Secret Spaces

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.

Swing Door Bookcase(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.

Murphy Library via Dornob(Photo: Dornob)

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.

Office in a closet(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!

Bank Door Pantry(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.

Trap Door Wine Cellar(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.

Staircase storage(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!

drawer stairs(Photo: Pinterest)

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.

hidden stairs(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.

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