Home­own­ers are key­ing into a new trend: se­cret doors

Con­cealed door­ways are pop­ping up and pop­ping open all over the place

StarMetro Halifax - - DAILY LIFE - Roy Furch­gott WASH­ING­TON POST

WASH­ING­TON, D.c.—this city and se­crets go to­gether hand in glove. Or maybe it’s more like cloak and dag­ger. And now the D.C. area is help­ing en­er­gize the na­tion’s grow­ing de­mand for se­cret pan­els, book­cases, mir­rors and art­work that swing open to re­veal an­other room.

For res­i­dent Ni­cole Buell, her 540-square-foot condo had doors to the only bath­room in her bed­room and the liv­ing area. Since the liv­ing area door left too lit­tle room for pic­tures or book­cases, walling over the door was an op­tion. “But,” she said, “I didn’t want guests to have to go through the bed­room to get to the bath­room.”

The so­lu­tion be­gan with door hinges bought from Se­cret Door­ways, in Ohio. With Ni­cole Buell and her fa­ther built a se­cret door to her bath­room that pro­vides stor­age and dis­play space in her liv­ing room. She’s part of a ris­ing num­ber of home­own­ers who are adding hid­den pas­sage­ways to their homes.

her fa­ther’s help, she built shelves and mounted them on the hinges for a novel door to the loo. “It’s fun to sur­prise my guests when they visit,” she said.

Now se­cret doors are go­ing main­stream. “It has be­come more of a trend than we ex­pected,” said Jeff Watchko, the in­te­rior door buyer for Home De­pot.

Three years ago, Home De­pot be­gan to of­fer on­line, pre­hung bookcase-doors from Mur­phy Door in Og­den, Utah. “The over­all draw to the site was more than we ex­pected,”

Watchko said. “It’s very pop­u­lar on the East Coast and any­where there is a large metropoli­tan area.”

Mur­phy doors can come pre-hung and mounted in a WWW.THES­TAR.COM frame in stan­dard door sizes. Watchko said the pop­u­lar­ity of the se­cret doors — which range from $850 to $1750 (U.S.) ($1,115 to $2,295 Cana­dian) — has prompted Home De­pot to go be­yond their web of­fer­ing and in­tro­duce dis­plays.

Leigha Basini of Lor­ton, Va., bought a kit for her con­trac­tor to build. Kit doors save $200 on assem­bly and $125 on ship­ping, said Jeremy Barker, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Mur­phy Door.

“We were re­do­ing our mas­ter bath­room and closet, and I don’t know where I saw hid­den doors, but I was a big mys­tery reader as a child, and when I saw we could have a hid­den door, I wanted one,” Basini said.

Basini’s con­trac­tor as­sem­bled and in­stalled the door, with bath­room shelves open­ing to a walk-in closet. “It brought me back to my child­hood, want­ing a se­cret room, and I loved it,” she said.

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