“Rock Spring” stands as a brilliant example of meticulous restoration and exquisite care. With historic ownership records dating back to the original land grant to William Penn by King Charles II of England, the story is as enchanting as the property itself. Perched high above the Brandywine river and set high on the lot, away from the entrance’s stone gate house, this over five-bedroom estate overlooks the rolling hills of the Brandywine Valley.
Francesca Rudin says she and her husband found it terribly dreary, with little light or notable architectural details to speak of when they bought it nearly fifteen years ago.
“Our goal was to bring it into the 21st century and to let in a lot of light because it was a dark house. Architect Peter Zimmerman had a vision of how to do that, so now it’s a very bright and airy house,” Rudin recalls. Except it wasn’t an irrational dream, for in addition to having Zimmerman on their team and Rudin herself having a special eye for distinct interiors and art. The Rudins have renovated the estate “from top to bottom, the complete interior.”
Interestingly, it was during this time that Rudin says they came upon personal artifacts from the previous owners. The coolest object? An original Du Pont scale, discovered in the attic, that she and her husband then restored and embedded in their master bathroom. “The mechanism is in the wall, but you just stand on the bed of the scale, which is embedded in the floor.”
Prior to the Du Ponts, the property had at one point been owned by an Irish farmer. “My husband got the documentation on the property and it turned out that we’re the fifth owners since the King of England.”
Rudin’s design of the interior includes a vintage BMW motorcycle in her dining room. Some of her collectibles are found throughout the estate.
“The house is an expression of our personality,” she says, noting that while it’s sizable, it remains relatively formal.
“We live like a modern family. The decor is quirky in some ways; it’s not modern, but it’s transitional, style-wise, and I like to include low-brow and high-brow. It’s very much a storyboard for our lives.”