10/10/06 09:29 PM: Hidden rooms
When the day comes, after I’ve made a few millions with some slick Web 2.0 start-up, I’m going to build secret rooms in my house.
Now I don’t mean a secret room ala Panic Room with Jodie Foster. More of an obscured room, with a slick secret passageway, like in the old movies. Maybe you pull a book out of a bookcase, revealing a hidden study. A secret passageway revealed by a spinning fireplace, that sort of thing.
Anyway, I thought I was the only one who thought that would be a neat idea. Then I read this article in the New York Times.
ON a recent Saturday morning Cami Beghou, 13, pushed the right side of the tall, white bookcase that is built into one of the powder-pink walls in her bedroom. The bookcase, holding rows of books, a stuffed dachshund and a volleyball, silently swung outward, revealing a tiny, well-lighted room. Containing a desk, a chair and a laptop computer, it serves as her study area.
Cami, an eighth grader, considers the hidden room the best thing about her family’s five-month-old French colonial-style house in this Chicago suburb. “When I heard that I could have a secret room, it sounded like so much fun,” she said, noting that the room initially conjured images of secret passages from Scooby-Doo cartoons. “My parents told me, ‘You could just put curtains over the doorway,’ but that wasn’t nearly as cool.”
Since March, when the Beghous moved into the house, Cami estimates that she has had about 30 friends over. Not one was able to detect the bookcase’s secret without guidance. “Most people don’t even recognize that it’s there,” said her father, Eric Beghou, who owns a consulting company with his wife, Beth. “When the home inspector came by to examine the house, our builder shut the bookcase, hiding the room. The inspector went up and down the stairs a couple times — he knew that something was unusual — but he couldn’t figure out what was there.”
Pretty slick indeed. I’m not sure what the point of obscuring it from the building inspector is, though. Unless you’re really paranoid.