My friend Kathy is a planner. Anyone who knows her, knows her love of binders and organizing. So when she and her husband Jim began planning what would be their forever home, after purchasing 21 acres in 2018, Kathy grabbed her page protectors and got busy. Today, those binders filled with photos of doorknobs, faucets, paint colors, cabinetry and closets serve as documentation for every inch of their beautiful 8,700-square-foot home. But what got Kathy super excited was digging up details of the land and the family who lived there before hers.
Kathy, who lovingly calls herself a history nerd, dove deep into the history of the land. She traced the property and the original owners, the Line family, back to 1797, when Benjamin Line, a captain in the Revolutionary War, first came to the area. Her research took her all the way up to 2009 when Mr. Hiteshue, grandson of Laura Belle Line, passed away, sadly ending the Line family’s connection to the property.
No one else has lived on this land until 2021 when Kathy and her family moved into the circa 1897 cottage that remained on the property. While living here they began construction on their new home, which they named Mulberry Ridge, after a large mulberry tree they loved on the property.
“We have a strange kinship to the Lines. They feel like extended family in some way. I think they would approve of what we have done here,” Kathy says.
Building the dream
Choosing Wieland Builders was an easy decision for Jim since he and Jeff Wieland have been friends since they were five years old.
“There wasn’t even a choice when we were considering a builder. Wieland Builders’ quality of work coupled with Jeff’s and my friendship made it a no brainer. Plus, I have a few stories from our adventures over the years that I could always hold over his head,” laughs Jim.
The couple planned the home’s design so they could age in place comfortably and live there as long as they possibly could. Everything they need is on the main living floor—from their bedroom with a spacious walk-in closet and luxurious bath, to the gourmet kitchen, laundry room, craft room, his-and-her offices, and a bar for entertaining.
“In our old house, we had a bar downstairs we rarely used. So, we made sure to put one on the main floor since we love to entertain,” says Kathy.
Floor-to-ceiling folding glass doors, off the great room, lead out to the expansive screened-in living area, where a stone fireplace showcases a mantel made from an old beam original to the property. There is also an outdoor grilling area right off the kitchen.
The dogs even have a space of their own on the main floor. Ollie and Maple’s room includes a dog shower and a door that leads to a fenced-in outdoor turfed area.
As for the rest of the house, their younger daughters Emerson, 15 and Reese, 13 occupy the second level of the home which is dedicated to them. Their oldest daughter Abra, 25 and son Caden, 19 live in the lower level which also houses an exercise room, a sauna/steam shower and access to the outdoor oasis that includes a swimming pool, hot tub and a view like no other.
The couple knew they would eventually be taking care of their parents in some capacity. In fact, Kathy’s 85-year-old mom Georgia now lives in the original cottage. As for the main house they wanted space, a home that was large and comfortable enough for family to visit and stay. Also, so their children—or other family members—could live with them.
“We watched our own siblings come back home for different reasons and I always want my kids to have a place here no matter what,” Kathy says.
Planning for the future
There are plans to eventually build a barn and have a pasture for retired horses on the acreage Mulberry Ridge sits on. But, the one thing that Kathy and Jim are most “geeked” about is grandkids.
“We are so ready to be grandparents,” says Kathy. “I imagine giant kickball games in the field, riding four-wheelers, swimming and having sleepovers here at ‘Gemma and Gramps’ house.”
Kathy describes her maternal grandparents as old-fashioned and strict. “We knew we were loved, but kids were to be seen and not heard,” she says. “Jim’s grandparents were more hands-on. They owned a farm on the west side of the city and weekends were all about family fun and getting together. That’s what we want, we’re ready to make memories here for generations to come.”
Architect Mark Dierkers Architecture Builder Wieland Builders LLC Interior design Homeowner and Robyn Hauser with Wieland Builders LLC Kitchen and bathroom design Homeowner, Robyn Hauser, Gary Stacy with Profiles in Design Cabinetry Profiles in Design Countertops Quartz, quartzite, granite, from Mont Granite Pantry countertop Daltile Kitchen backsplash tile McSwain Kitchen, pantry, bar sinks Kohler from Ferguson Faucets Ferguson Appliances Thermador dishwasher, range, oven and refrigerator, Bosch microwaves, GE pantry fridge, Marvel kegerator, Scotsman ice maker, Zephyr wine fridge and beverage fridges, all from Custom Distributors, Inc. Window treatments Kelly Wynne Interiors821, LLC Blinds and shades Philip Boone Window Coverings Built-ins, beams, wall treatments Works From Wood Stonework Strange Stone, Inc. Lighting Lighting EFX Flooring JP Flooring, McSwain Windows Pella Doors 84 Lumber Fireplaces Dayton Fireplace Whole house audio Phantom Sound Custom closets All About Organizing Paint Sherwin-Williams Hardware Emtek from Norwood Hardware Staircases Cincinnati Stair Shower doors, exercise/dance studio mirrors Affordable Glass and Mirror Sauna Finlandia, designed and installed by Wieland Builders LLC Landscape and exterior lighting design Berns Landscaping Pool design e Scape Design Concepts Pool Buckeye Pools Irrigation Centerville Landscape Lightning Rods RS Lightning Protection Fence Eads Fence Co. Turf in dog yard SynLawn Gardening Berns Personal Gardening Service Landscape stonework, Hartstone patio, fire bowls by pool Ohio Groundscapes LLC Window box planting WOW! Windowboxes Copper weathervane Weathervane Factory
For more photos of this home, search: Mulberry Ridge.
Article by Gina Miller | Photos by Corrie Schaffeld
Article originally appeared in July 2023