It’s hard to imagine what sorts of things went on in this tiny dark corner of the cottage. It wreaked of urine, the floors (and walls) were termite infested and it had a sketchy-looking workbench.

As they say, “idle hands are the devil’s workshop” but I’m pretty certain the hands that built and used this workbench had nefarious intentions based on the surrounding clues. Most notably the darkness. Roaches love darkness.

The entire corner of the cottage was rotten.

Not only did the workbench have to go, but the entire corner of the house also had to be torn out.

Luckily, the damage from multiple sources stopped at the next wall.

It wasn’t until probably sometime in my 40s that I learned darkness is not real. Now, I don’t know how to write this in clear scientific terms but unlike light, darkness has no properties.

Darkness is simply the absence of light.

New concrete pylons and floor joists.

As humans, and again there’s science here I don’t understand, but we are creatures of light. I’ve heard it said our molecular makeup contains some of the exact same properties as stars. Also, I recently saw a video that captured the moment a human sperm fertilized an egg. There was a spark!

The subfloor is in. No walls. No kidding!

Why am I rambling on about things that have nothing to do with creating this new bedroom? I’m simply making the point that we are wired to love light. Nobody builds a home without windows unless you’re a doomsday prepper.

The joy that comes from living in a well-designed space I think is the attention and attempted mastery of light both natural and manmade. A space cannot be loved without light.

A new 8×12 cottage bedroom is defined.

Now, the Daybook Cottage isn’t a candidate for Architectural Digest but anytime you can reclaim a part of your house from the darkness you have succeeded. You have succeeded in solving the problem of there being an absence of light.

A beautiful sort of rough. New window, closet, and recessed lighting.

In the absence of light, people are repelled. No joy lives. No laughter rises up. No ideas spring forth. It is a dead part of the house and so would your life be living in it.

This situation looked dire and was a surprise as to the extent of the darkness. There was more darkness here than visual darkness but with a little courage and tenacity light prevailed.

We are thoughtfully proceeding and keeping light top of mind. Daybook Cottage will be a home brought alive by light, kept mysterious with controlled absences of light, and marrying the two in a memorable experience.

-John Dodson

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