lifestyle

You can buy a Victorian property packed with secret doorways and hidden gadgets for £1.5million


Live likes James Bond in this snazzy house in Devon (Picture: WilkinsonGrant/BNPS)

Pretend you’re James Bond – or Batman, whoever your favourite gadget guy is – in this incredible home in Lympstone, Devon.

From the outside, this particular property looks like any other Victorian house.

But go inside and you’ll find all kinds of exciting features, from secret rooms to hidden gadgets.

What was once a rundown B&B has been transformed into a high-tech super home by Richard Smythe, who bought it five years ago.

Richard, who runs a home automation business, decided to use all his expertise to turn the property into an amazing show home for his business.

He had planned to live there, but when a bigger plot came on the market he decided to sell the smart home so he could move on to a bigger project.

From the outside, Hillside looks like any other Victorian house (Picture: WilkinsonGrant/BNPS)

That means the home, called Hillside, is now on the market – with an asking price of £1.5million.

Richard, 45, said: ‘When I bought it it was a bed and breakfast and was really rundown. I could see it needed some TLC but had potential.

But over the last five years, the property has been given an incredible makeover (Picture: WilkinsonGrant/BNPS)

‘My business is home automation so I work in some of the most beautiful houses in Europe and see all these ideas, so adding automation to this house was appealing.

‘I wanted to create a show home for what I do – the mechanisms for hidden televisions and invisible speakers.

‘It’s definitely a wow house. From the front it looks like an old Victorian house that you get rows off.

There are hidden features and smart gadgets throughout… (Picture: WilkinsonGrant/BNPS)
…like the hidden TV in the wall (Picture: WilkinsonGrant/BNPS)

‘In Lympstone it’s a conservation area and everything else around it is listed, but this one isn’t which gave us the opportunity to do a lot more with it.’

See that bookcase? (Picture: WilkinsonGrant/BNPS)
That’s actually a door to the garage (Picture: WilkinsonGrant/BNPS)
There’s a gym through that way, too (Picture: WilkinsonGrant/BNPS)

Head inside Hillside and you’ll eventually find four secret doors, two hidden television screens, a concealed cinema screen, and a secret ladder to a loft room.

In the sitting room, the TV is hidden behind a Victorian panelled wall, while in the dining room what seems like a bookcase is actually a secret door to the garage. Dreamy.

Here’s the kitchen (Picture: WilkinsonGrant/BNPS)
There’s a secret dumb waiter to clear up plates (Picture: WilkinsonGrant/BNPS)

Above the garage is an air-conditioned home gym accessed via retractable stairs.

There’s also a smart home system throughout, meaning the curtains and blinds can be opened and closed by pressing a button, the house can be locked remotely, and the irrigation system works out when the garden needs to be watered.

Beyond the gadget bits, the house itself is pretty lovely.

A ladder in the bedroom leads to a loft room (Picture: WilkinsonGrant/BNPS)

There are six bedrooms in total and Richard has added an extension to the back of the property to create an open-plan kitchen and family room.

In that kitchen is a hidden dumb waiter, which takes dirty plates to the utility room, and the kitchen sink is hidden away behind a cupboard door.

Upstairs another TV is hidden behind the mirror in the main bedroom, and a hidden cloakroom in the corridor lets you access the cinema and games room.

Behold the cinema and game room (Picture: WilkinsonGrant/BNPS)
There’s smart home technology throughout, too (Picture: WilkinsonGrant/BNPS)

On the second floor there is a ladder hidden in the wardrobe which leads to a secret loft room.

Outside the garden has a swimming pool, hot tub, garden fireplace and a trampoline, which is also hidden from view by sinking it into the ground.

‘My favourite elements are the hidden doors through the linked corridor to the utility room and wet room and the TV hidden in the sitting room,’ Richard said.

The garden is pretty epic (Picture: WilkinsonGrant/BNPS)
There’s a hot tub, a pool, and a fireplace (Picture: WilkinsonGrant/BNPS)
Imagine sitting here after a long day at work (Picture: WilkinsonGrant/BNPS)
Dreamy (Picture: WilkinsonGrant/BNPS)

‘It’s hidden behind the Victorian panelling and there’s invisible speakers either side of the alcoves but everyone wonders where the music is coming from.

‘People assume the TV is behind the mirror and the speakers are in the ceiling.

‘They also love the hidden cinema screen. There’s a 65in television on the wall but if you press the movie button the TV turns off, the screen comes down, the blinds shut and the cinema lights come on.’

The property is on the market with estate agents Wilkinson Grant.

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