Cozy Spaces Meet Chic New York City Style in this Wilmington Townhouse

Globe-trotting Kate Bohner returns to Delaware, bringing the hip vibe of a Manhattan flat to her local sanctuary.


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Exterior of Kate Bohner's, Founder of Bohner Bespoke, Wilmington Townhouse Kate Bohner's Wilmington Townhouse Living Room

The facade of Kate Bohner’s Wilmington townhouse today.; Bohner’s custom Japanese “cherry blossom” cabinet adds exotic appeal to the living room and hides the TV from view.//photos by Joe del Tufo

 

Kate Bohner is home at last, in a city townhouse in Wilmington that has the hip vibe of a Manhattan apartment—but with a lot more room.

She grew up in Newark, traveled the world and settled in New York, where she had dreamed of living since she was a little girl.

But when it came time to put down roots, she yearned for a home that would be a sanctuary, with space for friends, family and lots of designer shoes. She came to Wilmington to care for her mother, Jean Bohner, who had undergone a knee replacement. In the process, she rediscovered her home state.

“I was looking for something to move on to and I ended up in my favorite spot,” she says. “My dad always said serendipity allows you to know you are in the right place at the right time with the right people.”

Bohner is the founder of Bohner Bespoke, a boutique branding, communications and crisis management firm. In a successful career as a journalist and entrepreneur, she has been a correspondent for CNBC, co-authored Donald Trump’s “The Art of the Comeback” and managed several financial services firms.

She’s a hard charger who has succeeded in a competitive marketplace. Yet her home is unabashedly feminine. Witness her living room, an inviting space that envelops visitors with the coziness of a sofa upholstered in tufted purple velvet and draped with a cashmere blanket.

“I have been in careers with hard edges,” she says. “I want to come home to a place with nice textures.”

THE COLOR PURPLE

Above the sofa, a mirror is framed in purple embossed crocodile. A fleecy flokati softens a Lucite chair. A large abstract art piece is painted in a unique compound crafted from 50 pounds of melted precious metals.

A television is hidden away in a large custom cabinet embellished with a metal sculpture of a branch decorated with flower petals interpreted in brass spheres.

“I call it the cherry blossom cabinet,” Bohner says.

She originally spotted the piece in a magazine and commissioned a cabinet designed specifically for her apartment in Manhattan. Buddhas she has collected during her travels are perched on top.

Each piece in her home was selected because it appeals to Bohner on a soulful level. She appreciates the precision of an upholstered drum-style end table trimmed with brass and paired with a hammered brass tray. She is fond of sparkle and saturated colors.

 

Kate Bohner's Wilmington Townhouse Dining Room

The home’s dining room originally used as the living room.//photo by Joe del Tufo

 

FLIPPING OVER A DINING ROOM

The living room might have been transported directly from her New York digs. She rediscovered the pleasure of a formal dining room when she moved into the Wilmington townhouse.

“Nobody in New York has a dining room,” she says. “Everyone eats out.”

Originally, the dining room was sited in what is now the living room. One weekend, while she was entertaining college friends from the University of Pennsylvania, the group had a brainstorm.

“We said why not flip the rooms?” Bohner recalls.

The dining room, now sited in the front of the house, is ideal for sit-down dinner parties, conferences, and casual lunches and get-togethers. She discovered the William and Mary cupboard in Los Angeles, where she was shopping with her mother. It’s one of several key pieces yielded during mother-daughter expeditions.

“My mother is an amazing person to go shopping with,” she says. “She has incredible taste. She finds things that are beautiful, yet welcoming.”

Jean Bohner also found just the right table for the space, a natural cherry piece from the contemporary furniture maker and design firm Room & Board that readily expands and contracts to accommodate multiple functions in the room.

“When you put two leaves in it you can fit eight to 10 people,” Kate Bohner says. “Without the leaves, it’s a four-top.”

Deep charcoal gray walls set the tone for the dining room, creating a warm, intimate aura.

“It’s a sexy, romantic dining room,” Bohner says.

Tones of gray are layered throughout the first floor. Charcoal melts into dove gray in the living room, lightening into cloud gray in the kitchen.

