Perfectly Positioned in Waterford
By Gretchen A. Peck
The contemporary Cape-style colonial at 18 Pepperbox Road in Waterford was recently listed for sale. Charene Clark, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker’s brokerage in East Lyme is the sellers’ agent. They’re asking $445,000 for the property.
Jennifer and Michael Bonnano bought the property in 2007. Michael grew up in Waterford and knew the neighborhood well. When his wife found the home online, even before the for-sale sign went up, they jumped at the opportunity. They took some time out with Welcome Home to reflect back on their life here and all the improvements they’ve made along the way.
As the homeowners, they transformed the house and the landscaping. “It doesn’t look like the same house that it was 15 years ago,” he said. “But we liked the potential for it.”
On the main level, they aimed to create a more open space that would allow for nice “flow” for the family and when they entertained. Jennifer Bonnano is formally trained in culinary arts, so she had a hand in redesigning the kitchen.
“I felt like the original kitchen wasn’t laid out the way I’d like it, so I’ve designed this one for myself and how I like to cook,” she explained. She chose quartz surfaces, stainless appliances and a matching farmhouse sink in a stainless finish, which meld well with the porcelain tile flooring, made to look like hardwood. “It’s really durable, and it’s really conducive to an area where it gets wet,” she noted. “It’s beautiful, and it’s easy to maintain.”
They custom-built the cabinets with cooking in mind; for example, they incorporate a clever lift for a KitchenAid mixer. It can be tucked away in the cabinet when not in use, and easily lifted up to counter height when ready for use.
They wanted a gas range, so they chose a hybrid KitchenAid model, with a gas cooktop and a double electric oven.
“I picked out the light fixtures, because they remind me of my mother. My mother is Filipino, and when I was young, she would talk about money tree plants. There’s something about those chandeliers that reminds me of a money tree — and of my mother. The kitchen is one of the things I’ll miss a lot,” she said.
The kitchen has an unimpeded flow into the dining and living areas.
Just off the kitchen is a room that affords the buyer some flexibility. It could be a fourth bedroom, a home office, a den, or even a playroom.
Three bedrooms and a remodeled full bath — with a freestanding soaking tub and separate shower — are on the second level.
The house has a lower level, as well — finished with tile flooring and appended with a built-in entertainment center.
The Bonnanos thoroughly enjoyed the outdoor living spaces, especially since creating them was a labor of love.
“There was no real backyard,” he recalled. “It was mostly ledge, so the very first thing we did was make the backyard conducive to entertaining and hosting, and for raising a family.” They built a retaining wall and raised and leveled the yard. They laid down sod and planted grass seed to ensure that the yard would be lush and a safe place for their children to play. In one part of the backyard, they added a woodchip pad and a playscape. Their kids relished the room to roam, and it became the seasonal place for birthday and princess parties, their parents recalled.
The Bonnanos rebuilt the existing deck, but ultimately took that structure down and put up an entirely new deck made of Ipe hardwood.
Their neighborhood is relatively quiet and free of heavy traffic.
“The house is set back from and away from the two closest houses adjacent to us, and we’ve got acres of open space behind us that’s private,” he noted.
They’ve appreciated being within reach of several beaches, places to “drop in” kayaks, and Harkness Memorial State Park.
The Bonnanos spoke about leveraging the local schools for their family. Michael was himself a product of the Waterford public school system, and it’s been an exceptional experience for their son and daughter, they agreed.
“The school system in Waterford should be a great selling point for anyone considering moving to the area,” she said.
Her husband added, “The combination of the schools being so great, the town being great, the proximity to the water and shore, and then the privacy of our backyard just made it the perfect spot for our family.”
Property: 18 Pepperbox Rd., Waterford
Square Footage: 2,615
Asking Price: $445,000
Seller’s Agent: Charene Clark, Coldwell Banker Realty, East Lyme brokerage; Mobile: (860) 391-4321; firstname.lastname@example.org
(*all photos contributed by Coldwell Banker Realty)