Since I knew what renovation was, I always wanted to get my hands on a church or a warehouse to make my own. Because I am a little weird and believe in ghoulies, I was always a little nervous on what living in a church would mean – would there be ghosts etc? So needless to say, when a dodgy warehouse in one of my favourite Perth suburbs went on the market, I was beside myself.
When the agent listed the warehouse, I had just been accepted onto The Renovators and we had literally just finished renovating our own home and purchased an investment one to make some money on, to move forward and even consider my warehouse was not even an option.
Over the coming-months, the warehouse played on my mind and on one of my many brief visits back to Perth whilst filming (I would often fly Saturday night to arrive Sunday morning, stay a few hours and jet back so I could see my little girl) I saw that it was still available.
When I landed back in Sydney I rehearsed the many ways I would tell my husband I wanted to sell the place we had just finished and embark on another project… I knew it would not go too smoothly.
I can’t remember how I told Dave my grand plan, but I do recall the deafening silence it was greeted with! However, over time I used my well-honed skills as a sales person and somehow “sold” Dave on the idea (I think the promise of a man cave and beer kegs may have done it). We just had to sell our home, finish the other one (that we had barely started), find some more cash and of course hope and pray no one else wanted the warehouse in the meantime (unlikely, given its state and the fact anyone who saw it would run a mile if they had any sense)… But not us!
We nutted out the numbers and if we stuck to budget, we could make a tidy profit and be living in our “forever-pad” designed the way we wanted to live.
We had always talked about our dream home, and I knew this was it. the warehouse sits on almost 900 square maters, boasts a beautiful, quiet street with city views and of course, is a warehouse – 300 square meters of living. What wasn’t in my vision was the rat (and giant flying cockroach) nest in the kitchen, the fact the building had been used as a sweat shop for some 20+ years and the fact that there was so much rubbish and building neglect that it would really take some hard yakka!
Through all my previous renovations, I had always designed with the buyer in mind, to renovate the warehouse for us was going to be liberating, challenging and of course costly… But the biggest question I kept asking myself was “where do I begin”?