For the foyer, she chose aubergine, a hue so naturally rich it looks as if it might have been extracted from the skins of eggplant.

IN THE MIDDLE OF IT ALL

It was in the foyer that Bohner decided she wanted to live in the townhouse, built in 1900 in the Highlands neighborhood in Wilmington. She walked in the door, surveyed the high ceilings above and yellow pine floors beneath her feet.

“I said, ‘This is it,’” she recalls.

She appreciated both the vintage charm of the home and the upscale modernization completed by previous residents. There’s a large, well-equipped kitchen with an island for gathering. The second-floor bath is sheathed in marble with such niceties as a walk-in shower and a heated towel rack.

Kate Bohner Holds Picture of Her Historic Wilmington Townhouse

Kate Bohner holds up a vintage photo of her Wilmington
townhome.//photo by Joe del Tufo 

Outdoors, there’s a city garden where her French bulldog Daphne can safely play. An in-ground sprinkler system ensures the plants are refreshed. It’s a place she enjoys sharing with others, relaxing with friends on the patio and hosting an alfresco wedding reception.

“At one time, it was a proper English garden,” she says. “I haven’t reached that level yet, but I find myself becoming more and more interested in plants.”

She relies on Leon’s Garden World to come up with seasonal displays for the window boxes and large pots in front of the house, such as “baby pumpkins in all kinds of colors in the fall, wonderful greens in winter. I love that they work with me. I feel like an apprentice.”

Bohner’s neighborhood might be a microcosm of New York, a pedestrian-friendly blend of homes, shops and restaurants. She often starts her day with coffee at De La Coeur Café. She walks the labyrinth at Delaware Art Museum. She takes Daphne on outings to the dog park at Rockford Park.

“New Yorkers walk everywhere,” she says. “Now I’m in Wilmington and I walk everywhere. I walk to get manicures and pedicures.”

The townhouse has four bedrooms, which Bohner has designated for various functions. The bedroom furniture from her New York apartment is now in the second-floor guestroom. Another space has been reinterpreted as a tranquil yoga studio with a fountain. The third bedroom is a hip home office with industrial-style furniture.

The third floor is a master retreat, with a king-size bed most New Yorkers can only dream about.

“The mattress comes out of the box and grows like a chia pet,” Bohner says. “The first couple of nights I slept like a starfish. Such a delight.”

A walk-in closet the size of a studio apartment is the ideal home for her expansive wardrobe. There’s a laundry room where she takes joy in washing and drying her clothes.

“In New York, I used to drop off things at a wash-and-fold,” she says.

An abundance of space offers the promise of projects. Bohner is planning to transform what once was a three-season room at the back of the house into a year-round retreat.

There’s already a rustic brick floor. Her vision includes a fireplace and lots of comfy seating.

“It will be a chill space, a place to unwind and read,” she says. “It will be a place of relaxation, peace and serenity.”


DO THIS AT HOME

Let your space reflect your interests. Kate Bohner designated a spare bedroom as a yoga studio.

Celebrate the seasons. Update window boxes and large pots with plants that reflect changes throughout the year. Think daffodils and tulips in spring, geraniums and snap dragons in summer, pumpkins and ornamental kale in fall and fir branches with pine cones in winter.

Enjoy your dining room. It’s not just a place for formal meals. Make it an impromptu conference room. Order takeout and invite a friend for lunch.

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January 2020

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Cost: Free with Museum admission.

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Cost: Free with Museum admission.

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View map »


Sponsor: The Lighthouse Inc.Church
Telephone: 302-697-1472
Contact Name: Christopher Gore

More information

Over 50,000 books - 100% donated! Thursday is Opening Night - Friends members only (membership available at the door). On Sunday we supply and you fill a grocery bag from the General Section for...

