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When faced with an awkward alcove in a client’s new-build Dallas home, designer Sara Garza didn’t want to take the obvious road (hanging a piece of artwork). “It felt forced; there’s no fun in that,” she says. Situated right off the living room, the tucked-away spot already featured a countertop, which gave Garza an idea: turn the random niche into a tricked-out liquor cabinet, hidden behind a swinging bookcase. Once she could fully visualize the idea, she partnered with a local carpenter, Arturo, to bring the secret spot to life.

Reinventing the Wheel

For a smooth open and a seamless install, Garza opted for invisible hinges and a large castor wheel tucked into the bottom of the bookcase. “I wanted guests to be able to move the bookcase with just one hand,” she explains. That way, when someone wants a refill, they won’t have to put their glass down. Placing the rolling mechanism in the center of the structure helps keep the weight evenly distributed so the hinges don’t break.

Work With What You Have

Because the size of the nook’s interior was already what it was, there was minimal construction to be done. Garza simply jazzed it up with tropical wallpaper (left over from the home’s kitchen project), glass shelves, and a lower cabinet for storing extra glassware and party supplies. 

Two Birds, One Stone

With no room in the kitchen to store her massive cookbook collection, the front of the bookcase became a natural place to line them up. “It’s a fun party trick; that was the other reason [for the addition],” Garza says with a laugh. And as an ode to her and her client’s Texas roots, and the alcove’s original purpose, she hung a portrait of a cowboy as a bonus surprise. The transition from workday to happy hour is as easy as a well-placed pull.