House and Home Design - Realestate Passion
THE stunning former home of actor Claudia Karvan and longtime partner Jeremy “Jez” Sparks in Redfern is up for auction in November with hopes it will fetch $2.7 million.
The four-level residence, which has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a garage, is in a secluded laneway off Bourke St at 17 Charles St.
The pair have hosted a who’s who of the Australian film and music world at the home, including Noah Taylor, Tex Perkins, Asha Keddie, Simon Baker and Joel Edgerton — all their close friends.
Karvan’s father, the legendary Kings Cross nightclub owner Arthur, who now lives in Bali, also regularly stayed there.
Just one of the unique features of the 280 sqm property is its north-facing rooftop terrace with city skyline views, where Karvan was known to enjoy her Balinese-style outdoor shower each morning.
The life and times of Karvan and Sparks at the unique property, which Sparks, an engineer, built himself within the former clothing factory that his family purchased for $725,000 in 1994, was reminiscent of Karvan’s famous mini-series Love My Way.
His mother, Julie Korner, who headed the Gay and Lesbian Assoociation of Dance, had originally asked him to find an inner city warehouse as a base.
The top level had a tallowwood floor perfect for ballroom dancing,
In 2004, they converted the warehouse into five separate residences for family and their close friends, with Sparks nabbing the prime residence for himself and Karvan, who he met in 1988.
Sparks, now a highly successful engineer who runs his own firm, Event Engineering, started out as a bricklayer and did the residential conversion himself.
He admitted the sale was a deeply emotional one.
“I laid every brick myself,” he said.
The home comes with a range of quirky fittings and fixtures, such as the garage door from a Clovelly Service Station — “it just happened to fit,” Sparks said; railway ceiling lights from Carriageworks in the open-plan living space; Teak doors from Bali and a steel staircase from a 1960s factory.
The doors to their children’s bedrooms, Audrey, 16, and Albee, 12, featured a Piccaso face.
The family is staying in the Redfern neighbourhood.
Cobden and Hayson Surry Hills principal Brigitte Blackman is expecting the warehouse home to be popular.
“It’s just a huge space, over four levels, with its rooftop terrace off the bedroom,” she said.
“It’s a bit raw — you could leave it as it is or do something amazing with it.
“You just don’t get this in a normal terrace in the area.”