Cost: Thursday Night $10; free Friday-Sunday

Where:
Hockessin Memorial Hall
610 Yorklyn Road
Hockessin, DE  19707
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Sponsor: Friends of the Hockessin Library
Website »

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A rotating group show featuring an eclectic mix of artwork including paintings, drawings, ceramics, art glass and jewelry. Custom Framing and Gift Certificates are always available. Gallery...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

MIDNIGHT MASS Amie Potsic  January 24 - April 25, 2020 Opening Reception: Friday, February 7, 2020  5 - 9 PM during Art Loop Our lobby design integration program continues to...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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MALICE’S RESTAURANT Hennessy Experiment by Natalie Hutchings January 10 - April 15, 2020 OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, February 7, 2020 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop The Hennessy...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

RECONSTITUTE Draper Experiment by Jacintha Clark December 6, 2019 – February 23, 2020  Opening Reception: Friday, December 6 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop Jacintha...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

A HISTORY OF THE WORLD - SORT OF Hugh Atkins and Jenna Lucente January 3 - January 27, 2020 Opening Reception: Friday, January 10, 2020 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop “Let there be...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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GESTURE OF MOTION Haeley Kyong January 10 - April 23, 2020 Opening Reception: Friday, February 7 5 - 9 PM during first Friday Art Loop The idea of relativity is pronounced in color...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Mitch Lyons is a well-known and important part of the local art community, who over the past five decades developed a truly innovative form of print-making. Lyons received his undergraduate degree...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

BEIJING BOOSTER PAINTINGS Peter Wayne Lewis October 4, 2019 to February 26, 2020 VIP Preview Reception:  October 3, 2019 | 5 - 7 PM Public Reception:  October 4,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

LOOK TO THE LAND A Mary Putman Retrospective November 16, 2019 - April 6, 2020 Opening Reception: Friday, December 6 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop Long-time Delawarean artist...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

Directly inspired by the Delaware Art Museum’s Pre-Raphaelite and American illustration collections, this commission from Angela Fraleigh presents a contemporary look at gender and identity...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Curated by Deborah Willis, Ph.D., “Posing Beauty in African American Culture explores the contested ways in which African and African American beauty have been represented in historical and...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

In a tour designed specifically for artists, follow one of the Brandywine River Museum of Art’s guides—who is also a professional painter—and take a deeper look at select works of...

Cost: Free with museum admission

Where:
Brandywine River Museum of Art
1 Hoffman"s Mill Road
Chadds Ford, PA  19317
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Sponsor: Brandywine River Museum of Art
Telephone: 610-388-2700
Website »

More information

Celebrate the life and poetry of Robert Burns with a traditional Scottish menu.

Cost: $100, members; $110, non-members

Where:
Brandywine River Museum of Art
1 Hoffmann's Mill Road
Chadds Ford , PA  19317
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Sponsor: Brandywine River Museum of Art
Telephone: 610-388-2700
Website »

More information

On a bitter cold night in London's East End, a baffling murder occurs. Has Jack the Ripper returned or has another chap taken his place? London needs your help! Polish up your looking glass...

Cost: Admission is free. All wine and food purchases are pay-as-you-go.

Where:
Chaddsford Winery
632 Baltimore Pike
Chadds Ford, PA  19317
View map »

More information

The Lighthouse Inc. Church presenta el servicio de la iglesia en espanol.  El servicio de la iglesia en espanol comenzia 14 de merzo de 2019.  Hables espanol?  Entonces este es el...

Cost: free

Where:
The Lighthouse Inc., Church
6 S Railroad Ave
Wyoming, DE  19934-1026
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Sponsor: The Lighthouse Inc.Church
Telephone: 302-697-1472
Contact Name: Christopher Gore

More information

Over 50,000 books - 100% donated! Thursday is Opening Night - Friends members only (membership available at the door). On Sunday we supply and you fill a grocery bag from the General Section for...

