Over the years, we have completed many renovations to existing homes, with the aim being to make them more sustainable. We have also built several small dwellings from scratch. By the time Shani had met Tim he had renovated three houses. Our first renovation together was a subdivision and renovation of an old asbestos house in White Gum Valley in about 2004. After finishing this project, and deciding that we wanted to devote more of our lives to sustainability, we started at The Painted Fish.
The Painted Fish is located on Hulbert Street in South Fremantle. The original 1897 tin cottage was one of the first built in the area. Tim was the second owner of the house, with the same family holding the property for over 100 years. Shani was fascinated by the history of this property. A highlight for her was a visit from Ida – the second youngest of 10 children raised there. She was 97 at the time. If you are interested in history, check out this summary –
The Painted Fish includes a cottage, studio and railway carriage. The renovation of the property’s original 1897 tin cottage made it much easier to heat and cool, while maintaining its heritage charm. The solar passive iron and glass studio has proved especially popular, with many guests copying the design. And the railway cottage provides people with a good example of what can be done in a very small space. All three dwellings are on a 495 square metre block, demonstrating that high density housing does not have to be high rise.
We ran short term accommodation at The Painted fish for seven years, and believe that part of the “feel” of the place was because of the incredible guests we had stay with us. They encouraged us and reinforced our belief in what we were doing.
While the Painted Fish has now been sold, you can still have a virtual stroll through the place by looking at the series of documents below. These pages have been put together from various information sheets we used when we had a house tour or open home.