If Cincinnati is so provincial, as some outsiders say, how does the Far East connect to the architecture of a luxury home in Western Hills?
The link is Charles Ellis, a native of Japan whose experience as an architect and a martial artist enables him to design residences that bring unusual delight to his clients.

Take Mary and Marty Farmer. Ellis' concepts come to life for them last December when the Farmers moved into the million-dollar home he designed in Bridgetown. "The other house never felt like it was 'ours'," Mary says, comparing the Ellis home to her former residence. "We were comfortable in this house, almost immediately." Marty adds: "Every room is what we wanted. It is all it's intended to be."

Fully addressing the needs of a client involves truly "hearing" what he or she has to say. Mary appreciated Ellis' keen ear. "He really listened well. He hears you, will digest it and come up with this idea, and then you know he 'got it.' It became so common that we forgot how extraordinary it is for someone to really hear you and then come back and put on paper what you wanted."

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