11:56 September 16, 2022
A unique bungalow redesigned to resemble a New York loft has gone on sale near Woodbridge for £1.35m.
Langdale in Little Bealings, near Woodbridge, looked very different when Tony and Anna Ryder first saw it.
Built in the 1940s, it had only had one owner before them, but had been much loved, with distinctive Crittall windows, light-filled spaces and incredible views over the Fynn Valley. Tony says that they fell in love with him, and the sight of him, instantly.
But as co-founder of Rokeby & Ryder, a family-owned team of skilled and highly-skilled construction professionals, Tony had big plans.
As part of the negotiations, he says they offered to help clean up the place, since the estate’s executors lived far away and wanted to help reduce their obligations, but it wasn’t easy.
“We probably wouldn’t use that negotiation in the future,” he admits. “I completely underestimated the scope of those jobs. We inherited 11 human-sized wasp nests in the loft, an extremely crowded cesspit, and a kitchen and decor from the ’60s at the latest.”
But Tony says he was lucky in other ways. “I love designing properties, which is lucky, and my wife trusted me. Her exact words were ‘I would gladly move in for three months and let you do your thing’. I just cried, I couldn’t believe I thought this would be over in three months.”
The works, which included the modernization and expansion of the existing bungalow, actually took around 18 months. But the result is surprising and unique, especially for Suffolk.
“I love the simple, clean design,” explains Tony.
“Great Japanese influences with a Scandinavian and Mediterranean touch. However, since he was 20 years old, he always wanted a New York loft, Moby’s New York loft to be precise. In Suffolk, these are not abundant. The barns are though.
“Basically I bolted a Suffolk barn to a modest Scandi bungalow, played around with the design and made a mini terrace in Ibiza for the summer. Somehow it all fits together, whether it’s the choice of materials or the fact that you’re so surprised by the barn/loft space that you miss it, I don’t know.”
The recently modernized house is beautifully fitted with Karndean floors, underfloor heating and aluminum windows and flows exceptionally well, with an open-plan kitchen, dining room and living room that are light and airy thanks to bi-fold doors on both sides and a back wall. of windows
The bespoke kitchen was hand built and features wooden cupboards, quartz worktops and high spec integrated appliances and there is a mezzanine upstairs, offering stunning views of the garden and Fynn Valley.
There are five double bedrooms, including the master suite which has its own bathroom with a shower, and outside is a terrace with an outdoor cooking area, although it’s a bit different to what Tony had planned. “He had ideas of a rustic outdoor kitchen behind glazed barn doors and the smell of dusty cement,” he says, “but it wasn’t meant to be.”
Tony says that one of the biggest challenges was the staircase, which connected the ground floor to the mezzanine: “Next time I’ll just have a staircase and a slide,” he says, and it was also important to have a space to work.
“I’m too messy to have my office at the dining room table, so I was taken off the lawn for my creative duties.” The office adjoins one side of the bungalow and was created in part from a building that already came with the house.
It’s fully equipped with a kitchenette, hot water tap, fridge, storage, and a bathroom, and offers a lot of flexibility, but it’s already pretty good as it is. “With the world constantly changing, it made sense to design it with the options available,” he says. “It’s ready for an Airbnb, annex, fancy garage or could be left as a spacious studio/office.”
More importantly, though, Tony says that Langdale has become a home that’s a lot of fun and where everyone has a space, and it’s also in a good location.
The grounds stretch about half an acre and still offer incredible views, the same views that drew the couple to the property in the first place.
“We could have built anything, but it would always have been replaced by that view,” he says. “It is forever changing with the seasons. The cows walk through the valley, and we have a winter river when it is flooded. It is unique and virgin.”
You may be wondering why, after so much work, Tony and Anna have put the place up for sale. “Very simply and selfishly, we want a new adventure,” she says.
“I’m full of ideas, our wants and requirements are changing as the family ages and I just want to create something fun for all of us to enjoy.”
But he says they’re not ready to move out of Suffolk just yet. “It would be very difficult to leave. The patrimonial coast cannot be taken for granted”.
Langdale in Beacon Lane, Little Bealings, is on the market with Savills at a listed price of £1.35m. For more information call 01473 234800.
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