There’s no need to have been watching too much television or ready too many mystery novels to know what is a secret passageway. And it’s actually not that hard to create and hide your own secret room.
Learn to conceal your own place with these tips.
Pick the right kind of room
Forget the gloomy examples of hidden rooms in caves. Hiding a room in your home may have a fun, convenient or safe role. Even though doing it is mostly to satisfy a childhood fantasy, it can also allow you to put away valuable things in case of a burglary, and even keep children away from dangerous objects.
The hidden room could be a small laundry room, both unglamorous and containing toxic products, or a wine cellar, to put away your precious bottles, safe from temperature changes and any assault from dangerous drinking guests.
A small office or workroom could also need a little quiet time, if you’re indulging yourself in specific hobbies, like model-making, or even a photo lab. And how about a private cinema? With all the bells and whistles, you’ll be able to watch a movie undisturbed.
An archive room can also be hidden and concealed discreetly. Important documents (bills, insurance papers, etc.) need to be safe from harm. Might as well create a dedicated room for them.
Hide what you already have
It is pretty difficult to have an entire room “removed” from blueprints, especially if that room has been there from the beginning. There’s also no need to hide it from any home insurance or administration (to calculate property tax, for example). If something goes wrong, you wouldn’t be able to get compensated.
Ultimately, we’re talking about physically hiding the entrance to a room. It’s obviously more efficient to hide a place with no outside access (windows, vents, etc.), in which case you’d be found pretty quickly. The idea is to therefore block any other access than the inner door.
Everything is obviously much simpler if the room is already difficult to access, under a stairway for example. However, things get complicated when the door your want to hide is itself in a very small room. In that case, you’ll need to hide the access to that second room also.
Hiding the entrance
Once you’ve figured out what you need to do, anything goes. Don’t just put up a curtain across a door, which could clearly be uncovered in a matter of seconds.
Start by unhinging the door, which is currently the only defense against intruders. All you’ll need to do then is fill the gaping hole.
A large tapestry hung before the opening is a very simple and effective alternative. Be careful not to have it too tight, so that you can easily slide behind it to access your room. The same idea can be applied to a large mirror, fixed to the wall as as to open on one side.
Even smarter: the use of false storage compartments. A sliding door can serve as background. Then add shelves with objects glued on top, which allows easy lifting and lowering. You’ll be able to slide open the door.
There’s also the well-known trick of using a large piece of furniture in lieu of the door. A large closet, with a background removed. You’ll then have to go inside the closet to access the room behind it. To facilitate the entry, don’t put shelves, but instead install a wardrobe with some clothes on hangers. The bottom will be covered by a black curtain cut out into strips.
Another classic is the retractable bookshelf. Install two sections of the bookshelf, with one placed on rails parallel to the wall. You’ll be able to slide it left or right. You can also make a piece of the shelf mobile and independent. You’ll be able to open it like a door.
Many variations exist, always with the same idea. All you need is to find a large enough accessory or furniture to hide the opening, while still being able to fit an entire person.