Cost: Thursday Night $10; free Friday-Sunday

Where:
Hockessin Memorial Hall
610 Yorklyn Road
Hockessin, DE  19707
View map »


Sponsor: Friends of the Hockessin Library
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

A rotating group show featuring an eclectic mix of artwork including paintings, drawings, ceramics, art glass and jewelry. Custom Framing and Gift Certificates are always available. Gallery...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Mitch Lyons is a well-known and important part of the local art community, who over the past five decades developed a truly innovative form of print-making. Lyons received his undergraduate degree...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Directly inspired by the Delaware Art Museum’s Pre-Raphaelite and American illustration collections, this commission from Angela Fraleigh presents a contemporary look at gender and identity...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

MIDNIGHT MASS Amie Potsic  January 24 - April 25, 2020 Opening Reception: Friday, February 7, 2020  5 - 9 PM during Art Loop Our lobby design integration program continues to...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

RECONSTITUTE Draper Experiment by Jacintha Clark December 6, 2019 – February 23, 2020  Opening Reception: Friday, December 6 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop Jacintha...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

MALICE’S RESTAURANT Hennessy Experiment by Natalie Hutchings January 10 - April 15, 2020 OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, February 7, 2020 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop The Hennessy...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

Curated by Deborah Willis, Ph.D., “Posing Beauty in African American Culture explores the contested ways in which African and African American beauty have been represented in historical and...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

A HISTORY OF THE WORLD - SORT OF Hugh Atkins and Jenna Lucente January 3 - January 27, 2020 Opening Reception: Friday, January 10, 2020 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop “Let there be...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

Dates: January 25 - February 1, 2020 Good garden design isn’t easy; but success awaits for anyone with a passion for plants, a little imagination, and proper guidance. Danilo Maffei, a...

Cost: $155

Where:
Mt. Cuba Center
3120 Barley Mill Rd
Hockessin, DE  19707
View map »


Contact Name: Mt. Cuba Center
Website »

More information

BEIJING BOOSTER PAINTINGS Peter Wayne Lewis October 4, 2019 to February 26, 2020 VIP Preview Reception:  October 3, 2019 | 5 - 7 PM Public Reception:  October 4,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

GESTURE OF MOTION Haeley Kyong January 10 - April 23, 2020 Opening Reception: Friday, February 7 5 - 9 PM during first Friday Art Loop The idea of relativity is pronounced in color...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

LOOK TO THE LAND A Mary Putman Retrospective November 16, 2019 - April 6, 2020 Opening Reception: Friday, December 6 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop Long-time Delawarean artist...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

.Enjoy a Guide-led tour of the special exhibition Posing Beauty in African American Culture.  Image: Susan Taylor, as Model,c. 1970s. Ken Ramsay (1935–2008). Gelatin...

Cost: Free for Members, Free with admission for Non-Members.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

On a bitter cold night in London's East End, a baffling murder occurs. Has Jack the Ripper returned or has another chap taken his place? London needs your help! Polish up your looking glass...

Cost: Admission is free. All wine and food purchases are pay-as-you-go.

Where:
Chaddsford Winery
632 Baltimore Pike
Chadds Ford, PA  19317
View map »

More information

The Dickinson Theatre Pipe Organ Society welcomes David Gray of London, England at the Dickinson Theatre at John Dickinson High School.  Mr. Gray will be performing music from Broadway, Motion...

Cost: Adults: $20, Student Under 21: $10, Groups Call 302-998-2803

Where:
Dickinson Theatre at John Dickinson High School
1801 Milltown Road
Wilmington, DE  19808
View map »


Sponsor: The Dickinson Theatre Pipe Organ Society
Telephone: 302-998-2803
Contact Name: Bob Dilworth
Website »

More information

The Lighthouse Inc. Church presenta el servicio de la iglesia en espanol.  El servicio de la iglesia en espanol comenzia 14 de merzo de 2019.  Hables espanol?  Entonces este es el...

Cost: free

Where:
The Lighthouse Inc., Church
6 S Railroad Ave
Wyoming, DE  19934-1026
View map »


Sponsor: The Lighthouse Inc.Church
Telephone: 302-697-1472
Contact Name: Christopher Gore

More information

Over 50,000 books - 100% donated! Thursday is Opening Night - Friends members only (membership available at the door). On Sunday we supply and you fill a grocery bag from the General Section for...

Cost: Thursday Night $10; free Friday-Sunday

Where:
Hockessin Memorial Hall
610 Yorklyn Road
Hockessin, DE  19707
View map »


Sponsor: Friends of the Hockessin Library
Website »

More information

Show More...
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