Secret doors are not just for the Vanderbilt’s , C.S. Lewis and Meow Wolf. I think they delight the inner child in us and odds are, you probably have somewhere in your home where you could put one. In addition to appealing to your romantic, I’ve-got -a-candle-where-is-this-breeze-coming-from-in-a-closed-room side, they are also incredibly useful to hide things that you don’t want to see all the time. This time of year Halloween candy comes immediately to my mind as something that could use a hidden compartment. Here are some practical tips for how to design a secret door as well as some inspiration for where you could put your hidden door.
You will need concealed hinges. They are a little pricey, but worth it.
Decide if you want a touch latch or discreet hardware. A local cabinet maker, Erich Kiser of Oak Tree Classic Woodworks, swears by Blum’s tip-on push latches. I’m also partial to tab pulls for this type of door.
I highly recommend putting up decorative trim around the area where you want to have the secret door. In order to hide a water access door in a basement remodel, I put shiplap on the wall and then had the door cut from that. With concealed hinges and a touch latch, you could barely tell the access door was there. Other times, I’ve had to add trim and/or paneling to a wall in order to hide a door.
“I have a soft spot for secret passageways, bookshelves that open into silence, staircases that go down into a void, and hidden safes…Give me two hours a day of activity, and I’ll take the other 22 in dreams — provided I can remember them.” —when asked how he would spend time if he were told that he had 20 years to live. – Luis Bunuel on Art, Filmmaking, and Dreams.