Freedomroo – Inside Saskia Folk’s incredible factory conversion in Fitzroy North, Melbourne

Spectacular renovations have transformed this century-old boot factory into an artistic masterpiece in the heart of one of Melbourne's trendiest neighbourhoods

Hidden inside this old boot factory is a stunning luxury home – complete with mosaic-tiled bathrooms, sunlit living spaces and original jailhouse bars on the window

  • Epic renovations have transformed a 100-year-old boot factory into one of Melbourne’s most artistic homes
  • Built in 1911, the factory in Fitzroy North was converted into a three-bed by interior designer, Lynda Gardener
  • Renowned artist Saskia Folk, who bought the property in 2008, then gave it a contemporary makeover
  • Reclaimed materials are found at every turn, with old jailhouse bars bolted over the living room window
  • Wood from a basketball court and meter boxes salvaged from the Outback are built into the kitchen

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Spectacular renovations have transformed a century-old boot factory into an artistic masterpiece in the heart of one of Melbourne’s trendiest neighbourhoods.

Built in 1911, the factory in Fitzroy North was converted into a three-bedroom townhouse more than 20 years ago by interior designer, Lynda Gardener.

A little over a decade later, renowned artist Saskia Folk – who bought the property in 2008 – gave it a contemporary makeover laced with street credit.

Reclaimed materials with stories to tell can be found at every turn in the one-of-a-kind residence, which boasts mosaic-tiled bathrooms, sunlit living spaces and a private garden terrace shielded by enormous French doors.

Spectacular renovations have transformed this century-old boot factory into an artistic masterpiece in the heart of one of Melbourne’s trendiest neighbourhoods

Built in 1911, the factory in Fitzroy North was converted into a three-bedroom townhouse more than 20 years ago by interior designer, Lynda Gardener, before receiving a contemporary makeover from renowned artist, Saskia Folk

Built in 1911, the factory in Fitzroy North was converted into a three-bedroom townhouse more than 20 years ago by interior designer, Lynda Gardener, before receiving a contemporary makeover from renowned artist, Saskia Folk

Wood from an old basketball court has been built into the kitchen’s island bench, while discarded meter boxes salvaged from the wilds of the Australian Outback were used in the cabinets around the stove.

Repurposed jail doors have been bolted onto the living room window, giving the house an elevated sense of ‘cool’ in an area already famed for being ahead of mainstream trends.

Once a working-class suburb on the fringe of Melbourne’s CBD, Fitzroy has morphed into one of the city’s most sought-after post codes, teeming with cafes, bookstores and art galleries as well as a vibrant party scene.

The house boasts mosaic-tiled bathrooms with freestanding bathtubs (pictured)

The house boasts mosaic-tiled bathrooms with freestanding bathtubs (pictured)

One of the bedrooms opens out onto a private garden terrace

One of the bedrooms opens out onto a private garden terrace

The courtyard can be accessed through enormous French doors

The courtyard can be accessed through enormous French doors

The house exudes an elevated sense of 'cool' in an area already famed for being ahead of mainstream trends

The house exudes an elevated sense of ‘cool’ in an area already famed for being ahead of mainstream trends

Indeed, Ms Folk has hosted her own exhibitions inside the former factory, showcasing the house as a piece of art in its own right.

Soaring ceilings, original pine floorboards and exposed brickwork pay tribute to the home’s industrial roots, while freestanding bathtubs and gargantuan artwork plastered across entire walls provide a modern contrast. 

Listing agent Nicholas West, who is overseeing the sale of the property for realtor Nelson Alexander, has set a guide price of $2.1million to $2.3million (AUD). 

Repurposed jail doors have been bolted onto the living room window, giving the house an elevated sense of 'cool' in an area already famed for being ahead of mainstream trends

Repurposed jail doors have been bolted onto the living room window, giving the house an elevated sense of ‘cool’ in an area already famed for being ahead of mainstream trends

Soaring ceilings, original pine floorboards and exposed brickwork pay tribute to the home's industrial roots

Sunlight streams into every corner through strategically positioned windows

Soaring ceilings, original pine floorboards and exposed brickwork pay tribute to the home’s industrial roots

Freestanding bathtubs and gargantuan artwork plastered across entire walls provide a modern twist

Freestanding bathtubs and gargantuan artwork plastered across entire walls provide a modern twist

Listing agent Nicholas West said inquiries for the house have been flooding in 'thick and fast'

Listing agent Nicholas West said inquiries for the house have been flooding in ‘thick and fast’

That’s at least $400,000 higher than the average price of a three-bedroom in the area, which was $1.7million in 2020, according to sales records.

But interest from young buyers is keen nonetheless, Mr West told realestate.com.au.

He said inquiries have been flooding in ‘thick and fast’ for the house which offers ‘a completely different level of accommodation’ compared to the charming two-storey terraces and quaint Victorian cottages typical of the suburb.

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