2-way murphy door? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-10-2020, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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2-way murphy door?

I love secret doors, I put a murphy door in my last house. I'm about to close on a new house and have been wondering where I could put a secret door. The upstairs (cape cod style) has 3 rooms. One of the bedrooms has two ways into it, either through another bedroom or by using the secondary spiral staircase. At first I thought I'd just block off the door between the rooms then realized it could be difficult to move furniture up the spiral staircase. So I've decided to leave the door but hide it. Only thing is, the murphy doors I'm familiar with building really only look finished from one side and I'd like it to be hidden from both rooms.

So I'm looking for ideas. All I've come up with is creating two separate bookcases that each swing out into their respective rooms. And given that the back room has a higher floor, it might be the only solution. The rooms aren't very large either. Anyone have any creative thoughts?
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-10-2020, 04:14 PM
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Just keep in mind that people need to be able to exit quickly and safely in case of emergency. I'm sure there are building codes that might affect your decisions also.
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-10-2020, 06:59 PM
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Have you considered a revolving double bookcase (back-to-back) with a central axle post like the one in Young Frankenstein?

(It would require you to enlarge the opening. There would be safety issues - like clobbering someone on the other side. It would probably never get inspector approval under local codes, either.)

"Put de kendle beck!"
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-11-2020, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Building code wouldn't be an issue because each room would have its own staircase, neither relies on accessing the other to get down stairs. It'd be no different than just removing the door altogether. I'm only interested in leaving for the purpose of moving larger furniture. A mattress up the spiral staircase would not be fun.


I like center swivel idea, but with the size of the bedrooms, I wouldn't want to expand the doorway any wider.

I got another idea to place an amoire on either side with a false back in them. It'd be fun idea for kids, though maybe less practical.
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-16-2020, 05:15 AM
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I don't understand why it could only have a finished look on one side. What's preventing it from looking finished on both sides? Or do you mean that it is not disguised on the back side due to not having shelves, like on the front side? If that's what you mean, then I can see the problem, as it's in the middle of a plain wall, right? So even dressed up, it's still going to look like a door? Do you have a picture of the wall on the back side? Or is the wall you refer to in one of the pictures above? If I could see the space, it would help.
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-17-2020, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Or do you mean that it is not disguised on the back side due to not having shelves, like on the front side? If that's what you mean, then I can see the problem, as it's in the middle of a plain wall, right? So even dressed up, it's still going to look like a door?
Basically, yea. That's why I'm think I'd need two separate bookcases, each swinging into their respective rooms. I'm not dead set on shelves either, I just saw an opportunity for a neat project to do something different. Maybe I'll just think of a creative looking door, like make it look like a vault or something. I dunno.

The above photo is one of the rooms, the one behind it looks pretty much the same except the floor is raise several inches (you can kind of see it in the doorway). Main reason I don't want to just block off the door permanently is because this staircase would then be the only way to move furniture into the room.
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-17-2020, 04:44 PM
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Secret doors!

I've always liked the idea of a hidden room behind a secret opening, but I never had reason to make one. I've seen them on You Tube where a bookcase is hinged and can swing out revealing an opening to a secret room. The problem is you just can't tell anyone else the secret .....

These push to open panels are interesting:



The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-18-2020, 05:53 AM
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If the wall is 4-6” deep, then a bookcase may be hard to do.

Two thoughts, use a piece of round pipe/bar from bottom to top inset in from the “hinge” side the same amount as wall width. This would allow swinging open both directions fully.

My 2nd thought was even more fun though.
Put a armoire/dresser type of furniture on the bedroom side that the back was open to cover the doorway.

https://images.app.goo.gl/DxTK6pE6FYSx5rHcA


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post #9 of 10 Old 09-18-2020, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Ok that swimming pool was ridiculous!
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-18-2020, 10:25 PM
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does the upstairs room have a window for a secondary escape, with a pre-stowed chain ladder

Retired engineer-bureaucrat in Oakland, CA. Been working with wood since the 1960's. From the 50's if you count the scrap woodpile on the farm!
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