Before and After

Before & After: A Secret Door in A Dining Room

I’m a big fan of secret doors and hidden passageways. I love the idea that all is not what it seems and the possibility of a magical unknown tucked away somewhere intrigues me. When I walked into the space below I didn’t automatically think “I must put a hidden door here” – but those magic word started ringing in my head very soon after.

BEFORE: Behold white carpeting, golden oak, siding on a 45 and a Colonial Brass fixture on a swag!

The oak door in the photo above goes down a few stairs to a small room, approximately 10’x10′, with built-in cabinets, a TV and room for a sofa and coffee table. It’s a little den and the clients, who had just moved in, were using it as a fun sleepover space for their boys. We clearly needed to keep this room and keep access to it, but it opens up to one big open space with a dining area, living area and kitchen.

DURING: Here’s a great view with everything ripped out. I love projects at this point. That’s Moe standing behind the ladder.

The client wanted some built-in storage in the dining area and it felt right to put it on the wall with the two doors. The glass door on the right goes out to their barbecue grill, the stairs to the left go up to their front door. When you’re faced with a wall like this, what else do you do but design a hidden door bookcase?!!

DURING: The home is still in disarray, but you can kind of see it coming together! Aspen tongue and groove is on the ceiling.

That’s Evan, with West Elevations, tackling the install for the bookcase door. We used a floor pivot hinge and in order to figure out where to place it on the floor, Evan was doing trigonometry when I took this photo. Who says you don’t use your high school math!? I remember walking around that day and seeing him off to the side, pencil in hand with a far away “Don’t talk to me, I’m doing math” look on his face.

DURING: The door is up and in use!

It was a little more difficult to figure out this door and shelving unit because of the stairs from the floor above that come in at an angle right above the door. I complicated things further because I wanted to put library lights above each unit.

DURING: The library lights are up! The client is moving things in and we’re trying to finish up and get out of there.

There’s always a part of the project where the balance tips back to the client and they start moving their things back in, marking their territory, attempting to fix meals while we traipse through fixing things and tinkering. When I took the above photo the balance had been tipped – you can see things on the shelves, a table ready for meals and an appliance installed.

AFTER: The door is whisper quiet and smooth to open. (Styled by Kristy Oatman and Photographed by Jordan Katz for Laura Medicus Interiors)

The flooring and cabinetry are white oak. I clad the home’s big beams in white oak as well and used Aspen tongue and groove on the ceiling which is such a pretty, pale wood. The cabinetry is from Sander & Sons, a local cabinet company who sell a variety of custom and semi-custom cabinet lines.

AFTER: A tight shot of the dining room area. (Styled by Kristy Oatman and Photographed by Jordan Katz for Laura Medicus Interiors)

This home was a really fun project. The house is nestled on the side of hill in gorgeous Morrison, Colorado home of Red Rocks Ampitheatre. I’ll post more photos and stories from the home in the weeks to come!


2 thoughts on “Before & After: A Secret Door in A Dining Room”

  1. Enjoyed the secret room, what a great idea and complete finishing of that difficult project! CONGRATS to you and your talented craftsman !

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