Hidden Spaces of the House
Often camouflaged behind doors, these secret spaces are often used as extra storage areas, playrooms or even panic rooms. These hidden nooks can be built into homes of any size and structure without adding more square footage.
From bookcases on hinges that open to a kids’ playroom to a wet bar in a closet, here are some creative ways homeowners have incorporated hidden spaces into their home designs.
Under the Staircase
Most people overlook the space under a staircase, but this curious nook offers tons of potential. It can be turned into an office area, storage, a reading bolthole or even a powder room.
This stairwell by Katy Bell Interiors features shelving, cabinets and a countertop to hold drinkware and serve as a home bar. But what makes the space truly stand out is its secret door. Simply remove the noticeable handle and install push latch hardware to create a secret compartment that opens with a simple gesture.
Kids can also enjoy a cozy playroom under the stairs, complete with a bookshelf for storing toys and games. If you want your children’s nook to stay stylish and functional, consider painting the wall with durable painters’ paint. Then, add a bench and basket to stash shoes and umbrellas. Ideally, you’ll situate the nook away from walking pathways so your secret can stay hidden.
A panic room is a special hideout that people use for protection during natural disasters, home invasions or even a zombie apocalypse. These rooms are usually reinforced and equipped with bulletproof walls, a phone line, a generator, two-way radios, TVs to monitor what’s happening outside the house and food to last a long time.
These safe rooms are becoming increasingly popular for homeowners who want to protect their families during unpredictable events. Many people are adding a hidden panic room in their custom homes and remodel plans.
A simple way to create a panic room is to add a hidden door in a wardrobe. You can simply move clothing aside and press the hidden latch to reveal a secret panel or panic room entrance. This is especially useful in bedrooms and closets. It is also a much more cost-effective option than reinforcing an entire room with bulletproof walls. The most important thing to remember when designing a panic room is to keep it functional, not luxurious.
Whether they’re under the stairs, in the back of a closet, or just empty spots around the house, corners can have more potential than we realize. Whether they’re filled with decorative objects or random items that don’t have any place else to go, they can often be converted into useful spaces for our favorite daily habits.
Adding a corner seat and a table can be a cozy spot to enjoy a morning cup of coffee, a heart to heart conversation with your friends, or even just some alone time for reflection at the end of the day. Corners are also great for displaying photos of loved ones and vacation memories to help the space feel more like a home.
Sometimes all that’s needed is a little bit of shelving to turn an unused corner into a functional storage area. This shelving from K Shan Designs fills the corner nicely and helps create a more open layout in the room.
When it comes to hallways, it may be hard to imagine how you can turn them into hidden spaces of the house but there are plenty of creative ways. The team at Parry Custom Homes, a Pittsburgh-based on your lot home builder, shares some tips to help you maximise storage in the tricky corridor space.
Adding a gallery wall is an easy way to make a narrow hall look bigger. Hang framed pictures all the way along the wall to create a sense of height and use contrasting frames for added interest.
A discreet pass through bookshelf in a Chicago apartment designed by Searl Lamaster Howe looks like a normal shelving unit when closed but turns into entry to a hidden playroom that hides away electronics and provides a private place to read or watch TV. This is a great way to create a reading nook, office or powder room without making a permanent change to your home.