Seriously, A Dark Room


Y’all. I used to own a house with a dark room and I totally forgot about it. How is that? A dark room as in where pictures were developed. It was creepy looking, painted black from floor to ceiling, and I think bodies could have been buried in there as well. Okay, I made up the last part but how in the world did I forget about this???


First, let me back up and bring you up to speed as to how I recalled this little nugget of information. A couple of weeks ago a sweet neighbor of mine contacted me wanting to know if I had ‘before’ pictures from a house she and her husband purchased from me many years ago. This was my very first house in Hampton Heights and the first full renovation I did meaning we somehow did everything on a tiny little budget. She said, and I quote, “No matter how I try, it’s hard to imagine what you started with!” For someone who renovates old houses, that’s pretty much the highest compliment you can give, or at least it is to me. My goal is to blend the old with the new and to create a more functional lay-out so if you can’t tell what was altered during the process, I consider that a slam dunk. So I said of course I could and I even offered to sketch out before and after lay-outs….because I am a nerd.


So that’s exactly what I did. I bought this house back in 2002 so had to dig deep to find actual pictures rather than quickly glancing through my photos on any of my Apple devices that stores pictures somewhere in outer space. But can I just say how much fun it turned out to be? And as I flipped through the pictures, there they were….pictures of the dark room that I had completely forgotten about. How is that even possible? Since this house was from before the ‘I know what I want to do when I grow up’ stage of my life, I didn’t have any floor plans filed away either. However, I was able to pull a sketch of the house from the county records and recall from memory with the help of the pictures to draft before and after floor plans. Now these aren’t perfect and certainly not drawn to scale with 100% accuracy but they should be pretty close.


As you scroll through the pictures below I do want to mention two things:

  • Apparently I didn’t take more than like four ‘after’ pictures of the entire house. I really don’t know what happened there. So while I usually try to wow you with before and after pictures, you’re pretty much just going to be looking at before and a few more from along the way.  Use your imagination and let the floor plans wow you instead….or just pretend to be impressed.

  • My style has changed. That is all.

The Tiny Total Transformation: 1260 sq. ft Before: 1 bedroom/1 bath | After: 2 bedroom/2 bath


When I purchased this home it had one large living room which ran the width of the house. You could tell from the floors and ceilings that a wall had been there at some point in time so I decided to use that as my guideline for creating a new wall to create a second bedroom.

I relocated the existing bathroom using the small closet, pass through, and part of the original bathroom space. In doing so, I was able to create a larger bathroom and a closet for the new bedroom.


Since the dark room was going to have to be a thing of the past, I decided to use it along with the laundry space to create a new master bathroom and walk-in closet.  In doing so, the original bedroom closet was closed up and used as a pantry for the new kitchen.  The laundry was also relocated into the back door hallway using part of the dark room.


The kitchen obviously had to be gutted to make room for custom built cabinets and we were able to pull up the linoleum and plywood to reveal the original hardwood floors underneath.  Here are a few pictures I was able to find and again, my apologies for very few true ‘after’ pictures.  Enjoy!


Living Room Before & During








Original Bathroom Relocated – Before & During



Dining Room: Before & During




Master Bedroom & Bathroom: Before, During & After



Kitchen & Laundry (and the Dark Room): Before, During & After









And a few of the Exterior:







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