We’re big fans of all things eco-friendly, which is partly why we’re so fond of this six-year-old modern ranch in Liberty Township. During its construction, owners Dennis and Carol Orner carefully preserved the property’s ecosystem and the neighboring animals’ natural habitats. Wild peacocks, fox, and deer are just a few of the furry friends that regularly visit the premises.
Inside, the Orners (Dennis is a designer, woodworker, nature aficionado, and former Cincinnati Magazine contributing photographer; Carol is a retired teacher) curated a similar sanctuary, with open floor plans, vaulted ceilings, wood floors, and loads of natural light, all of which lend an outdoorsy feel. That almost certainly helped this house find its buyer late this summer. Wooden accents continue throughout, with custom-built cherry cabinets in the kitchen and cherry bookshelves in the library—which, by the way, features a secret door that leads to the master bedroom’s massive walk-in closet.
In total, the spacious home sits at 5,000 square feet, with four bedrooms and three full bathrooms. But the Orners didn’t occupy this space when they first purchased the five-acre property in 2001. Then, all that existed was a 900-square-foot cabin, built by Jay Oldfield, who later sold it to his brother Dennis, the final occupant before the Orners. “When we visited the property, two deer trophies were proudly spaced over the couch,” Dennis says. “‘Where did you bag your deer?’ I asked. Dennis Oldfield’s quick reply was ‘In the front yard.’ So we bought the place.”
The Orners lived in the cabin until they built the carriage house in 2006, complete with a full kitchen, bathroom, loft, living space, and—our favorite part—an observation tower that offers a bird’s-eye view of the serene wooded lot. In spring 2010, the duo razed the cabin, salvaged the lumber, and from 2011 to 2013 built the main residence, which connects to the carriage house via a two-car garage. The Orners also used the cabin’s remains to construct raised garden beds and enclose the workshop’s porch. Of course, with each new build they ensured construction didn’t disturb the surrounding wildlife. That’s what we call a thoughtful neighbor.
Click through the gallery below for more photographs of this home: