Pro Snowboarder Turned A ‘Dungeon’ Into A Luxury Apartment: See The Before-And-After Photos

While many of us have heard the phrase “turning lemons into lemonade,” few have lived it out as fully as Jamie Barrow. When an injury brought his snowboarding career to a screeching halt, Jamie found a way to use his talents in other ways. He even landed a spot in Guinness World Records! When he isn’t traveling around the world and showing off his stunts, he’s renovating homes. See how this daredevil turned a crumbling, hazardous “dungeon” in Bath into a luxury apartment worth more than half a million dollars!

Meet Jamie

jamie-1
@jamiebarrow_gb/Instagram
@jamiebarrow_gb/Instagram

Jamie Barrow is a young adventurer who knows a thing or two about living large. He loves to travel, posting photos taken all over the world to his social media. He’s ventured throughout Switzerland, Spain, France, Austria, and more.

The athletic explorer can be seen hiking, swimming, and snowboarding through gorgeous landscapes. There was one challenge that Jamie had to stay in place for to complete: he decided to purchase a property that many wouldn’t dare to take on.

He’s In Guinness World Records

jamie-2
@jamiebarrow_gb/Instagram
@jamiebarrow_gb/Instagram

Jamie is such a daredevil that he landed a spot in Guinness World Records for being the fastest snowboarder! He pulled off the major accomplishment by holding onto a strap attached to a moving vehicle.

The car drove forward while Jamie skillfully held on, reaching 94.2 miles per hour on his snowboard. If that weren’t crazy enough, he has also been towed by an airplane and reached a speed of 78 mph!

An Injury Changed His Plans

jamie-3
@jamiebarrow_gb/Instagram
@jamiebarrow_gb/Instagram

According to Summit, Jamie experienced a significant injury back in January of 2013. This resulted in him being forced to drop out of the British Snowboard Cross team. Like many athletes, Jamie couldn’t imagine a life without snowboarding.

So, he turned his sights on performing tricks and landing a world record. His story is a prime example of turning lemons into lemonade, and he hasn’t looked back since. He is now a public speaker and a youth sports mentor.

His Story Was Featured In A Magazine

jamie-4
@jamiebarrow_gb/Instagram
@jamiebarrow_gb/Instagram

The lifestyle magazine The Red Bulletin featured Jamie in an eight-page spread about his journey. Jamie wrote in an Instagram caption that he was honored to appear in his favorite magazine.

It must be a surreal experience to see that, despite an injury setback, you made it into a magazine you frequently read for inspiration. Considering how much Jamie turned around his athletic life, you can only imagine what he did to a dungeon in Bath!

A Charming Apartment In Bath

jamie-5
17 Paragon
17 Paragon

Throughout all of his adventures, it was the town of Bath, England that stuck out to Jamie as a place to purchase some real estate. While renovating another home, he discovered this historic gem.

The Georgian-style building consists of multiple townhomes lined up next to one another. The estate used to be one property, but was eventually turned into multiple apartments. Jamie purchased one of the apartments as his next renovation project, despite the immense challenges.

The Crumbling Living Room

jamie-6
@jamiebarrow_gb/Instagram
@jamiebarrow_gb/Instagram

When Jamie walked into the apartment for the first time, this is what he saw: a room that was literally crumbling before his very eyes. There were cracks in the walls and in the ceiling, piles of debris, and a torn-up stone floor.

As the building takes back to 1768, it’s no wonder the apartment was about ready to crumble. A British architect by the name of Thomas Warr Attwood constructed the charming building, but it clearly needed some major updates.

A Complete 180

jamie-7
17 Paragon
17 Paragon

Once Jamie was done with the place, it was nearly unrecognizable. Elegant, tile floors maintain the original look of the home while drastically improving it. The walls and ceiling were replastered and painted white to brighten up the space.

Though the window and open door provide plenty of natural light, Jamie included recessed lighting to keep the room bright into the evening. He divided the space into a living area, dining room, and kitchen, offering functionality that previously didn’t exist.

Contemporary Meets Vintage

jamie-8
17 Paragon
17 Paragon

A closer look at the kitchen reveals one part of this room that Jamie was sure to keep intact: the original fireplace. He told Insider that renovating the home was a challenge not just because it was in poor shape, but because he was extremely limited in what he could do.

The home was listed as a Grade 1 historical property. That means that he couldn’t just go around knocking everything down and starting anew. Rather, Jamie had to restore what already existed.

Bright And Welcoming

jamie-9
17 Paragon
17 Paragon

Fortunately, Jamie has an architect friend who was able to help him come up with a classy design that maintained the home’s integrity. From the moment you walk through the front door, the house feels equal parts modern and vintage.

The gray color-scheme they selected for the furniture plays on the “dungeon’s” original stone while offering a contemporary style. The soft tones also let the unique fireplace pop as a focal point of the space.

A Frightful Sight

jamie-12
@jamiebarrow_gb/Instagram
@jamiebarrow_gb/Instagram

Though the downstairs area wasn’t technically a dungeon, it certainly looked like one before Jamie intervened. It took some persuading to get the property owners to agree to let the athlete purchase and restore the home.

Not only was it a challenging fixer-upper, but it was also a safety hazard. Obviously, caving steps and crumbling walls made the property unlivable. But on top of all that, it had also been deemed a fire risk. Every little detail had to be sorted out to redeem the home.

Elegant And Classy

jamie-13
17 Paragon
17 Paragon

The transformed stairwell is almost unrecognizable. What previously looked like a dungeon now is a beautiful dwelling. Jamie admitted that no one believed he could pull this off.

He had to negotiate every tiny detail, all the way down to “what the wood is made of and the shape of each little panel on the door.” The floor must have been unlevel before because construction workers had to add a step next to the staircase leading to the back room.

A Seemingly Useless Space

jamie-10
@jamiebarrow_gb/Instagram
@jamiebarrow_gb/Instagram

In the “dungeon,” past the staircase is this frightful-looking room. It looks like a place you’d find the villain in a horror film. To many, it would seem like this space was past the point of no return.

Jamie saw its potential and knew he could make it into something even the most skeptical would find cozy. Though the construction process took less than half a year, the planning was the biggest, and most time-consuming, part of the journey.

A Cozy And Private Room

jamie-11
17 Paragon
17 Paragon

Jamie managed to turn a seemingly pointless space into a quaint bedroom with plenty of historic charm. Though the room is underground, it feels airy and bright thanks to the white-painted stone walls and clever lighting.

The downstairs originally served as a basement, meaning that there was no electricity, plumbing, or gas. Everything had to be added while maintaining the home’s original design and build. Jamie also added wall molding and built-in cabinetry for comfort and functionality.

Dark, Dirty, And Dingy

jamie-17
@jamiebarrow_gb/Instagram
@jamiebarrow_gb/Instagram

On the other side of the basement room iwas this equally dark space that seemed to be in hopeless condition. The floors were so dirty they were growing black, and the walls were dark without windows. The room felt uncomfortably small and had no known function.

Jamie figured that the area was used as storage by the original occupants. Though he couldn’t restructure the room, he could transform its purpose. Few could have envisioned what Jamie would do with this space.

A Stunning Bathroom

jamie-18
17 Paragon
17 Paragon

It’s hard to believe that Jamie and his crew were able to transform the room we just saw into this magnificent bathroom. If it weren’t for the characteristic shelves on the far wall and the arched ceiling, we wouldn’t think this was in the same house.

The subtle pattern of the tile flooring gives a touch of modern character without overwhelming the space. The shower is designed so that doors aren’t necessary, leaving the room as open as possible.

A Messy Wall

jamie-14
@jamiebarrow_gb/Instagram
@jamiebarrow_gb/Instagram

Before the renovation, the only thing that stood out about this room was the patchwork paint on the far wall. As it turns out, the wall was actually hiding something on the other side.

Beyond the plastered wall were two fireplaces that Jamie decided to open up and transform into something gorgeous. As with the rest of the house, he proved that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but rather by its potential.

A Glorious Master Bedroom

jamie-15
17 Paragon
17 Paragon

There were two plastered-up fireplaces, which Jamie transformed into this unique wall design to the far right. The extra space enabled room for a dresser and desk, both of which are beautifully illuminated by hidden recessed lights.

To the left, two large windows fill the room with natural light. For the evenings, Jamie installed light sconces that add a touch of modern class to the plain walls. Instead of blinds or curtains, wooden shutters offer privacy or shade from the sun.

Natural And Fluorescent Light

jamie-16
17 Paragon
17 Paragon

From this angle, you can see how the light design amplifies the room’s soft yet sophisticated look. You can also see the detail of the stone floors, which weren’t easy for Jaime to source.

To replace the floors with authentic Bath stone, Jaime had to purchase it straight from the mine. From there, he had a stonemason cut it into flooring. The results were worth the trouble, as Jaime says its one of the details he’s most proud of.

The Outdoor Space Was Completely Overgrown

jamie-19
@jamiebarrow_gb/Instagram
@jamiebarrow_gb/Instagram

Considering how much work the interior of the apartment needed, it should come as no surprise that the exterior was also a big job. The property comes with a spacious yard that you don’t always find attached to a two bedroom, one bath.

The problem is that the land was completely overrun by unkempt vegetation. To solve this problem, Jaime had to put on his gardening hat and get to work taming the wild yard.

A Tidy And Spacious Yard

jamie-20
17 Paragon
17 Paragon

As with the rest of the house, the result of the transformed backyard is jaw-dropping. Who knew that beneath all of that wild growth was a quaint yard surrounded with charming stone walls?

Jaime cut back most of the plants, leaving some vines gracefully draped over the stone. He then filled in the yard with grass, perfect for dogs and children. After all the work he put in, the value of the home skyrocketed. He listed the property at $590,000 in January of 2020.