The secret-room-behind-a-bookcase trick always looked so cool in the movies, so it’s not surprising that pretty much any self-respecting ten-year-old kid wanted one in their house. But we all knew, deep down, that such a thing could never exist in real life… or could it? Well, for one guy at least, this fantasy has now become a reality, and you are going to be seriously jealous when you see it.
It all starts, of course, with a seemingly ordinary bookcase. Or, a “knick-knack case,” as there are no actual books on display here. But this is only because the creator, reddit and imgur user “BaconJacobs,” thought that books might’ve been too heavy for a swinging door.
And swing the door does. First, though, you have to find the hidden latch and click it open. Because what’s a secret doorway without a concealed latch?
The door swings inward to reveal a red leather chair pushed up against a wall with an antique map on it. And aven in this tiny glimpse of the room beyond, it’s clear that the space has rustic charm to spare.
It’s also not without its little eccentricities. This curious-looking raccoon, for instance, was purchased by BaconJacobs in college, and, as he wrote on imgur, his “wife won’t let [him] hang it anywhere else.”
Here, at last, is the “smoking lounge” hidden behind the door revealed in all of its glory. It may be small at just 12 feet long and 5 feet wide, but it’s perfectly formed. BaconJacobs wrote that the space was previously a “coal chute room.”
It’s the little details, though, that really take the room to the next level. The Raiders of the Lost Ark coin-bank idol, for example, might be a bit weird, but it fits the aesthetic of the place to a T.
A lot of the cool stuff, incidentally, was picked up pretty cheaply. Certainly, the wooden ship over the fire cost just $17, and BaconJacobs discovered the antlers on a walk over a decade earlier.
Plus, the smaller trinkets dotted around the room were bought from “one eclectic lady’s estate sale,” with BaconJacobs paying no more than a couple of bucks for each one. It seems that you don’t have to spend a ton of cash to create something truly spectacular.
The owner further pilfered some of the room’s main features from his own family. Indeed, the cool lamp and the neat little desk were both taken from his father’s basement.
Where the room really succeeds, then, is in bringing all of these seemingly mismatched pieces together into a cohesive whole. The red armchair, for instance, is not actually leather, but its beat-up vinyl somehow looks as if it was always meant for this calming space.
And the coat rack? It’s not a solid brass gem taken from a smoking lounge from the ’50s. It’s actually “a cheapo metal/plastic” combination that has been dolled up to look like the real deal.
Even the fireplace didn’t break the bank; it set BaconJacobs back just $100. And while it is only an electric fire, it will still make that room extra cozy come wintertime.
The single greatest feature, though, is probably the painting of the walls. BaconJacobs admitted on reddit that the paint job was “truly a pain,” but it was certainly worth it. The antique glaze that he has applied to the walls is especially spectacular.
Producing a secret room is not all about fun, though; it has to actually function too. To create the opening mechanism for his door, then, BaconJacobs altered an ordinary door latch “to work with a steel cable running to the latch.”
Then BaconJacobs modified a standard $25 auto-opener to work in reverse. “So all I do is click the latch and then the door opens itself,” he wrote.
The original character of the room hasn’t been forgotten, either. Indeed, the old coal chute can be wedged open so that a fan can be slipped inside to aerate the man cave.
But a vintage smoking room is only as good as its tobacco paraphernalia, and this one does not disappoint. There are several ashtrays, of course, and BaconJacobs has also added three wooden pipes, just one of which is actually new.
In fact, the only thing about this vintage-inspired room that doesn’t fit with the 1950s feel is the fact that it has Wi-Fi. BaconJacobs did write, however, that he tries “to unplug when [he goes] in there.”
Naturally, BaconJacobs was pretty happy with the final result, which came to a total cost of just $600. “I was bursting with pride when I first sat down and it was all done,” he wrote. And who wouldn’t be? We want one too.