We’ve all seen mystery movies where the protagonist unlocks a secret room or passageway by swinging open an unassuming bookshelf. The good news is that you can have secret doors and passageways in your own home too. And they can be functional as well as fun.
The fact is that many homes have unused spaces. So whether you live in a studio apartment, a bungalow, or a sprawling mansion, there are ways for you to build exciting—and functional—secret spaces into your abode. We’ve listed down a few ideas to help you get started.
Use the space under the floor
No, we don’t mean the crawl space. What we have in mind is a trap door or hidden storage. If you have a basement you’ve been wanting to reinvent, this might be your chance. You can ask your basement constructor to install a door on the first floor of your home. This will open to reveal a ladder or staircase leading to your basement.
If this option isn’t for you, you can install under-floor storage instead. Determine the size of the box storage you want to establish and cut out a small section of wooden flooring where you can put it. Save the wooden panel you cut out to use as a cover or attach it to the floor with hinges to use as a door.
Under the stairs
If you’ve seen the Harry Potter movies, you know that using your small, under-the-stairs space as a bedroom may not work out well. There are, however, other ways to make use of that space.
The space under your stairs is called a spandrel. You can use it as a storage space, like a closet or a shelf. For more creative takes on staircase storage, you can install pull-out cabinets. They might not be much of a secret in this way, but if your drawer handles are well-camouflaged enough, they can still go unnoticed by the unaccustomed eye.
But if you don’t want to keep your creativity a secret, you’re welcome to use your spandrel for display as well as functionality. You can build shelves to store and display books. You can even build in a cushioned bench with cabinets or shelves underneath it for your books. Install a lamp overhead, and you’ve got yourself a cozy reading corner. There are many possibilities for you to explore.
You can also use the steps themselves as pull-out cabinets to store various belongings. Staircases are a great way to store outerwear such as coats and shoes. This way, you can put your shoes on before leaving the house, take them off when you arrive home, and easily store them upon entering.
Murphy doors and furniture
The hidden doors you see in movies are called Murphy doors. They usually take the form of bookshelves. If you have the space to spare, you can put secret rooms and passageways behind Murphy doors—a surefire way of making hide-and-seek games more interesting. You can also use them to hide a small storage space, like a shelf or safe.
The Murphy doors we see in movies usually have a bookshelf facade. The doors are usually opened by pulling on a fake book. If you’re a book lover and hate the idea of destroying a book for this process, don’t worry. Some companies sell fake book spines for this purpose. It needs to be a fake book—usually, it’s a block of wood wrapped in a fake book cover. You will need to ; the bottom corner of the spine to the bookshelf. This way, you can easily tip the book back in place so that you can open and close the door again and again.
But Murphy doors don’t have to have bookshelf facades, and they don’t always have to be in family rooms or libraries. A Murphy door in your kitchen can lead to a hidden pantry. An innocent-looking full-length mirror in your closet or bedroom can open up to reveal yet another closet.
The name “Murphy” in home design and construction also extends to furniture. A Murphy bed, for example, is a bed that can fold out of a wall when it needs to be used. These types of furniture are great for smaller living spaces because beds and tables can fold into the wall to make more space.
Whether your home is big or small, there are many creative ways to maximize the space. Adding secret doors or rooms to your home not only adds a bit of excitement, but they can also function as much-needed storage spaces.