Downtown Living

The Bonneviers built a warm, welcoming home amid quaint surroundings in Leonardtown  
WRITER AND PHOTOGRAPHER: VICKIE KITE MILBURN
Leonardtown is a quaint historic downtown district located on the banks of Breton Bay. It was incorporated in 1858. Today, it has a very active business and social community.
There are restaurants, an organic grocery, an art gallery, a book store, florists, a chocolate shop and more. The town is very active, hosting a long list of great events such as First Fridays, a beach party, Christmas tree lighting, Veterans Day parade and many more.
The town even offers a wonderful wharf area with a park, restrooms, and places to dock boats and launch kayaks.
The vibrance of the town is what drew Terry and Kirk Bonnevier to do their home hunting in downtown Leonardtown. They had raised their three daughters in a home in the Singletree community, also in Leonardtown, but not in the downtown area.

The hometown calls
While Kirk is originally from York, Pa., Terry was raised in the Leonardtown area. Her grandfather’s carpentry skills reached many of the homes in town. Her mother used to live in the house that now houses Wine & Design. Terry’s heart strings are tied to the friendly town.
They loved the area and didn’t want to move far and really wanted to be downtown where they could walk to the post office and the restaurants, and stroll with their four grandchildren to the town’s special events. They liked the idea of running into friends while they were about town.
The Bonneviers passively looked for homes for several years before one house kept calling to them.
After deliberating on it for several months they decided to “go for it” and made an offer on a home on Washington Street. The house was on the perfect spot, a very short walk to Leonardtown Square and on the same street as Leonardtown Wharf.

Finding the perfect spot
The original house was built in 1910 by the Clements family, which owned in the property until the Bonneviers purchased it in 2016. The house didn’t face Washington Street, but instead Breton Bay. They had the house looked at by engineers and builders, and it was determined that the house would need to be taken down, which meant they would be building a new house in its place.
The Bonneviers were excited about the idea of designing a new home and went to work with Dave Decker, a now-retired local home designer. They wanted a house that had an open floor plan, took advantage of the view, and had plenty of room for children and grandchildren stay-overs. They wanted a home that would allow for them to age in place, had two front porches as well as a back porch, and had the structure for a future elevator.
After many meetings and lots of discussion and revisions they had their ideal plan — a charming two-story facing Breton Bay with a basement and an attached garage. They had a first-floor master bedroom, a living room on the main floor and another on the second floor. The second floor also had three bedrooms and a den space designed for Kirk’s collection of scaled aircraft models
Settling on a builder 
They then met with several builders and decided to work with builder Corey Alan Homes. They were impressed with the company’s workmanship, attention to detail and lenience. The house had several evolutions in the building process, which the brothers Gary and Alan were happy to accommodate.
Before knocking down the old house, they had friends come and retrieve parts of the old house that could be re-used. The windows went to Shepherd’s Old Field, a local marketplace. The doors went to the Vintage Source and wood went to other friends including a relative of the Clement’s family.
Once the plans were ready, the Bonneviers sold their home and moved in with one of their daughters for a year while the house was being built. The year gave them loads of great times with their grandchildren, and lots of time to plan the décor.
Terry spent time on Pinterest searching for the look that she wanted to create and colors she wanted to use. She wanted a home with a transitional style, mixing old with new, cherished keepsakes and vintage pieces, with new fabrics and treasured décor finds.
That’s exactly what she created. The Bonneviers have been in their house for a little over a year and will tell you they enjoyed the entire experience of working with their builder and contractors, which can be rare. It’s not to say they didn’t come across bumps in the process (there were a few utility delays).
But they adore their warm, welcoming home. They are glad they made the decision to “go for it” and absolutely love downtown living in Leonardtown.

RESOURCES

•  Builder Corey Alan Homes
•  Curtains, pillows Sheryl Tart, Slipcover Cottage
•  Countertops Selinas White, Solid Rock
•  Kitchen Cabinets Omega Pearl White, Lagoon Blue (island) Woodburn Cabinets
•  Paint living areas Moonshine, bookcase walls Midnight Hour, bedrooms Windsbreath, by Benjamin Moore
•  Floor white oak natural