Everyone has something to hide. Whether it’s a coin collection, guns, silver, artwork or just plain junk, you sometimes need a place to store things that’s out of plain view. That’s the beauty of a hidden room. In Victorian times, furniture was often made with hidden drawers and compartments. I have an old Victorian dresser that has a hidden drawer perfect for hiding silver and other precious items. The beauty of a hidden room is that only you know about it and access isn’t readily available.
Recently, I spoke with a client about a house plan. The plan included an upstairs closet in a guest room that she said would be used for storage and items such as her husband’s guns. I suggested that instead of a normal door, she might want to consider concealing the entrance to this room with a bookcase on a piano hinge. Years ago, I worked in a custom cabinet shop that made fine cabinetry for upscale homes. One of the items we frequently worked on was cabinets with hidden features. We also created lots of pivoting bookshelves that opened into a secret room.
Hidden rooms are great for storing valuables and they are also good choices for anyone who keeps precious objects or cash on hand. A hidden room can often be undetectable. Few people would move bookshelves to look for a safe they way they would a painting. There are even companies now that build bookshelves just for the purpose of concealing a room. Several of these companies are on the Internet. A quick search on hidden rooms will reveal a number of these firms. Each one typically has more than one type of cabinet style.
Do it yourself
Building a bookshelf into a doorway for a hidden room effect is not very hard. A simple bookshelf with trim is easy to make and can be mounted on a door opening with a piano hinge. A piano hinge has very small hinges that run the length of the doorway versus the three large hinges that doors are typically mounted on. If you want ideas on how to build your own hidden room bookshelves, secretdoorways.com has a book to show you how.
There are many uses for hidden rooms besides just storage. Sometimes it’s to hide an eye sore, such as an air exchanger for your air conditioning and heating system. Another fun option is have a hidden room in a child’s room to make a fun and mysterious space. If you like technology, but don’t like the look of it, a hidden room would make the perfect “James Bond” spy office and technology center. Outfitted with computers and hi tech equipment, you could surf the web for hours on end without having to put all that hardware out in the open. Want to move a candlestick to reveal your hidden room automatically? Then, check out hiddenpassageway.com. This company creates automated doors and staircases like something out of a horror film.
Hidden rooms have become very popular in recent years as people want to create safer homes and worry that others may be able to locate their valuables that aren’t carefully stored and hidden. I once lived in a home with a hidden staircase. No one could figure out how to get upstairs and that made it quite a novelty. If you’re building a home, work some hidden features into it. You can have hiding places built into cabinets and furniture — and easily create your own hidden room with a bookshelf in a weekend. You might be surprised at how much you have to hide or want to keep away from prying eyes.