Homeowners are keying into a new trend: secret doors
Concealed doorways are popping up and popping open all over the place
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.