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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Renovation queen Cherie Barber offers a glimpse inside her incredible converted warehouse

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It may look like a bland brick facade from the front, but step through the wooden front door of this converted warehouse, and you’re met with a stunning industrial modern home.

The five-bedroom property in Sydney’s inner west – owned by renovation queen and TV host Cherie Barber – boasts a number of unique features, including timbers from dismantled ships from the old Balmain wharves, an internal garden, five-metre library bookshelf and a suspended Domofocus rotating fireplace.

The incredible home also has a rooftop pool, a 500-bottle wine cellar and a hugely spacious entertaining and kitchen area.

It may look like a bland brick facade from the front, but step through the wooden front door of this converted warehouse (pictured), and you're met with a stunning industrial modern home

It may look like a bland brick facade from the front, but step through the wooden front door of this converted warehouse (pictured), and you’re met with a stunning industrial modern home

The five-bedroom property in Sydney's inner west - owned by renovation queen and TV host Cherie Barber - boasts a number of unique features, including a five-metre library bookshelf and rotating fireplace (both pictured)

The five-bedroom property in Sydney’s inner west – owned by renovation queen and TV host Cherie Barber – boasts a number of unique features, including a five-metre library bookshelf and rotating fireplace (both pictured)

Cherie Barber (pictured) bought the home for $6.2million from comedian and radio presenter Merrick Watts

Cherie Barber (pictured) bought the home for $6.2million from comedian and radio presenter Merrick Watts

Bought by Cherie for $6.2million from comedian and radio presenter Merrick Watts in 2020, the former Oh Boy Candy Company warehouse was converted in 2009 by the acclaimed architect Virginia Kerridge.

The home is spread over three giant storeys, with a master retreat on the second floor, a balcony and a stylish en suite bathroom. 

Since it became a sustainable home, the 1920s warehouse has gone on to win a slew of awards, including two at the Royal Australian Institute of Architecture awards in 2013, and it has even been named one of New South Wales’s top homes.

Sustainable features include solar power, the use of plywood instead of plaster for walls, an edible garden and recycled materials in the form of the 400-year-old ship masts. 

‘I’m a big fan of something that has history to it and the industrial warehouse style,’ Cherie told FEMAIL.

‘As a sugar addict, I loved the idea of getting my hands on a former lolly factory and re-purposing it.’

She added: ‘Since I bought the home, I’ve been on a mission to find pictures from when it was a lolly factory, but no luck yet.

‘After it was a lolly factory, it became a furniture showroom for a couple of decades, before it was converted into the family warehouse home you find today.’    

The home has a stunning indoor garden and rooftop pool (pictured), from which you can enjoy views of Sydney's inner west district

The home has a stunning indoor garden and rooftop pool (pictured), from which you can enjoy views of Sydney’s inner west district

Since she took ownership of the incredible warehouse, Cherie said she hasn’t done too much to it, but she has added her own ‘renovation queen’ stamp with a few key touches.

‘As well as adding all my 1950s stuff and giving it a retro slant, I’ve started growing edible food in the garden, from Lebanese cucumbers to apples, bananas and strawberries,’ Cherie said.

‘It’s now like living in a giant fruit bowl!’  

Cherie said she also plans to strip back the plywood a bit and convert some of the bedrooms into more exposed brick:

‘I don’t want to do much because it has such a great shell, but that isn’t an original feature so I feel happy doing it,’ she said.

She will also install a beehive at the property so her family can enjoy fresh honey.  

Sustainable features include solar power, the use of plywood instead of plaster for walls, an edible garden and recycled materials in the form of the 400-year-old ship masts (interior pictured)

Sustainable features include solar power, the use of plywood instead of plaster for walls, an edible garden and recycled materials in the form of the 400-year-old ship masts (interior pictured)

Cherie’s current property portfolio stretches from Mount Druitt to Byron Bay and amasses to around $20 million.

Speaking to FEMAIL about her advice for making millions of dollars on property, Cherie said it’s all about having ‘passion’ and doing your research:

‘When I bought, renovated and sold my first home, I said to myself: “What am I doing? I just made three years worth of my salary in months, this needs to be a career”,’ she said.

‘I believe anyone, with hard work and passion, can get into the property market. I know a 13-year-old boy who has bought his own property. It is possible.’

She also said you should never ‘buy in any old suburb, as it needs research’.

‘Never go into something that doesn’t have the potential for good capital growth,’ she said.

‘And if you’re looking to build equity fast, always buy un-renovated. Avoid specialist homes like my warehouse. If it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, it won’t work for capital growth. It needs to have mass market appeal.

‘Once you’re comfortable, you can buy what you love.’  

Since it became a sustainable home, the warehouse has since gone on to win a slew of awards, including two at the Royal Australian Institute of Architecture awards in 2013 (kitchen pictured)

Since it became a sustainable home, the warehouse has since gone on to win a slew of awards, including two at the Royal Australian Institute of Architecture awards in 2013 (kitchen pictured)

The home is spread over three giant storeys, with a master retreat on the second floor that has area views, a balcony and stylish en suite bathroom (one of the bedrooms pictured)

The home is spread over three giant storeys, with a master retreat on the second floor that has area views, a balcony and stylish en suite bathroom (one of the bedrooms pictured)

The property has been included in one of New South Wales's best homes round ups (interior garden pictured)

The property has been included in one of New South Wales’s best homes round ups (interior garden pictured)

Finally, Cherie said anyone eyeing a property should educate themselves on real estate and do their homework.

The first item on an aspiring renovator’s agenda should be to determine if their forte will be structural or cosmetic renovation.

‘You need to choose your strategy. You should either focus on cosmetically enhancing properties for a smaller profit or the more lucrative path of structural renovation,’ she said.

Cherie said anyone eyeing a property should educate themselves on real estate and do their homework if they want to amass a property portfolio (bathroom pictured)

Cherie said anyone eyeing a property should educate themselves on real estate and do their homework if they want to amass a property portfolio (bathroom pictured)

She also recommends adopting a 'cookie-cutter' mentality when redesigning and refurbishing the interior of your properties (interior pictured)

She also recommends adopting a ‘cookie-cutter’ mentality when redesigning and refurbishing the interior of your properties (interior pictured)

She also recommends adopting a ‘cookie-cutter’ mentality when redesigning and refurbishing the interior of your properties.

‘The key is to find a winning signature style. Use the same colour scheme, same type of kitchen, same everything so when you start redoing multiple properties you almost create a production-line for yourself,’ Cherie said.

‘You don’t need to reinvent the wheel for every project and if you do it this way you know exactly what you’ll spend every single time.’

For more information about Cherie Barber, you can visit her website here

This post was first published on DailyMail.

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