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Archive for George W. Bush

For The At-Home Escape Artist: James Bond-esque Secret Rooms via [SpotCoolStuff, Gizmodo]


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Modern Secret Room Dreams (and Nightmares): From
Creative Hideouts to Dreadful Spaces

Secret Doors

Hidden passages have a long history of appearing in fictional novels
and films but an even richer past in
dating back to Egyptian tombs passages for Christians to
worship in hiding from Romans. Over the years hidden passages have been
used to arrest kings and evacuate popes, hide shogun warriors,
facilitate guerrilla fighters, enable drug smugglers and conceal serial
killers. In recent times, however, many more modest individuals have
created (or discovered) secret passages in ordinary everyday households
and there are even companies dedicated to designing <a onmouseover=”self.status=’http://weburbanist.com/secretrooms&#8217;;return
true;” onmouseout=”self.status=”” href=”http://weburbanist.com/secretrooms&#8221; mce_href=”http://weburbanist.com/secretrooms”>secret doors, rooms
and passages in middle-class houses. In some cases the discovery of a
secret room is a wonderful find but it can also be a twisted nightmare.

With so many secret rooms built into houses is it any wonder that
some people are surprised
to discover that their very own house has one
they were entirely
unaware of? One couple in an ordinary and unspectacular A-frame house
found out they had their very own secret room after a year of living in
the structure. The room itself: a space as large as their main bedroom
and complete with somewhat creepy accessories including a sleeping bag,
electrical outlet and even unopened beer cans.

While for one couple the discovering of a <a onmouseover=”self.status=’http://weburbanist.com/secretrooms&#8217;;return
true;” onmouseout=”self.status=”” href=”http://weburbanist.com/secretrooms&#8221; mce_href=”http://weburbanist.com/secretrooms”>secret room was
exciting and resulted in additional usable space for another family a
similar find was the beginning of a nightmarish tragedy. In their secret
room they found a
mysterious note
from a previous owner of the house who claimed that
the structure was riddled with harmful mold
that had made his children very sick. As it turned out, the note was
right: an inspection revealed high levels of various dangerous molds
and the new owners were able to sue and settled for having the house
repurchased at the price they paid. And the previous owner? Apparently
he was worried about someone with a vested interest in selling the
house finding the note and therefore hid it.

Hidden Room

Hidden rooms today usually serve one of two purposes: security or
fun. Sometimes a hidden door is used to disguise a safe or a ‘panic
room’ where residents can hide in an emergency. The room showed above,
however, is one couples’ unusually creative gift
to their very excited teenage daughter
. This room works as an
office and play-space and goes entirely unnoticed by clueless visitors
(or even building inspectors). A remote control amazingly lifts an
entire staircase out of the way revealing the hidden passage.

Secret Passages

There are a number of design and construction companies that have
grown up with the public’s recently renewed fascination with secret
doors, rooms and passageways. Creative Home Engineering
has a number of stock products and also creates custom hidden door and
room designs. Their ready-made products include classics like the
fireplace that opens when you twist a candlestick and a bookcase
that opens when you tilt a book. The Hidden
company and others have dozens of simpler and less expensive
stock items to choose from as well – from cabinets
to pool racks and wine shelves masking hidden doors.

Until recently we thought that installing a hidden door in real life
would require a hiring a general
who would surely shoot us a suspicious look when we
explained what we wanted. In fact, there are over a dozen companies with
the specialty of installing stealth entrance ways. Some stock
pre-built hidden doors.

And you needn’t have a spooky mansion, eccentric tastes or a now-it-puts-the-lotion-in-the-basket creepiness
to you to have a secret door either. There are several reasons why you
may want to consider having a hidden door in your house.

Primary among those reasons: space efficiency. A normal door occupies
wall area that could otherwise be used for, say, a bookshelf. Do you
have a room or storage area you don’t need frequent access to? Hide the
entrance to it behind a fireplace, staircase, mirror, wall panel or
even a painting.

Some people have hidden doors for security reasons. To conceal a
vault, for example. Or to hide a panic room made popular by the 2002 Jodie Foster flick.

Mostly, though, we think there’s something about a hidden door that’s
magical—and exceptionally cool. (Check out the photos, below).

Companies that specialize in hidden doors include:

Creative Home
— Spot Cool Stuff’s favorite hidden door company. They
have the most creative designs and build all types of hidden entryways
included armored doors and doors with biometric access control.

The Hidden Door Company — specializes mostly in
bookcase hidden doors but will manufacture designs specific to your

Niche Doors
has high-quality pre-built hidden doors made of wood.

Hide A Door
offers some of the most inexpensively priced hidden doors. Their
website has a form where you can request a free quote.

Space San Diego
— deals with an array of space saving and optimizing furniture, not
only hidden doors but also Murphy
and stacking stools.

Want a secret room but aren’t sure you want to pay for one? Well,
there are do-it-yourself
for creating your own disguised doors to hidden spaces
though the process is somewhat complicated. There are of course a lot
of things that have to be considered with a secret door such as hiding
visible gaps with trim and giving the doors a comfortable swing
capacity. Also, load issues need to be considered if you have, for
example, a swinging bookshelf in mind. Remarkably, though, this can all
potentially be accomplished for just a few hundred dollars – a
relatively small price to pay for such a clever interior design feature.

  • Ultimate Hidden Staircase Ideal for Wannabe Bond Villains

    Giz is a big fan of the secret
    , but this sub-staircase version really is the mutt’s
    nuts. A cross between a drawbridge, a private jet and something that,
    to kids, is straight out of Indiana Jones and the Duplex of Suburbia,
    the concealed hidey-hole is just one of a series of designs from Creative
    Home Engineering
    , a firm that puts hidden doors just about
    everywhere you wouldn’t think of looking. Prices range from $5,000 to a
    cool quarter of a million. [Creative
    Home Engineering
    via BallerHouse]

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