I spent much of my childhood reading Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie mysteries, dreaming of living in a stately English manor filled with secret passageways hidden behind library shelves and fireplaces. That fantasy has given way to a slightly more practical aesthetic but I still yearn for a home with a few cool clandestine spaces.
(Photo: O Hello Friend)
Everyone wants to conceal their messy bedrooms from guests, so why not go all the way and really hide the bedroom? Replacing the door with a swinging bookcase is a win-win solution: the bedroom becomes a truly private oasis and the door provides a place to display that murder mystery collection.
I’ve seen Murphy beds before but never a Murphy library. This is a perfect way to create separate zones in a studio apartment without taking up valuable floor space.
(Photo: Apartment Therapy)
This closet-office is another (and super-cute) way to create a second “room” that can be hidden on a whim. However, I can’t imagine having an “extra” closet to devote to this project!
(Photo: My Home Ideas: Cottage Living)
I love kitchens with open storage but am not enough of a neatnik to pull it off in my own home. The owners of this house used a door from an old bank safe to hide the pantry and create a cool, vintage vibe.
(Photo: The Kitchn)
Looking for even more kitchen space? Think down. This trap door covers an impressive wine cellar that is sure to make oenophiles drool, though I wouldn’t want to climb these stairs after indulging in a few glasses.
(Photo: The Kitchn)
In my small condo, staircases take up about a quarter of the square footage without providing much of a wow factor. But imagine if each one opened to reveal a secret hidey hole, like something out of a James Bond movie. And I would finally have a place to store my off-season clothing!
As to my childhood dream of secret passageways behind bookshelves, this is about as close as it gets in modern design: the owners of this Portland home hid their stairs between two elegantly curved bookcases, helping to focus the eye on their impressive library and not the utilitarian passageway inside.
(Photo: Ready Made)
I may never live in English manor but at least I know that a secret space isn’t completely out of the question in my future.