Real estate: Longtime friends help couple build dream home

Open floor plan a bonus for family gatherings.

Sometimes a designer gets so busy helping clients design and build their own dream homes, she forgets she still needs to accomplish this for herself.

Vicki Waker, owner of Cabinet Creations in Kettering, and her husband, Ed, finally achieved their dream when they moved into their new home in June 2021. Vicki had spent decades honing her design skills in her business and, at the same time, thinking about how she would design her own gorgeous home — with plenty of room for extended family and friends to gather. Ed worked in construction and real estate for most of his career.

“Our home is special because we spent years planning the house (that) we thought would be perfect for our family and friends and for us as we age,” Vicki said.

The Wakers moved to their home in Xenia after living in a small Cape Cod-style home in Beavercreek for 27 years. That home is where their five children grew up and where their nine grandchildren came to visit.

“That home was wonderful; and we made a lot of memories there, but it was difficult to entertain a large family or gathering of friends,” Vicki said. “We always made it work, but it limited what we could do.”

Vicki said she is amazed at how many large gatherings they have hosted in their new home over the past two-plus years. And she considers it a great privilege to now have a home with a three-car garage, a fabulous owner’s suite, an amazing gourmet-style kitchen and even a dog bath.

“The open floor plan of our house is a bonus,” Vicki said.

As the Wakers hit the drawing board to design this home, lifelong friends and family members pitched in. Some helped clear and prepare the land for excavation; and Stebbins High School (the Wakers both graduated in 1978) friend Jeff Duke helped Ed place all the tiles on the kitchen ceiling by hand. Duke also helped Vicki stain all the boards for the front and back porch ceilings and was at the home site almost daily, lending a hand.

“We are also grateful to Pat Mazzone who helped with our fireplace and back wall stone and Chelle Hale Closets and Jeff Green for the interior trim,” Vicki said.

The home was designed by architect Jim Bauman and built by Ellis Custom Homes. The Wakers were very hands-on from the beginning, sharing their “must haves” and their desire to end up with a unique, timeless and functional design that would take them into retirement.

Vicki calls the building process “magical” because of the friends and family members who pitched in. They chose the location in the Woodridge community in Xenia because they wanted to stay close to home. Both grew up in Riverside and always lived nearby to help with their aging parents. (Both have mothers who are still living.)

“We have a natural feel that is just far enough out in the country that we have great stars at night,” Vicki said. “And we get to see wildlife roaming from time to time.”

The Wakers immediately found the community welcoming and say they became fast friends with their neighbors.

“As we look back at a 1½-year building process, captured in photos, I can’t believe how many friends and family members gave up their time and talents to help us make our dreams a reality,” Vicki said. “We will forever be grateful for everything they did.”

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