Before and After: This 8-Foot-Wide Space Feels Twice as Big, with No Walls Moved

published May 13, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Before: Long, narrow room with a black wall on one side and white on the other
Credit: Annie Heath

Some small spaces pose particular challenge. In Annie Heath’s home, the problem spot was this long, narrow room—only 8 feet wide but 30 feet long, and painted black on one side and white on the other. “It felt like a haunted house hallway,” Annie says. Plus, other design quirks left her scratching her head (when it wasn’t spinning): “The ceiling was painted at a diagonal, black on one side, white on the other. That design was mirrored on the carpet. The whole space seemed dark, cramped, and nearly gave me vertigo!”

Credit: Annie Heath

Annie wanted to use the space for floral work, and knew that the current state wasn’t going to cut it. “I knew right away the carpet was just too high maintenance for all my clippings, and after a few weeks with the dark, black wall, I thought I was going to lose my mind,” she says. Her mission? Make the space feel brighter, bigger, and more functional.

Credit: Tory Putnam

Annie and her husband did almost the entire renovation on their own, working over nights and weekends. She estimates it took 100 hours total, and cost just over $5,000. First, they painted the walls all white—an instant space-maker! Then, they ripped up the old carpet, installing vinyl planks instead. “I highly suggest vinyl planking for any kind of craft or studio area,” Annie says. “It’s so durable, easy to clean, and simple to install… once you get the hang of it.”

Of course, as with most projects, this one came with a surprise: “After completing the vinyl plank floor, I tried to open the door and realized it could only open halfway because the entire floor was built on a slant,” Annie says. “I ended up removing the door from its hinges and cut off a full inch from the bottom with my jig saw.” Problem solving in action!

Credit: Tory Putnam

After that was done, Annie and her husband added in standing tables on one side, plus cabinets from IKEA. Annie brought in a close friend who also happens to be a local artist in to do the Mission Loft custom macrame lighting installation—a serious showstopper. Now the space is functional—with tons of work space and storage—as well as beautiful.

“I love this space now,” Annie says. “I spend so much time here and find it extremely cozy, comfortable, and functional. This was definitely the biggest DIY I’ve ever taken on, and I think I could do the whole thing faster and cheaper with what I learned through the process.”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.