Renovation: The 'Level One' Project -
If you follow us on social media, you would have noticed that we have recently moved to a new warehouse. Still in our beloved Marrickville, we have moved into one bigger space from our two smaller warehouses across the road from one another. Our new space is 1800 sqm ... scary big! Moving has been in the pipeline for a while now, our old warehouses were absolutely jam packed so even though this moving process has been a little tough, I think in the long term the positives will outweigh the challenges that have occurred over the past few months (more on that a bit further down).
Tom and I actually first stumbled across this new warehouse after dinner at the pub nearby one night. After walking back to the car - we looked up and saw the For Lease sign, both commenting that it was our dream warehouse but it was probably too big. Shelving it in the back of my mind, I was then reminded of it when six weeks later I randomly got a call from our real estate telling me we needed to come and see a warehouse. After discussing location, I realised it was the dream warehouse and safe to say I got off the phone, ran to get Tom and we saw it that afternoon.
The ground floor level was absolutely perfect for Timbermill and could house both the workshop and the Rental business; but it also had another whole level on top with the same footprint as the ground level. After a lot of discussion, the seed was planted that maybe we could be game enough to take on the whole space and do something a bit different with upstairs.... it was (and to be honest, still is) a pretty terrifying idea but the idea stuck. We always went into the small business game wanting to challenge ourselves continuously, and after becoming obsessed with renovating since we finished the William St Reno project (more on the blog with this one soon) we made the big call to decided to take on the dream warehouse including the first floor.
Whilst I must note, I make that above sentence sound like it was a fun and easy breezy project to take on. Although as a firm believer in not sugar coating the life of small business I would be lying if I didn't call out the fact that the past few months have definitely been the most stressful and anxiety ridden of the past 5 years. In October/November last year - we finished the William St Reno, rented it out, moved back to Sydney into a new house, had one of our biggest months ever with sales/rentals, had to move out of two warehouses and then renovate and move into one. It was tough, nearly broke us both and whilst I think a part of me is still recovering and figuring out how on earth we're going to pull this off, for now it is all about looking forward into the amazing year ahead.
SO - now you understand how it came about, we can get into the fun stuff which is what we're planning on doing with the space on the first floor. Starting on it in mid December, we have set a goal to open in mid-late Feb 2018. We're on track so far.
Introducing ... LEVEL ONE (@levelone_community)
The name Level One was the one that we wrote on plans, email subject lines and drawings when mapping out and designing the space - the interim one before we came up with a new one. Although one day we realised that our whole team actually really liked the name and what is represented so it is here to stay.
The goal is to create a curated space hosting a community of creative individuals. Once finished, it will be able to host up to 40 people with 20 desks, 5 offices, 4 meeting rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, communal areas and a large studio area out back. In the gallery below are a few before shots noting some of the work we plan on doing.
We want to make it a beautiful space - one that you want to work in, and one that displays our furniture and overall aesthetic. The style palette will be kept fresh and clean with white, concrete floors, panelling and furniture.
When we moved in the warehouse hadn't been used for 2 + years, and the space was very dark and emulated a rabbit warren so we started the project by ripping out pretty much everything. This included a whole lot of nib walls, all of the old furniture, carpet and fixtures; giving the space a completely different feel and a lot more natural light.
Stage One is desk and office area - the whole area is slowly being painted in a fresh coat of Dulux Natural White (my favourite white that I have always used in our warehouses), whilst the office corridor was opened up and the timber entrance way painted in a semi gloss black to provide a strong contrasting feature. Easy Craft VJ panelling boards have been used to cover wallpaper and create feature wall areas. Whilst we will carry the simple colour palette through to the communal areas, the plan is to use a bit more colour on that side of the space.
Below are a few shots from the first week of January (2018) of where we're at.