The notion of a hidden door taps into the childhood desire for a secret place and the lifelong longing for everyone to have a private room to call their own. The contours of a secret room can be disguised in any number of clever ways. A bookcase unit might slide or pivot open to create a stealth passageway into a private room. A custom-built hidden door embedded seamlessly into the wainscoting can act as a discreet portal to extra square footage hiding in plain sight.
Hidden doors can lead to a playroom, reading nook, home office, powder room, man cave or a covert storage area that helps the rest of your space to remain clutter-free. A hidden door can be used in place of a hallway to separate a bedroom from a living room in a smaller space; to hide a work room from sight when not in use; or to create a place to get some me time away from family members.
Check out the following hidden door ideas to help inspire you into creating a secret space of your own.
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Hide the Pantry
This converted Sussex, U.K. barn from London-based Sola Kitchens has original wood beams that are contrasted with concrete floors an earthy modern green wall of cabinetry and countertops with antiqued brass pulls. But one of those cabinet doors is actually a secret passageway (see below).Continue to 2 of 25 below.
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Reveal Hidden Depths
A hidden door on one end of this kitchen from Sola Kitchens leads to a hidden pantry and laundry room, revealing the extra depth and square footage behind the main space.Continue to 3 of 25 below.
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Add a Stealth Coat Closet
This stealth entry hall door that hides a coat closet from John McClain Design was custom built to dissolve into the wainscoting. The door uses a touch latch mechanism with a magnet that holds it perfectly in place. "As you can see there are no visible hardware or handles so the mechanisms are completely hidden behind the door itself," McClain says. (See if you can spot the door cut-out above, far left.)Continue to 4 of 25 below.
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Camouflage With Wallpaper
Using a bold wallpaper pattern will help to obscure the door frame by distracting the eye. This bathroom from Marie Flanigan Interiors is accessed from the front of the house through a pass-through mud room, and from the outdoor pool area by a separate door.Continue to 5 of 25 below.
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Disguise the Bathroom
The black-and-white palm print wallpaper that helps camouflage this hidden bathroom door from Marie Flanigan Interiors playfully alludes to the outdoor pool area on the other side. A matte black vanity and mudroom cabinets add cohesion between the spaces.Continue to 6 of 25 below.
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Build a Home Speakeasy
In this Maine summer house designed by Peter Pennoyer Architects, an arched jib door disguised with bookshelves opens up to a concealed home speakeasy bar off of the turquoise wood paneled library.Continue to 7 of 25 below.
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Privatize the Primary Suite
In this Chicago apartment designed by Searl Lamaster Howe, entry to the primary suite is concealed by a wood door panel with a notched pull mechanism that mirrors the detailing of adjacent backlit niches for a seamless look.Continue to 8 of 25 below.
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Make It Fit Like a Puzzle Piece
A custom notch pull mechanism creates an elegant solution to help open and close the hidden wood door leading to the primary suite designed by Searl Lamaster Howe.Continue to 9 of 25 below.
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Hide It With a Bookcase
This pass through bookshelf from Phi Builders and Architects looks innocuous enough but when pivoted open provides entry to a secret room that is a mystery to all but the owners of the house.Continue to 10 of 25 below.
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Hide the Back Wing
In the entry way of a spacious Chicago apartment designed by Searl Lamaster Howe, a discreet hidden door blends into the background when closed, but grants access to the back of house spaces when pushed open.Continue to 11 of 25 below.
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Create a Secret Hiding Place
Nobody wants to be banished to live beneath the stairs like Harry Potter, but having an under-stair getaway is a childhood dream come true. This pint-sized hidden door designed by Maestri Studio leads to a kid-sized space with a dedicated light switch for reading, coloring, playing, daydreaming, or just hiding out.Continue to 12 of 25 below.
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Hide the En Suite Bathroom
Melbourne, Australia-based Alison Lewis Interiors designed a secret opening to the en suite bathroom of this primary bedroom, obscuring it in a jigsaw wall of closets.Continue to 13 of 25 below.
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Make It a Double
Hidden double doors in this primary bedroom from Alison Lewis Interiors lead to a spacious en suite bathroom.Continue to 14 of 25 below.
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Use Color to Hide Seams
The hidden door in this basement kitchen from London-based Studio Peake disappears into the navy vertical shiplap cabinetry, allowing access to the pantry while maintaining a seamless look and allowing the slanted ceiling line to remain the focus.Continue to 15 of 25 below.
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Rejigger a Secret Wardrobe...
Secret wardrobes are the stuff of childhood classics and lifelong fantasies. Interior designer Laura Medicus of Laura Medicus Interiors brought the dream to life for her daughter Sylvia by creating a charming hidden hang-out spot concealed behind the pretense of an armoire placed in front of a closet opening.Continue to 16 of 25 below.
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...And Turn It Into a Hidden Reading Nook
Medicus created a private place for her daughter to read, watch TV, and relax by transforming a closet into a secret room that is accessed through the doors of an armoire, making the journey to and from the hidden space as much fun as the room itself.Continue to 17 of 25 below.
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Add Bespoke Storage
John McClain Design utilized the unused space underneath this sweeping staircase for a tailor-made purpose: housing a fully decorated Christmas tree. Creating a hidden door to camouflage the dead space under the staircase allows the owner to put away the decked-out tree once the holiday season is over, and pull it out the next year with minimum effort. "We blended the wainscoting design into the door location, and seamlessly created the door into the woodwork," McClain says. (The hidden door is located above, far right.)Continue to 18 of 25 below.
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Fix a Quirky Layout
Secret rooms can result from quirky layouts in older homes or materialize after renovations that leave spaces that don't flow with the rest of the floor plan, presenting an opportunity. The idea for this secret room came about during the large-scale renovation of a historic house in California. "The architect moved the original staircase to create a better entrance, but it created an odd room that was only accessible via the dining room," says interior designer Erin Williamson of Austin, TX-based Erin Williamson Design.Continue to 19 of 25 below.
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Use Wallpaper to Hide Seams
"The dining room has a hidden jib door wallpapered and trimmed to hide it," Williamson says. "The inside of the library is trimmed completely differently."Continue to 20 of 25 below.
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Install a Jib Door
The jib door between the dining room and home office library creates a polished transition between the spaces in this design from Erin Williamson Design.Continue to 21 of 25 below.
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Create a Secret Library on the Other Side
"We decided to make the leftover space into a secret library," Williamson says. "A hideaway for a busy mom to work in peace."Continue to 22 of 25 below.
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Obscure the Walk-In
One of the walnut wood panels in this Chicago house bedroom designed by Searl Lamaster Howe pushes open to provide access to the walk-in closet.Continue to 23 of 25 below.
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Build an Understair Utility Room
This stealth laundry room from Sydney, Australia-based interior designer Joanne Yeomans of Issy & H Creative utilizes the space under the stairs and disappears behind nearly invisible doors when not in use. Behind one door is a laundry sink, built-in shelving, and a pretty tile backsplash. A stacked washer dryer combo is hidden behind an adjacent door to maximize every inch of under-stair space, increasing functionality without impinging on valuable floor space.Continue to 24 of 25 below.
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Add a Bonus Storage Space
This hidden door from Marie Flanigan Interiors leads from a home office into a bespoke walk-in closet, disappearing into the horizontal natural wood paneling when closed.Continue to 25 of 25 below.
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Slip Out the Back
A hidden door doesn't always have to lead to a secret room. In this long, linear, windowless Florida bathroom from interior designer Maite Granda, decorative moldings conceal a hidden door to the outside that can be left open at bathtime or used as an escape hatch.