Sara Nainzadeh always wanted a secret room. When renovating an apartment she purchased in 2009, she realised she had enough space to build one.
“When I got this apartment, I knew I could utilise two of the three bedrooms,” Nainzadeh, who works in finance, told INSIDER. “And I thought I wanted the third space to be an office space.”
The third bedroom did, in the end, become an office space. And a lounge to hang out with her friends. You just have to get there by pulling a book off a shelf. With the help of the company Creative Home Engineering, Nainzadeh got herself her secret room.
Take a look inside:
Creative Home Engineering offers different kinds of hidden doors. They hide rooms behind staircases and fireplaces. Nainzadeh wanted a bookshelf.
They built it in their own workshop in Arizona. It's custom made to fit her apartment, and was installed by their own team.
'I want to say about 99% of the people I told that I was doing this thought I was insane,' Nainzadeh said. 'I was like, 'I don't care. I'm doing to do it.''
And it's for hanging out. There's a couch, and one wall is covered in the wallpaper she grew up with.
When the living room door is closed, it looks like just another wooden panel in the wall. Nainzadeh can't get back in that way -- she has to go back to the bookshelf in her bedroom.
'I thought it was ironic,' Nainzadeh said. 'A light in the attic. It's like a secret room. You can't really see that there's a secret light behind it, or a room there.'
'Sometimes I ask people to pick or guess,' Nainzadeh said. 'They don't realise it's Shel Silverstein. They think it's a Stephen King book.'
Living with a secret door poses unique problems. Only Creative Home Engineering can do repairs. But they're very responsive.
'When my housekeeper comes, sometimes I'll leave one of the doors open so she knows how to get in there,' Nainzadeh said.
Because it's made of wood, the door expands and contracts depending on the temperature. It can get stuck.
To fix that, she can take some books off. There's also a clever bolt hidden underneath the bookcase. Wrenching it pulls the door closer or farther from its hinge, which can make it unstuck.
Nainzadeh loves showing the room off to her friends. 'There's a joke now that it's not a secret room,' she said. 'Everyone knows about it. Cat's out of the bag.'
Because of her apartment's shape, Nainzadeh's visitors don't always realise there's a secret room just beyond the closet.
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