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Home of the Week: unique style, no clutter in Snyder

Peter BonSey and Jan Hamilton have been in their Snyder ranch for about 20 years. You won’t see clutter here, but you will find some smart, space-saving ideas. Ideas also can be found in their garden, which is on the Snyder-CleveHill Garden View, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 8 (details below).

Here are a few things they have done inside their home:

“Our home is quite different in that as minimalists we have taken a simple ranch home and injected our own unique style,” said BonSey, co-founder in 1990 of the original The English Gardener landscape business, which he sold 11 years later.

“All renovations have been carried out without professional help by ourselves. There are many unusual features rarely seen in homes. One of the main features is we tried to keep the home as uncluttered as possible,” he said.

Among the ideas:

• BonSey finds that the depth of standard cabinets in kitchens and baths wastes space. The cabinets are not easy to use. “You have things behind things behind things,” he said.

So he built his own 14-inch-deep cabinets in the kitchen and an 8-inch-deep medicine cabinet in the bath. “With the cupboards I built, every single thing is exposed. You can see everything when you open the door. You don’t have to move anything to see anything. I used IKEA doors to dictate my size so I have a really modern look – but it’s homemade,” he said, adding that his wife has been incredibly patient through all his projects.

• The couple took the third bedroom and made it into a dressing room and ensuite. When working out how to divide the square room, BonSey wanted to avoid ending up with two rectangles. So he added a curved wall.

“When you take a square and divide it into two with a straight line, you have two rectangles. That’s all right until you calculate the size of the toilet, the bath, a vanity and a shower. Fitting those into a slim rectangle is very, very tight. By taking a square and rounding off one corner, that allows for a very large bathroom. The L-shape of the curve is the dressing room. It is something you would think of as not being workable but, in reality, when you try to place all the plumbing fittings of a bathroom, rectangles just don’t work,” he said.

The two-bedroom home also has a full basement with a study, storage room, workshop, gym and living space with bar and fireplace.

Their garden will be on the 16th annual Snyder-CleveHill Garden View, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 8, in the Snyder and Cleveland Hill neighborhoods. Maps may be picked up at Trillium’s Courtyard Florist, 2195 Kensington Ave., Snyder. A $2 donation is suggested

The kitchen. (Photo courtesy Peter BonSey and Jan Hamilton)

Do you love your house enough to show it off? This could be your chance.

The Buffalo News is looking for other beautiful local homes and the stories behind them and their décor. Those chosen will be displayed in a weekly feature at and could be chosen as Home of the Month in a Sunday edition of The Buffalo News.

If you are interested, tell us about your home in 150 words or less, and email 10 images (in .jpg form) of the interior and exterior to

Those chosen for will be contacted by Home and Style Editor Susan Martin. A phone number is helpful. Single-family homes, condominiums, lofts and apartments are eligible.

The News will include your name and the city or town in which you reside but not your exact address.

* See last week's Home of the Week:

Home of the Week: Small home, grand view

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