Leathermaker Geordie Malone, of Islington's Hide and Seeker Leather and Vintage shop, has actually been a carpenter for far longer than he's been working with leather, although he's probably better known for his shop.
But he loves carpentry. He started at 18. He reckons the two crafts are similar in the fact that they use tough materials and involve design.
"I love woodwork," he says. "Leatherwork is better for your body's longevity."
A recent project he's completed is a kitchen in his Georgetown home.
"I've built three or four kitchens for other people," Geordie says.
"I've just been thinking a lot about kitchen design and noticing how much it affects people's lives, the whole flow of the house.
"I got a lot of ideas just from doing that.
"I didn't want to do anything at our house that was quick and easy. If I was going to do it, it had to be awesome."
He and his family moved into their eclectic "seventies-afied" four-bedroom, two-bathroom two-kitchen home six years ago. (The second kitchen is in the downstairs area). They love the place.
"It's an odd house. It's a miner's cottage that was jacked up in the air in the 70s," he says.
"It's a standard Newcastle house but with an understorey. The woman we bought it off of was 97 with fully eccentric, awesome outfits."
In the 70s, the owners replaced all the windows in the house with bay windows. They also put up wallpaper.
Geordie and his family moved in and made a few quick changes, but a bigger vision has evolved.
"It's taken us a while to figure out how we want to change the layout of the house," he says.
They renovated the upstairs kitchen a few months ago. It was tiny and falling apart.
They gutted it and the room next to it to create a bigger kitchen. Geordie designed it thinking about his partner, Eartha, and their two children being in the kitchen, and also his extended family coming to visit. He thought about how three or four people could function in the kitchen at the same time. He wanted it to be a social place.
"We wanted to be able to cook and prepare food while fully interacting," Geordie says.
Previously he's worked with sustainable builders Goodwood Construction, and he built his kitchen with as much recycled timber as he could. He and his family are extreme second-hand advocates.
"Our kitchen is ridiculous in its second-hand-ness," he says. "It looks like a fairly new kitchen, but every single appliance in the kitchen is second-hand, all off Gumtree and Facebook marketplace. I made most of the doors and windows out of second-hand timber."
His kitchen surfaces are from a restaurant in Sydney that put all its furniture on Gumtree. Geordie thinks this is the third time that the materials have been recycled.
He has a great relationship with Round 2 Timber, a supplier of recycled Australian hardwood timber and custom-made furniture.
The cabinet doors are new plywood and the interiors are new, but that's it. Geordie spent $1000 in total on kitchen appliances. He believes that the best-quality appliances are the oldest.
The dishwasher is a 20-year-old Miele. It's twice as heavy and industrial, but it still does a great job.
"My friend who's our plumber, when he was installing it, he was like 'man I've never dealt with a dishwasher like this'," Geordie says.
"Our oven was off Gumtree; it was the only appliance we bought that was broken. I got it repaired; now it's good as gold."
He says the secret to second-hand renovation is playing the long game and storing stuff.
"It sounds annoying, but the cost saving is so extreme. We bought every appliance in Sydney off Gumtree, one trip in my ute, in one day. It's totally a risk, but the reward is so big," he says.
He prioritises quality and aesthetic in all aspects of his work.
"I'm super fussy about timbers I use, due to color preference," he says.
Geordie salvaged the original wallpaper for the new kitchen, cutting it out carefully within the gyprock. This pleased Eartha, who's interested in decoration and colour. She's helping Geordie design a shelf that will hold vases and trinkets.
To find out more about Geordie's work and design philosophy, he's documented his kitchen renovation on Instagram, @hide_and_seeker
IN OTHER NEWS:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: