer a narrative of the Pitsticks' lives.

Sharon and Jerry also wanted that narrative to include family. They moved to New Albany to be closer to their children and grandchildren, who live in Bexley and Cincinnati. A child's wooden rocking chair sits next to two overstuffed chairs in the sunroom, and photos of their grandchildren add a personal touch to the guest suite.

They accentuated the warm ambiance with custom-built details. For example, they added bookshelves in the den and custom molding throughout the condominium. They also created a guest suite instead of a guest bedroom and bath, and installed cabinets in the laundry room and Sharon's office.

"They loved the floor plan, but it didn't have the level of touches they were looking for," said Randy Cisler, president of Liberty Group Properties, who customized the Pitsticks' single-story condo.
Now, the Pitsticks have made the details the main event.

It's those additional custom touches and the unique dcor that reflect the Pitsticks' bon vivant lifestyle.

And that, after all, is the key to any good interior design project.

"Your home gives you an insight as to who you are," said Sharon. "It reflects your life story and your interests."