The front door has an English look to it.
The Italianate style of this new home fits the vernacular of the Ohio City neighborhood in which it’s being built. The back portion of the home, a simple structure that resembles a carriage house, looks like a free-standing building because of the color change.


The Ohio City dream home of a former Bay Village couple is inching toward becoming reality.

“The home should be done by mid-summer. It has taken longer than we anticipated. Permits take longer. Weather doesn’t always cooperate. They can’t hang drywall without heat. There are so many puzzle pieces to a project like this. You can’t complete one area without completing another,” said Mitchell Sotka of Mitchell Sotka, Ltd. Sotka and his design team offer consultation and accessorizing services, but also tackle larger projects including full home makeovers. They are working with a client to build and furnish an Ohio City home from start to finish.

“The exterior is pretty much complete. The roof is up. The interior is wired and plumbed. The air-conditioning has been installed. The drywall is up. Major windows are in,” Sotka said. “We are waiting for the floors, the tile and cabinetry.”

“Architect Mike Caito and Payne & Payne Builders are on a tight schedule. They are making sure that everyone’s efforts go towards meeting that goal,” he added.

“When we looked at the plans for the house, I thought of it as a typical Ohio City workman’s cottage. Now that the rooftop has been installed, it’s more Italianate. But, it still fits in with the vernacular of the neighborhood. It’s truly Ohio City,” Sotka said.

The home is comprised of two connected structures, with one in front and one behind it. “It’s not uncommon to have a second structure behind the main structure in Ohio City. The two buildings are connected through the first floor hallway. They are connected on the second floor by an exposed bridge way,” he explained. “The back structure is red and the front building will be a light tan. The different colors define the two structures as separate spaces. The windows are also different on both structures. The difference in color provides personality. The house isn’t just a block of one color. There is a closed wall on three sides of the backyard that helps to define the courtyard.”

“The front door is an important element and a wish of the homeowners. The center doorknob is on the interior and the exterior of the door. It’s not a functioning doorknob. You hold on to it to open and close the door. You can see the actual door lock mechanism go into the floor or ceiling in the interior,” he noted. “The door has a very English look to it. It’s a look that you don’t see in Ohio City. It is an extra wide single coffered door with an overhead transom. It has great street presence.”

“When you take on a big project like this, some things are out of your control for a number of reasons. We have learned that you don’t need to be anxious or upset,” Sotka noted. “For example, the large custom back doors were supposed to be wider. What was supposed to be a five-foot wall became an eight-foot wall. So, we looked at the change and decided to go with it. It gave us an opportunity to revise our layout and reassure our client that all of the elements fit. Building a home is not a static project. It does change. We looked at art and furniture options for the space. We had originally considered a work by a particular artist and didn’t have room for it. Now, we do.”

“We can finally start seeing the decisions that we made and all of our hard work come to fruition. We can see what we’ve talked about and sketched on napkins taking place. We are dotting our I’s and crossing our T’s. The owner is champing at the bit to see everything that we have chosen for the home,” he said.