Partnering to Build a Forever Home


After buying property near downtown Mason, Julie Larger spent several years driving around Cincinnati, Columbus, Louisville and Lexington looking at houses, gaining inspiration for a future home building project.

One afternoon, while driving through Madeira, Larger and her husband spotted a house that fit their aesthetic. Luckily, the owner lived next door and allowed the couple to go inside and look around. A few months later, Larger saw the same house in an ad for Wentz Design.

“We are so thankful we found Mike Wentz,” Larger says. “He did a fantastic job helping us sort through our thoughts and ideas along with all the magazine clippings, Pinterest pages and Houzz idea books we brought to each meeting.”

Larger interviewed several other architects before Wentz, but she says none seemed to understand her vision. However, when she saw Wentz’s first draft sketch of the house, Larger says she knew she found the right partner to make her dream house a reality.

Larger and her husband asked for a classic house with a fresh, timeless style. They also wanted details to fit their lifestyle – a dog shower, Dutch doors to keep dogs out of a room but let light in, a marble baking counter, a screen porch, garage space and natural finishes.

Mike Wentz, owner of Wentz Design, says the biggest challenge was integrating the Larger’s space and adjacency requirements into a cohesive package.

“We worked collaboratively with the Largers on the home and site design, including the large front porch, open sunroom and rear terrace, as well as the large, detached toy garage,” Wentz says.

The couple wanted a home that allowed them to age in place. To accommodate this, Wentz designed a home with a single floor living, 3-foot-wide doors, zero-entry showers, and blocking in the walls in case they ever need to install grab handles.

Together, the Largers and Wentz Design created what they call a “modern farmhouse in downtown Mason,” which offers spacious rural living in a walkable community.

“So many people get frustrated building a house, but we found the whole experience quite enjoyable and the process seamless,” Larger says. “Mike gave us good advice and helped us throughout the entire time we were building.”


Wentz Design is located at 7813 Ted Gregory Lane, Cincinnati, OH 45242. For more information, call 513.745.0420 or visit