before and after

Before & After: A Jaw-Dropping Pool To Studio Transformation

by Maxwell Tielman

In can sometimes take a lot of imagination to know the true potential of a home you’re about to buy. A home with excellent bones, no matter how beautiful the original architecture, might scare off potential buyers because of anything from a bad former renovation or a strange wall somewhere. Oftentimes, it takes a good amount of vision (and a big amount of willpower) to take that stumper of a space and turn it into something hospitable. I, for one, don’t know what could have been going through artist Megan Auman’s head when she came across this indoor pool room in what was soon-to-be her farmhouse home. In horrible need of repair, this quite literal hole in the floor might have been a giant roadblock to many a homeowner. Not Megan Auman, though! Megan and her husband set to work on this space before any of the others in the house—to transform this skylight-filled pool room into a stunning and inspiring studio space. By creating a wooden structure inside of the pool to act as a subfloor (photos below), Megan and her husband were able to “fill in” the rusty old swimming pool and cover the area with a sparkling new floor. Throw in some storage and a few great big tables and you’ve got the perfect space for creating art! Check out more photos of this crazy transformation after the jump! —Max

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  • I’m surprised there’s only one other commenter with what popped into my head as well (as the member of an architecture and construction family) – pools are not meant as architectural supports. Plus, all that rust and rot are not going away, they’ll get worse in time. For those reasons, the wood supports are eventually going to fail, likely catastrophically since there’s no way to tell what’s going on until the catastrophe happens.

    I’m just hoping I’m overthinking and that you guys consulted a professional architect or someone with strong professional (not DIY) experience in construction for structural advice?

  • Ditto what Anna said. If the pool was truly trashed, I’d remove it, fill the hole and put some foundation supports in. If the pool was surrounded by concrete walls, I’d still be skeptical as the water from the non-maintained pool could degrade any reinforcing.

    I’m OK with repurposing the room – the finished product is WAY gorgeous. That floor is a truly great pick!

  • wow, I wish I had an indoor pool. This is a pretty room, but I would never cover up a chance at making that pool shine again, even if it took a year or more to get there.

  • It’s so hot here in Gatineau, Quebec. Feels like 40˚ C (104˚F). The AC is cranked and it’s still saying 30˚C (86˚F) on my thermostat. Seeing this pool getting covered felt scandalous at first. All I could say out loud was Why? WHY!?? Then I remembered all the phone conversations I had with my mother who has an in ground pool. To all the ones who comment with pool envy (including myself) you obviously don’t own one. The work, maintenance, time invested and $$$ dominates your summer plus a great deal of time before and after (so imagine indoor) it’s too often noisy and the dampness would not make this a great working space. I’m not saying that having a pool is annoying but what is involved to keep it pleasant is. You need an enthusiastic person for the maintenance (or a good budget to hire a pro on a regular bases). A lot of pool time is spent not swimming.

    I suffer from not having my own place to paint and to create without worrying about the mess it makes in my home. Worrying about the mess interrupts the creative flow so I totally get this. Awesome space for the artist no matter how sad it is to see the pool hidden. I’m envious! :) Now I’m off to our back deck to dip my lower body in our cheap plastic, no maintenance kiddy pool! ;)

  • A radical and drastic change! The artistic touch given by the designer in remodeling this room has worked amazingly and we are just blown away by this new look.

  • How amazing would a glass floor have been? Keep the pool but gain the floor space. Possibly a structural nightmare but that would be the ideal for me if I didn’t want or couldn’t fix the pool. Extra amazing with painted concrete or fantastic mosaics on the pool wall & floors.
    I think this is a great lifestyle type transformation as they’ve gained loads of floor space. But agree that the room itself is a bit blah. Without the before, I wouldn’t be awed. Nice art though. :)

  • Wow, lots of pro-pool comments! As an artist, I don’t think having a studio next to a pool would be very settling to me. I mean, yeah- water is great and there is a certain level of serenity that comes along with it, but having that much water around my art would be nerve wracking for me! Not to mention the maintenance and expense that goes into a pool over time. Caring for a pool or a hot tub or anything in that realm is a lot of work! I know this one would have been indoors, but still. I think the novelty would wear off rather quickly. So, back to the studio…It’s a great space and it feels very calming! I love the use of all the wood! I’m in the midst of a studio overhaul and this makes me want the finished product to be here even more than I already do! Nice work, it looks fantastic.

  • This is the beauty of having a space and being able to design for the life that works for you. It’s a beautiful space, very inspiring.

  • I think even if the pool was unsalable it would have been extra unique to somehow incorporate it into the design. Built in seating or storage like suggested above would have taken this space to the next level. The space is lovely, but in the end it could be anywhere and is not as remeberable.

  • If what these people needed was studio space for art, this makes perfect sense. It looks very useful and bright, and they might have been able to spend a small sum of money to accomplish what we see here. For those of us who love to swim, it might have been quite costly to buy this space and renovate it to enjoy the pool.

  • I would have liked to see them revamp the pool area into something cool with innovated use of space instead of just filling it in. To each their own.

  • I find it hard to believe that an artist wouldn’t like a funky little pool-studio done up right. Of all people I thought an artist would be into that. lol

  • I expected a much more creative transformation of this space. Yes, the pool would have taken a lot of work to restore and use as a pool, using it as an indoor garden space, a main painting “stage”, a lounge, or as a canvas itself would have made for a far more creative and inspiring space. It could have been framed in a way where the space below at least becomes usable for a supply closet, or even a dark room if you’re also into photography.

  • I think this is fabulous! For the pool lamenters, it *is* still there… and I’m with those who feel uncomfortable with the gaping money pit. I love this… the floor looks like a Pergo type? Thank you for sharing! :)

  • It looks great. A pool actually decreases the houses value in most parts of the country….

    I covered mine up too :)

    And, for the person who said to fill it w concrete – that could cause it to sink or rise! Only a structural engineer should make that decision.

    • Noticed your message in an old add? We have a pool that need to cover and o/h wants to fill with cement – don’t you think that’s a good idea? Sinking hadn’t occurred to me but that makes complete sense. What did you do with yours?

  • Nooo!!!! You never fill in a pool! The room is gorgeous, don’t get me wrong. But that pool would have been so badass.

  • Would cover it in a minute!! An indoor pool is crazy, that much water and condensation is hard on a house, a studio however?? fantastic!! :) and that one is perfect! Now just add the card catalog from another makeover for perfect organization..

  • I have an indoor pool exactly like this and want to create a living room space. Please email me with contact information for a contractor or any helpful information. It’s been sitting like this for seven years. I have been searching frantically on the Internet for any kind of help with no success. Yours is the first one I’ve come across. My email address is KSUNDBY 1@hotmail.com.

  • I am currently in a similar situation. I have an indoor, in ground swimming pool I am looking to convert into an alternative living space. How is your structure holding up. Our pool has been empty for a couple of years but the building is beautiful, so I am looking forward to making the space useable again. I would love more information on the transformation process. We will be hiring contractors to do the work but I am interested in your process.


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