Among other projects, I'm currently working on the overhaul of a fantastic historic house in a beautiful tree lined neighborhood. This lady must have been quite the charmer in her day, but over the years previous tenants stripped and ripped and closed up and added on, and along with all the original finishes something got lost in translation.

Something like this door to nowhere, found boarded up behind a wall.

erin williamson

And this false wall built to conceal a canted ceiling and dormers. 

erin williamson

100+ years ago builders of middle class homes weren't as constrained by the economics of simple roof lines and square rooms as we are, and complexity and charm were more apparent than in today's standardized floorplans and assembly line design. Refreshing as that may be, the task of modernizing and restoring this beauty is a bit daunting. Despite heroic measures by the architect it is still filled with many an odd nook and cranny, and it isn't easy to make those cutouts and angles feel sensical, immutable. It requires ingenuity, camouflage, subterfuge.

I think it's going to require a secret room.

erin williamson

Moving a staircase and annexing some nearby space has created an opportunity to completely conceal this library from the rest of the house by way of a jib door, AKA a secret door that is paneled or papered or otherwise finished to seamlessly transition into the wall. 

No casing, minimal hardware, and a super tight reveal are necessary for maximum mystery effect. Luckily my clients have a very skilled contractor, because this is not a weekend DIY project (unless you are way handier than me, in which case let's talk).

jib door
jib door
jib door
miles redd jib door
pauline rothschild jib door

When my brilliant client first suggested this idea, I almost cried because I wanted it so bad. Who has never dreamed they found an extra magical room, hidden behind a door no one knew existed? I think I might be crying now. 

My brilliant client's brilliant husband joked we should add some ridiculous Goonies style code to open the door, and I said YES and I wasn't joking at all. Not sure that part is going to happen, but I'm not giving up yet.

And then my client suggested that the secret room behind the secret door should have an Alice in Wonderland effect, like so:

greg natale black and white

And I started crying again... I cry a lot on this job. It's just going to be that good. These people are going to make for excellent caretakers of this house.

So that's what's happening with #projecthistorichouse, which you can follow on my instagram account. It's a long term project, so there should be tons to see along the way and I am super excited to watch it unfold (crying again).

Meanwhile #projectmidmod is 95% complete and almost ready for a shoot, and multiple other projects are at various stages of awesomeness. Summer is slowing me down a bit, but I am hoping to share some reveals with you very soon. 

It's great to be back!