This house has a very European flavor,” says listing agent Sandra Peters, and with good reason: the current owners, husband and wife Stanislaw and Jadwiga Cabaj, are both Polish. The couple, two kids in tow, came to Cincinnati 15 years ago from Hamburg, Germany; there, they had worked as project management, construction, and interior design subcontractors for upscale retail clients like Harrods, Le Bon Marche, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Escada.
The white brick West Chester villa the family built comes complete with five bedrooms, five and a half baths, extensive gardens, and outdoor living spaces. In a community known for architectural conformity, this home stands out thanks to personal touches. Consider the bathrooms, which feature full-slab marble walls and floors (instead of tiles), and the living and breakfast rooms, both accented with Venetian plaster faux finishes that Jadwiga applied herself. Multiple rooms feature contemporary glass sculptures that she imported from Poland, but the home’s overall decor, especially in the great room, is a blend of old and new. “When I’m designing something with my heart,” Jadwiga says, “I like to mix antiques with contemporary pieces.”
The most striking part of the property is the gardens. Out back, a series of outdoor rooms includes a full kitchen; a Tuscan-inspired dining room (with slate floors, rustic shutters, an eight-seat table, and a working fireplace); a pergola-covered Jacuzzi area; and a diamond-shaped formal rose garden surrounding a marble fountain (one of six in the backyard).
“When we moved in here our life was a little upside-down,” Jadwiga says. “That’s why everything is symmetrical; I was hoping if the house was symmetrical, our life would be more quiet.” Today, with both children out of the nest, the couple is looking to downsize. The quiet, it seems, came after all.