Hidden Spaces of House
If you’ve ever watched a movie set in an old house, you may have wondered whether your own home has secret spaces. While it may take some planning, a hidden door can be a fun addition to your home.
These covert areas curated by custom home builders add privacy and a sense of intrigue. They’re also a great way to reduce clutter throughout your home.
Under the Staircase
Many homeowners overlook the space under a staircase, but this compact area can serve as an excellent spot for storage and living spaces. The ideas below can help you transform the area into a pantry, children’s library, playhouse, or even a dog house!
An alcove built into the staircase is a perfect place to display treasured antiques and decorative items without taking up valuable floor space. Shelves installed in this stairway by Gilberte Interiors keep delicate and fragile pieces safe and easy to access.
A secluded reading nook outfitted with a comfy daybed and Apple green walls is sure to please kids and adults alike. Simply cover the telltale entrance with a piece of fabric in a matching color to hide the space when it’s not in use.
If you’re tight on kitchen storage, turn the space under your staircase into a pantry. This stairway pantry by John McClain Design features plenty of shelving for canned goods, and the door blends in with the wainscoting design to hide the opening when not in use.
Under the Basement
While finishing the basement is a great way to add livable space, sometimes it’s better to leave a portion of your foundation unfinished. This might be because you want to keep some storage, maintain mechanical access to the next floor or leave space around items like your furnace and water heater.
Luckily, it’s possible to hide a secret room within your basement without making the space look unfinished. A bookcase on hinges, wood panels or even a set of stairs can be positioned behind a wall to create a hidden room that could be used as a media room, larder or office.
However, it’s important to remember that basement walls are active structural members and fiddling with them can be troublesome. This means you’ll need to work carefully with your contractor during the remodeling process. You’ll also need to take into account any necessary plumbing, electrical and fire safety considerations. That’s why it’s best to focus on the essential elements of a basement reno first and consider adding non-essential features later, if funds allow.
Under the Attic
Most homeowners assume that their attic is just a place to store holiday decorations and other out-of-season items, but this space can also play an important role in your home’s energy efficiency. Without adequate insulation, attics can contribute to poor indoor air quality and increase your heating and cooling costs.
To avoid a scary discovery like this, install a lockable door to protect your attic and keep out unwanted guests. You can also add a window to give the room more natural light, and decorate with a few decorative touches like this to make the space feel cozy and welcoming.
If your attic is large enough, you can turn it into an extra bedroom or a reading nook. Use built-in shelving or free-standing crates to create book storage, and style the space with a comfy settee or lounge chair and floor pillows to create an inviting reading spot. Design illusions are your friend when working with sloped ceilings—choose lower furniture and scaled artwork to make the space feel taller.
Under the Garage
The garage is often the Rodney Dangerfield area of most homes – it gets no respect. Stuff is routinely tossed up against the walls, children’s toys call it home and toxic products like paint cans, gasoline, oil and weed killer sprays all feel right at home.
A little planning can transform your garage into a useful space. Create a mudroom by adding storage wall products and a bench seat for taking off shoes and boots. Locate this zone as close to the entrance to your house as possible so family members can put on their footwear before entering the house.
A man cave could also be the perfect spot to indulge your taste for a bit of taxidermy or house that old school turntable and spectacular jazz collection. If you want to make this a secret space, hide the opening with a picture that’s a few inches bigger than the opening itself. The less people that pass your secret, the better.