Penny lives in Santa Barbara, atop a tall hill with the most amazing views of both the hills and the ocean. She remodeled the kitchen in 2000, with a vivid color palette inspired by sea glass collected on long beach walks, and now it is the dreamiest room in the house. Airy and light, joyful and creative, Penny cooks in a spectacular location.
Penny is a renaissance woman — artist, interior designer, and mom to Petra and Sydney as well as a brood of latte–hued chihuahuas. There are always extra friends and dogs hanging around this beautiful home, awaiting one of Penny's Greek salads, dressed in tangy vinaigrette, with blobs of fresh Israeli feta comingling with sweet tomatoes and cucumber; or a hearty slice of freshly-baked fruit pies. She's interested in wholesome, home–cooked meals, easily adaptable for a crowd.
Penny renovated and redesigned her kitchen in 2000, adding special touches that make the space unique. For example, Penny laid sea glass she collected into a concrete countertop and created a Formica color palette in similar pastel shades. The oceanic, coastal mood of the greens, aquas and blues make it a soothing, enchanting place to cook and sip tea. And the views of the open kitchen/sitting room are unparalleled. It's truly a spectacular Santa Barbara spot.
10 Questions for Penny (and Her Kitchen)
1. What inspires your kitchen and your cooking?
My kitchen is upstairs and faces a spectacular view of the Santa Barbara mountains. I can cook or wash dishes and have an amazing view of the sky.
2. What is your favorite kitchen tool or element?
My Cuisinart, rasp, and electric lemon squeezer.
3. What's the most memorable meal you've ever cooked in this kitchen?
All my Thanksgivings.
4. The biggest challenge in your kitchen:
Its a one–cook kitchen — wish it were bigger
5. Is there anything you wish you had done differently? [if renovated]
I love my Formica but probably would have gone with oak, stained colors of course.
6. Biggest indulgence or splurge in the kitchen:
The custom concrete slab with my beach glass!!!
7. Is there anything you hope to add or improve in your kitchen?
I would upgrade the appliances and add a farm sink.
8. How would you describe your cooking style?
Montana baking, Mexican everything and Santa Maria-style BBQ. VIVA BABY!
9. Best cooking advice or tip you ever received:
Buy the best pans you can afford, and never wash your rolling pin with soap and water.
10. What are you cooking this week?
I'm in the hood this week (Detroit) and my sister is an amazing cook. At this very minute, we have decided to make Parsnip Maple Cake and that's only for breakfast.
• Oven: Kenmore
• Fridge: Kenmore
• Limited–edition print: Kate Cahill
• Juicer: Breville
• Trash compactor: KitchenAid
We're always looking for real kitchens from real cooks.
Submit your kitchen here.
(Images: Leela Cyd Ross)