In between the walls of the wood-panelled front room and the master bedroom there is quite a large space which is mostly unused. This is where the secret cabinet is housed (pictured below), but above and below it inside the wall there are huge spaces which were completely unused:
This is really apparent when you look from behind in the master bedroom (to the left of the fireplace) in the photo below which shows pre and post lath and plaster removal:
We didn’t want to get rid of the secret cabinet of course, but we also thought that all that dead space shouldn’t go unused. We decided that if we reduced the secret cabinet depth significantly to about 8″ we could just use it as a liquor cabinet, and that would allow us to add a full closet to the master bedroom side. That way we’d still have the novelty of the secret cabinet, but also the functionality of having an actual closet (there are none in the house!). The first step was to carefully remove the inside of the secret cabinet (T&G 3.25″ cedar planks). Papa Pope performed this like a pro. Then we took out the studs on the master bedroom side and starting framing in a new wall about 6″ further forward than where the original wall sat (below right).
With 11′ ceilings we decided to build the new closet in two sections (photos below), with a standard size 8′ lower closet and a 3′ upper closet. We extended the closet all the way to the fireplace to the right in order to maximize space, and we ended up getting a pretty darned good size storage space.
For the main closet door we’ll use one of the original doors from the house, and I’ll custom build the upper doors.