BOUGHT in 2008 as "the worst house in the best street", this Cardiff Heights property that was once a dairy shed has been transformed into a one-of-a-kind, retreat-like sanctuary.
A north-east aspect and a hardwood, well-made structure proved the drawcard for the owners, who have thoughtfully renovated using passive solar design principles and a minimalist approach.
Extensive insulation, including glazing and thermal mass flooring, has been combined with effective tree planting, solar electricity and strategic window placement to produce efficient and comfortable living.
Timber, metal and stone have been used throughout for longevity, and the owners' love of upcycling has ensured the property is like nothing else. Unique features includes original cladding from the dairy shed found under the plasterboard wall, shelving from the old David Jones building in Newcastle, stage lighting from a Sydney Olympic venue and parquetry flooring from the Hamilton North Bowling Club.
There are well-established gardens, which can be seen from every room. A southern garden was specifically planted for cooling, providing cross ventilation from southerly breezes. Deciduous trees were planted on the north side to shade the house in summer but allow more light in winter.
Hand-cut sandstone piers from an old Cessnock house were used to create dry rock walls in the garden and several timber decks provide no shortage of reflective places to sit and be hidden from the world.
The property is located within 10 minutes of the lake, 15 minutes of the Newcastle CBD and moments to the shops, but once through the front door, the house purposefully offers calm and tranquility.
Other features include custom-made concrete benches, two bathrooms, a versatile separate studio, outdoor shower, fish pond, chicken coup and established vegetable gardens.
Josh Lloyd, of Belle Property Charlestown, is marketing the three-bedroom, two-bathroom home on around 588 square metres of land at 1 Serbin Close with a price guide of $610,000 to $660,000. It is open for inspection on Saturday at 2pm.