This is the first inspiration post by Junk Map photographer Mandy Lamont who fell for the serenity and beauty of this house on a brief drop-in last month. She was so impressed she tracked down the former owner to hear his story, and travelled all the way back to the Blue Mountains to photograph it for us!
Blackheath home, Blue Mountains, NSW
Photography and text by Mandy Lamont.
In many ways this house is a transformational home. When Jared bought the dilapidated little cottage in the late ’90’s, his marriage had completely broken down.
Both the 100 year old house and his first marriage were a write-off but even before moving his belongings inside, the transformation process started. Noticing the condition of the carpet as he was placing the first box, Jared realised it had to go and started ripping a bit back, revealing the potential in the floorboards beneath. The whole back section of the house was rotten, the bathroom floor had rot and the walls had rotted away from the bottom of the stumps.
Jared was working at a demolition yard in Lawson and was inspired by the pieces that were finding their way through the yard. There were beautiful cast iron sinks and useful slabs of timber. Piece by piece, room by room as things came up he used them to renovate. He also found treasures on hard rubbish collections including his favourite window, one of the most beautiful he has ever seen.
It was a labour of love and took 2 to 3 years to complete in all conditions, including snow, in between working full time and raising a family with his new wife. The house saw many transformations including a wedding (Jared married his second wife in the house) and 5 children and became an eclectic mix and cohesion of salvaged materials into a home, and two families into one.
Eventually the family outgrew the house and Lin and Helen bought it in 2008 after falling in love with the property at first sight. And their style suits the house perfectly. Their own furniture and furnishings, some of which have come from hard rubbish, just belong in the house. Lin and Helen spend three days a week at the house in Blackheath and the rest of their week in Newtown, Sydney. It makes them really appreciate the spaciousness of the house and the mountains and they love the fact that from every window you can see life; trees and birds.
The open plan of the house is warm and inviting. One of Lin’s favourite places is the sunroom around the corner that you don’t see, where you can be on the day bed reading and be a world way.
The kitchen sink is enamelled cast iron and has a brass double s-bend. It’s very hard and you have to be careful when washing the dishes.
Lin and Helen found the Belfast sink that they use for their laundry in a back lane in Newtown 20 years ago and knew it would find a home one day.