Basement Bar Design Accessories: Hidden Lairs

OK. I have written before that your Basement Bar need not be in your basement. But regardless of where you put it, if you want it to also be a sanctuary, a Man Cave, it needs to be a refuge. Part of being a sanctuary means isolation. And one way to achieve isolation is to provide secrecy, or the illusion thereof. Depending on your home and its layout, you may want to consider the ultimate in privacy and isolation: A Secret Door!
Dude in Door
Via Gizmodo, and LifeHacker, we get this unnamed guy whose office was too messy for his girlfriend. With a few IKEA bookshelves and some ingenuity, he gave her a cleaned up mess and lots of new storage. In return, he turned his office into a Mantuary that he can keep as messy as he likes!

Here’s a tip, guys:
Less mess and more storage will usually result in permission for (most) anything you want!

As I was getting ready to say, this guy is pretty genius.

Hmmm….
Excuse me.

Where’d he go?

Greetings.
I understand you are discussing secret entrances, and their use in entering bat… mancaves.
I may have questions as you proceed.

Um, yeah.
No precise instructions for this bookcase system are given, but if you check out the flickr feed, you can see essentially how it is done. If you have the physical skills to do this, you can deduce the materials and method easily. Essentially, the swinging door unit is set on a platform with casters and rolls open or closed. I would probably suggest using a piano hinge instead of the cabinet hinges this guy does. Also a spring-loaded latch, attached by wire to a book on the shelf, would be a good addition.

Tell me,
how well is the entrance concealed?

Superficially, quite well. See the picture below, and click on it for an animated view of it opening and closing. Unfortunately, it evidently leaks light like a sieve, so as I said, this method is more about the feeling of secrecy than the reality.
Opening and Closing
Nonetheless, imagine this door opening into your bar, rather than your messy office. Your mantuary is now a genuine speakeasy!
There are lots of ways to use bookcases to conceal an entrance. IKEA Hacker has a sliding version. What would work for you would depend on the space you want to use.

I see.
But I am concerned about durability, too.
How would such a portal hold up if I need to burst through it swiftly every night, er, cocktail hour?

Huh? When I want to go to the bar for a drink, I don’t go slow. But burst? Anyway, I do have my doubts about durability. You would need to be careful with your set up, both in how you open and close it, and in what you put on the shelves. Note for instance that this guy has placed his bar inventory on a non-moving shelf!
Also, in an application like this, you might want to consider a speakeasy door in the bookcase. (Just don’t stick on a sign that says, No Girls Allowed) Or if you want to keep the illusion of a secret door, how about a peephole?
The point of a secret door for most people would be for fun. It is about how you feel, not actual security or stealth.

But suppose I really do need stealth.
My secret iden… privacy is important to me.

Then I would suggest a professionally made and installed secret door.
There are a number of manufacturers out there who make quality hidden door bookcases. Below, you can see an installation build by a company called Hide A Door, whose doors start at $800.
HideADoor
But the most fun you can have with secret doors would seem to come from a company called Hidden Passageway. Trust me, you want to follow that link. It’s fun.
Not only do they make bookcase hidden doors, they go several steps further.
How about entering your speakeasy via a floor length mirror? Or storing your bottles of Napoleon Brandy behind a painting, say, of Napolean?
HP-Pictures
But it gets better. How’d you like a secret door in your fireplace?
HP-Fireplace
I’d probably avoid this kind of entrance for your Basement Bar, as the drunken head injuries might not be worth it….
Of course, since my design series is primarily centered on Basement Bars, I’d be remiss if I did not show this next idea of theirs. Use this staircase as the entrance ot your Basement Bar/Mantuary/Speakeasy, and you will be a legend in your own time….
HP-Stair

These options interest me.
But what if an arch-ene… freeloading group of friends drops by?
How do I keep them out? Drunks are very good at finding the way to the bar.

HP-BiometricHidden Passageways apparently offers biometric locks for your secret door, with fingerprint and even retinal scanners! How you are going to have a secret door with a big ol’ palm plate next to it, I don’t know. To be fair, they also do safes, and even panic rooms, so those options make more sense.
If you do visit Hidden Passageways, be sure to visit the videos section and view video number 1. It’s an all-flash website, so I can’t give you a direct link. Sorry.

At last, the solution to my needs!
I much contact these people.

I will say this: There are no prices on their website. With solid wood, and steel reinforced construction, I suspect their product may be a case of If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.

I see.
Fortunately, I don’t have to ask!

You don’t have to ask?!?!
I beg to differ!

Oh, all right, dear!
Um, would you like a Pegu?

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About the author

Doug

I am 48 years old, married with two young daughters. My interests are tennis, reading, computers, politics, and of course cocktails. I run a murder mystery party business that caters to both corporate and private events, Killing Time, murder consultants.

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