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Ask Flipped: How Do I Spruce Up the Pit I Dug to Trap Intruders?

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Welcome back to Ask Flipped, where we answer very real questions from readers who are having problems with home decor, design, or anything else. Do you have a question? Write it on a post-it note and throw it into a strong gust of wind. If it was meant to be, we will find the post-it and answer the question.

Dear Flipped,

I recently dug a ten-foot-deep pit in my front yard and covered it with a layer of thin branches and leaves in order to trap any intruders on my premises. However, I'm worried that it might be a little spare. Currently, it's just a big hole lined with dirt. There are some roots sticking out, which add a little character, but I'm thinking about removing them because I'm afraid my intruders will be able to use them for climbing and escape. How I make my intruders feel at home while simultaneously keeping them in the pit?

Person InTent on Being Outrageously Stupendous Superintendent (of a pit)

Dear Pit Boss,

What a wonderful opportunity you have in front of you. Your pit is currently a completely blank canvas, and you can go in any direction you want with it. Put down some carpeting! Paint an accent wall! Line everything with mirrors (great for preventing climbing)! The pit is your oyster.

Here's what I would do if I were you. Get down into the pit yourself. (Bring a ladder so you can get back up.) Spend some time down there. Ask yourself: if I was an intruder who suddenly found myself in a deep pit, what would I want? One time, in my younger days, I was intruding on a neighbors property and I fell into his pit. After I'd been down there for a few days, I found that the one thing I really wanted (after food, water, and medical supplies) was a potted philodendron. Who would have thought? And I'd never have known that if I hadn't spent some time in a pit myself.

I don't want to give you too much specific advise, because I think that you should really follow your own heart here. If you design the space based on your perception of it, and taking your own needs and desires into account, then you will design it well and your intruders will surely thank you for it.

Also, definitely cut those root off, ASAP.

Hope that helps,