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Showstopping Warehouse Conversion

Homes

I cannot even BEGIN to tell you how seriously out-of-this-world amazing today’s home is. Ever since Eve and I shot this incredible converted warehouse in Sydney’s Surry Hills late last year, I’ve been itching to share it.

This is the home of Appliances Online founder and CEO John Winning. We’ve been in a LOT of homes, but this one really is a showstopper.

2nd March, 2016

Pod
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The Surry Hills home of John Winning. Above – open plan living room, featuring sculpted fibreglass bedroom ‘pod’ that divides the space, the brain child of Peter Ireland, Principal of AJC architecture, and made by TBC. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Open Plan
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Another view of the opening dining space and kitchen areas. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Lounge
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First floor lounge. Antique Turkish rug from Loom. Modular sofa from Camerich. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

John Winning
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Pictured in his Surry Hills home. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kitchen
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The kitchen ‘superbox’ housing the butler pantry. Mild steel cladding with exposed rivet covers around superstructure of box gold electroplate panels. Kitchen by Art of Kitchens. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kitchen Details
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Kitchen details. All appliances from Winning Appliances. Gold electroplate panels on cabinetry, Italian mirror glazed tile splash back. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Dining
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Open dining area. This space is the heart of the home and looks onto the indoor garden through giant barn doors by Urban Archive, Steady Built, and Interspace. All raw steel windows, doors and skylights by Interspace. Chairs sourced from Gumtree and recovered in vintage fabric, dining table made from original warehouse joists by Craft Design Realisation Joinery. Vintage gramophone cones sourced for a bespoke lighting fixture. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Living
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Georgian Irish antique settee sourced from The Great Gatsby film! Cave door to bedroom pod built to emulate an aeroplane hatch door. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master Bedroom
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Bedroom pod i.e. ‘man cave’ interior, featuring bespoke leather floor by Royale upholstery. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Pod Details
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Inside the bedroom pod – a built-in man cave bed. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Pod Ensuite
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Ensuite within the bedroom pod. Teak floor by TBC. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Ensuite Details
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Teak floor by TBC. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bedroom
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The home features a few guest bedrooms, each decorated with a different theme by interior designer Kelly Ross of The Gentry. This room is the Cabin room, and was designed to feel like a room at the end of a jetty. Vintage industrial wall lights from Rescue Salvage. Bed throw from Fair trade merchant in Chile. Drapes custom made. Timber wall cladding Urban Archive/Steady Built. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Wardrobe
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John’s epic walk-in-wardrobe. Leather belt tiled floor by Ting. Joinery by Art of Kitchen. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bedroom
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Another guest room, this one is the ‘Empire’ room. Queen size custom made bunk beds. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bathroom
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Empire bathroom. Skheme rough marble subway tile. Astra Walker swan taps. Anthropologie linen shower curtain. Porthole mirror is a marine antique. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Indoor Pool
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Vintage framed towels, timber cladding by Urban Archive/ Steady Built, Pool and teak flooring by TBC. Photo – Eve Wilson.Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Garden
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Top floor view into Empire room and indoor garden. Timber cladding by Urban Archive/Steady Built. Reclaimed doors and shutters by Chippendale restoration. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Rooftop Garden
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‘Removing the roof in this part of the warehouse allowed for an indoor/outdoor terrace and much needed natural light,’ says Kelly Ross of The Gentry. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 2nd March 2016

This seriously impressive Sydney home belongs to entrepreneur and businessman John Winning. To save you the hassle of googling him (and I know you will), I might as well give you the lowdown, briefly – John is the young CEO of Winning Group and founder of Appliances Online, Australia’s number one online retailer of kitchen appliances. His empire started as an online off-shoot of a 100-year-old family business, but these days John heads up the whole company. I have to say, the #winning hashtag has never seemed more appropriate.

John’s home is a massive 1,100 square metre 1920’s brick warehouse, converted on the first floor into a generally open plan home with large kitchen and dining area, two lounge areas, an outdoor terrace space and one central ‘pod’ bedroom, whilst the ground floor houses various guest bedrooms, an indoor pool, internal garden and extensive entertaining area.

The unique fit-out here is the result of a particularly inspired architectural response. ‘I held an ideas competition with a handful of architects, and one design approach stood out for its originality and use of the space’ explains John. That was Peter Ireland’s scheme, who is joint principal of Allen Jack + Cottier Architects. Peter proposed the ground floor internal garden with void and windows above, which allows natural light to stream through the space. He is also responsible for that mind-bending master bedroom!

‘Level one has my master bedroom, described by Ireland as a ‘man-cave’ – an acoustically insulated, cocoon-like fibre glass master suite – which ultimately sealed the deal for me to choose his scheme’ John explains. The ‘pod’ must be seen to be believed. There’s something almost cartoon-like about this sculptural centrepiece, which was crafted using fibreglass boat-building technology.

Beyond these spectacular architectural elements, Sydney designer Kelly Ross of The Gentry is responsible for the warehouse’s distinctive interior details. Kelly worked closely with John, selecting furniture and fittings which reflect his interests and a rich sense of family history. ‘Kelly has created a dramatic and highly personal mise-en-scene’ John says. Some of his favourite pieces include his 12 seater-dining table, crafted from Oregon beams which were salvaged from the property, as well as an Irish Georgian sofa purchased from the set of The Great Gatsby!

Of course, if you sell appliances for a living, you really SHOULD have one hell of a kitchen. John certainly does, and amongst his most prized possessions are his kitchen appliances! ‘Of course I can’t help mentioning some of the amazing appliances that I have in my kitchen, including Sub Zero fridges, Wolf and Miele cooking appliances and Qasair rangehoods’ John says enthusiastically. ‘It’s a feature of the house, and the steel appliances look so good against the gold cabinetry.’

In fact, though this home is pretty outlandish, it’s also a surprisingly ‘insular’ space – from the outside, you really have no sense of the drama within! ‘I love that it’s completely unassuming from the street’ John says.’If you’re going past the house you’ve got no idea what’s inside, but as soon as you walk through the doors you get a feeling of being anywhere in the world’. Indeed, there is a distinct feeling here of being transported somewhere else. Entering the space is a somewhat surreal, ’Alice down the rabbit hole’ experience. This is a home created with no limits to the imagination, and that’s a very rare thing.

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net