Man Builds Secret Room In His Home To Escape Life’s Problems (And Occasionally His Wife)

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Sometimes a man just needs a place to escape — a place to leave the hustle and bustle of life behind and have a nice smoke. Now you might think that’s what a man cave is for. True, but if you’re a “refined gentleman”, a beer fridge, pool table and dartboard isn’t going to make the grade. A refined gentleman is a bit more sophisticated and requires a more tasteful setting. A place to recline and light up his favorite pipe and puff away while solving the world’s dilemmas.

Unfortunately, not every refined lady cares for the smell of her mate’s “thinking aroma”. What is a gentleman to do? Imgur’s BaconJacobs was faced with this challenge and decided to build himself a smoking lounge. It gets better though. He built himself a hidden smoking lounge that you can only enter if you know where the secret door is! (hint: bookshelf) It doesn’t get much more refined than this.

This bookcase was built from raw materials to fit a doorway that went to an old coal chute room.

Looks pretty convincing, and it should. It was leveled with a laser and carefully shimmed to fit like a glove.

I built this bookcase entirely from raw materials to fit the old door opening to the coal chute room.

Pop a hidden latch, and the glove comes off. What hides inside?

This is the bookcase opening itself after clicking the hidden latch.

This work of man-cave mastery! And it didn’t cost as much money as it might look like.

That expensive looking chair on the left is a cheap vinyl one that BaconJacobs says smells like it came from a salon.

This is the first view when you walk in (if someone went ahead to turn the lights on, of course.)

That’s a replica of the idol from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

An electric lamp that looks like an oil lamp from my dad's basement and my prized possession: a replica of the idol from Raiders of the Lost Ark.


This room has access to an old coal chute to place a fan for ventilation, and the electric fireplace can run unheated or heated on cold nights.

This is the view from the rear left corner, you can see the room is only about 5' x 12'. Not a lot to work with, so I went more minimal.Behind the blue piece of rigid insulation board is the original coal chute, that I can prop open and put a fan in the opening to ventilate the room.The electric fireplace can run just fake fire, or two levels of heat for space heating. It will be great in winter since it gets cold in a room with 6 sides of concrete under the front porch.

The wooden ship and metal boxes were found at estate sales for a low cost.

Here are some select items I decorated with. The wooden ship I got at an estate sale on half-off day for $17, the antlers I picked up on a hike 10 or 15 years ago and never had a use for until now. The miscellaneous metal boxes and bowls were all from one eclectic lady's estate sale, got all of them for $1 or $2 each.

The map on the right is a vintage map, and the one above the desk is an old plot map. The desk is an old desk from his father’s basement.

This is the view from the front right corner, past the fireplace.The small desk was from my dad's basement and is a perfect resting place for my tobacciana. The lamp was a $3 find from a garage sale, thanks Andy!The left map is a photocopy of my neighborhood's original plot designations, since the previous owner's father sold his potato farm to develop the land. The right map is a $5 vintage map off Amazon. Looks the part!

It is the storing place for his tobacciana.

My small collection of tobacciana.

That includes three pipes. The only one he bought is a Churchwarden from the Petersen store in Dublin.

My three wooden pipes, the only one I bought new was the Churchwarden from the Petersen store in Dublin as a souvenir.Not pictured: my Missouri Meerschaum that I keep in my field kit.

The dark wood is accented with a paint color known as “oxblood.”

Detail view of the 1/4" plywood and pine I used to make the trim more interesting, and look better since nothing is square in the entire house!You can see how I did the trim in a dark brown, the walls in Oxblood, and then used antiquing glaze to age it.The story in my head is that it's a secret room from the turn of the century (the 1900s one) and the help weren't allowed inside to clean, so it got dirty around the ceiling where the smoke accumulated.

A lounge just isn’t gentlemanly without a coat rack.

A cheapo metal/plastic coat rack I couldn't pass up.

Here’s a view of BaconJacobs basking in the glory of his creation. Sorry ladies. The leg shot is all you get.

The view from my chair. I was bursting with pride when I first sat down and it was all done.

He does give you a good shot of this, though. It’s a picture of an old college buddy. Yes, it’s a raccoon.

Apparently this missus isn’t too keen on the photo. What better place to hang it than the back of the secret door? Cheers to you furry buddy!

The back of the bookcase door.This raccoon print I got in college and the wife won't let me hang it anywhere else!I am probably going to paint this back spot the same color as the trim, it's too white right now.

Just in case he really needs his space, he installed a deadbolt and door latch modified with a steel cable running to it.

A close up of the deadbolt (panic room, amirite) and the door latch I modified to work with a steel cable running to the latch.

When he clicks the latch, this auto-closer does the job of opening the door. That sounds counter-intuitive, right? Well he rigged it up as an auto-opener instead.

This is a residential door auto-closer I got for $25 from Lowes. I rigged it to auto-open instead. So all I do is click the latch and then the door opens itself. Nothing on the door shifts and the auto-closer has two stages of adjustable speed.

What an awesome place to relax, light up and ponder away.

Thanks for looking!