The 'Secret' to Buyer Desire

January 11, 2019
Secret door in room paneling
Photo: Unsplash/Crew

Custom home builders and industry professionals are reporting that more of their clients want secret rooms incorporated into their home's design.

Based in Gilbert, Ariz., Steve Humble specializes in installing hidden doors and secret rooms and passages, and tells The Denver Post that the root of the appeal of clandestine space inside a home is changing. “Ten years ago, 70 percent of our customers wanted hidden rooms for fun," and fewer clients wanted them for securing valuables. Over the year, he says, that desire has reversed in popularity. “What people want is security and invisibility,” Humble said.  “Hidden rooms protect your valuables and they’re fun. They make people feel like James Bond." Humble says that the cost for a hidden room starts at about $10,000; his company is currently developing DIY kits at a more affordable price point.

The woman stepped out from the shower in her Denver home — built between 1930 and 1933 — and started to slip on the wet tile. She grabbed a towel rack for support but instead got a surprise: The rack swiveled down and clicked, activating a segment of the wall. It swung open and revealed a small, dark room. Inside was a bar, fully stocked, dusty. She surmised that it was likely untouched since Prohibition. The woman — not named for obvious reasons — lives near the Denver Country Club in an iconic mansion. She had discovered by accident what more people are designing by intent.

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