Penny Rudge has created a sophisticated kitchen-dining-living space by teaming smart grey cabinets with neutral walls and floors.
Penny and Mark Rudge bought their Sixties flat-roof bungalow three years ago, and then rebuilt it into a two-storey, five-bedroom house, keeping to the original footprint. ‘We bought the house because of the fabulous view, as we overlook a stunning country valley,’ explains Penny.
Planning permission was quickly granted, as the couple elected to keep the new roofline low. They demolished almost the whole bungalow and completely redesigned the layout. Building work took 18 months, and despite the huge overhaul, the couple continued to live there, moving from room to room. ‘I’ve chosen oak joinery throughout,’ says Penny. ‘We also installed an air-source heat pump for underfloor heating in the kitchen area, as well as heating our swimming pool. Plus, we have solar panels on the roof.’
The main change is the large kitchen-living-dining room, which takes up the rear of the house, making the most of the spectacular views across the valley through new bi-fold glass doors. This area previously comprised a bedroom, bathroom and utility room.
A limestone floor was laid, then Penny planned the layout of the kitchen. ‘I didn’t really want a U-shaped kitchen, but after much thought I could see it was the best design for this space, with an island in the middle,’ she says. The main focus of the kitchen is the 1.8m-long island and the quartz worktops. ‘The two tall cupboards along the back wall flanking the fridge-freezer in the middle are my favourite items, as they are so useful,’ says Penny. ‘However, I also love my two-drawer fridge in the island. All you have to do is pull open the drawer and grab an item – there’s no more poking about into the depths of the fridge to find things.’ Penny chose white-limestone floor tiles and she is pleased that they magically seem to stay clean. ‘If you wait for Evan the Labrador’s muddy footprints to dry, which they do quickly with the underfloor heating, then the mud is easily hoovered up.’
She adds: ‘My absolute bargain is the fridge-freezer I spotted being sold new on eBay. Although it’s worth £2,000, I bagged it for £800. It was during the Olympic Games and nobody else was looking.’
Finally, the couple had the new kitchen-livingdining room decorated in lime white by Farrow & Ball, and Penny chose duck egg blue, her favourite colour, for the soft furnishings and lampshades.
Photography: William Goddard