The Art of Hiding Spaces

Hiding spaces are a design challenge and an opportunity to be creative. By hiding objects behind a curtain, a wall, or even a piece of furniture, you can reclaim space and create the illusion of openness. Using both practical and aesthetic solutions, these designers have created hidden spaces that are not only functional but beautiful. The Art of Hiding Spaces is a collection of these inventive designs, including a curved bookcase, a hidden door inside a bookcase, and an entire room hidden within a closet. The rooms and furnishings are designed to be aesthetically pleasing, and many of the objects used in these hidden spaces can be purchased at home improvement stores.

One of the best places to hide is in a drawer or cupboard. You can make a false bottom drawer, which will give you an inch or two of extra space in which to hide valuables. It’s important to remember that these hiding spaces should not be easily accessible, and you should only use them for small items like keys, papers, or jewelry. Burglars are always on the lookout for these things, and if they see them, they will probably take them. To avoid this, store your valuables in a less obvious place, such as a wall clock or even a fake spam can (just be sure the actual item isn’t worth stealing!).

Another great hiding space is the hollowed out tree trunk. During the Holocaust, some Jews were able to survive outside of the ghettos by passing themselves off as Poles and living in these secret spaces. A new exhibition at Warsaw’s Zacheta National Gallery of Art explores the survival architecture of these hideouts, and features silver-plated sculptures based on the real objects. The exhibition, titled ‘Hiding Places: The Architecture of Survivability’, was the result of three years of research by architect Natalia Romik and anthropologist Aleksandra Janus. They worked with a team of specialists, including dendrologists, speleologists, Holocaust researchers, and urban explorers to create the exhibit.

Other examples of inventive hiding spaces include the back of a TV set, an empty paint can, or a wall shelf. This can be especially useful in a small apartment, where you may want to hide valuables without wasting any floor space.

If you’re playing hide and seek with others, don’t make any noise or act suspicious. Also, make sure you have enough cover to be invisible and that you can elude detection. It’s also a good idea to keep a list of all your hiding spots, and not tell anyone else about them, as they might be tempted to check them out.

If you love the idea of a secret place, check out this beautiful giftable book that takes readers on a treasure hunt around Manhattan. It includes details of 100 sites where modern artists have hidden their work, from Jean-Michel Basquiat’s studio to Keith Haring murals and beyond. Featuring stunning photographs and maps of the locations, this book is the perfect present for the intrepid art lover in your life.