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What is a Hidden Door?

Wednesday March 29th, 2023
One of the best parts about designing a new home or tackling a home renovation project is all the creative opportunities available to make it your own. When designing something new, you have the ability to add unique elements that weren’t there before. A perfect example of a unique and mysterious element is a hidden door.

8 Hidden Door Ideas

  1. Sliding Pocket Doors
  2. Murphy Doors/Bookshelf Doors
  3. Camouflaged Doors
  4. Cabinet Doors
  5. Mirrored Doors
  6. Wardrobe Doors
  7. Staircase Doors
  8. Floor Doors
Hidden doors add a playful and mysterious vibe to a space, as well as security and privacy for items you prefer not to be out in the open. There are several easy and clever ways to incorporate a secret door into your space. From the type of door you use, to the wallpaper, to the decor you surround the door with, there are endless hidden door ideas to inspire your next project.

What is a Hidden Door?

Hidden doors are rich in history and legend. Until recently, hidden doors were almost exclusive to mansions and medieval castles. Those with wealth and power—but especially the royal—would design hidden doors leading to a secret passage or room. The hidden passageway was often used as an escape route in case the castle was under siege, or it led to a secret room full of treasures that were precious to the owner.

Today, hidden doors are growing in popularity, and aren’t exclusive to those with mansions or luxurious homes. Anyone can design a modern secret door to conceal or hide an entrance. And while they might not lead to a secret space full of treasure or an escape route, they are still filled with wonder, novelty, and mystery.

A concealed door is most often used to create a seamless modern design for a mysterious entrance to a private home office, storage space, or safe room where one can unwind without being disturbed. Many parents have incorporated secret doors with a passageway for their kids to be used as a safe and fun space to do homework, read a book, or wind down.

8 Hidden Door Ideas

Hidden doors have a few key elements that distinguish them from regular doors. These include concealed hinges, no door frame, and a design that matches the surrounding wall. Hidden doors can also be hidden in plain sight when designed to resemble something else, such as cabinet doors or a bookcase door.

The following hidden door ideas all have these elements, and will inspire you to include a secret door in your home.

1. Sliding Pocket Doors

Sliding pocket doors are a great way to conceal an area with a secret door. By their very nature, pocket doors are less noticeable than regular doors. This is because of how they function by sliding in and out of a wall on a track. Pocket doors are hidden in the wall when the doorway is open.
Because of the pocket door’s unique design, they are perfect for small areas where the swing of a hinged or pivot door would be too much.

To design a pocket door as a hidden door, you would want the color and texture of the door to match the surrounding wall and trim. If you have decorative wallpaper, you would want the door to have the same wallpaper as well, so that it’s easily camouflage with the wall.  The handle should be discreet—only a slight notch in the door that allows you to pull it open and closed, but isn’t obvious at first glance.

2. Murphy Doors/Bookshelf Doors

If you really want to go all out, get a door that is disguised as another piece of furniture. Murphy doors are a type of door that appear to be something else—such as a hidden bookcase door, pool cue door, spice rack door, shoe rack door, dresser door, and more.
Having a Murphy bookcase door or something similar is the best way to fully conceal a secret room. A Murphy door swings on a pivot and is flush with the wall. All they need is a simple push to reveal the hidden room within.

These doors are perfect for when you want to hide a secret entrance hidden in plain sight. A bookcase door is especially popular, given how frequently it’s seen in movies. With a bookcase door, you can be mysterious and sophisticated as you like.

3. Camouflage Doors

A camouflaged door blends in with the surrounding wall by having the same paint color, wainscotting, texture, or wallpaper design. Camouflage doors lack a door frame, as they aren’t meant to stand out. If a baseboard or any trim is running the length of the wall, a camouflaged door would also have the same baseboard or wall trim.

Because these doors are camouflaged into their surroundings, they aren’t noticeable at first glance. However, they are a bit more noticeable than a bookcase door, as you can still distinguish them from the rest of the wall due to the door seam. As with any hidden door, you would want to use concealed door hinges and a discreet door handle.

The best part about a camouflaged door is that you can use any type of door for the project, such as a regular swinging door, pivot door, or pocket door. That said, you wouldn’t want to use a more noticeable door, such as a barn door. Designing a custom door would be best for this project so that you can personalize the paint, wood finish, and hardware to create the perfect hidden door for your space.

4. Cabinet Doors

One way to conceal a secret room is to trick the onlooker into thinking that whatever room the door leads to isn’t interesting. One way to do this is with cabinet doors. You can design the doors to look like two separate cabinets that open as one door, or you can add a camouflaged door amongst a series of cabinets.

The placement of a concealed door amongst cabinets makes it appear as a simple broom closet or storage space. Most people wouldn’t be inclined to investigate a broom closet, but upon opening the hidden door, it could lead into a much larger room, such as a wine cellar or home office.

By concealing a room in plain sight with cabinet doors, you create a mysterious, whimsical experience. For safety and security, it’s a great way to secure what’s important to you in a place that doesn’t attract much interest.

5. Mirrored Doors

Another clever way to conceal a secret room is to use a mirror door. Mirrored doors are popular as a hidden door idea, as they are versatile in function.

Rustica offers custom doors that feature a full-length mirror, which is perfect for concealing an extra room in a bedroom or bathroom. If you’re lucky, most people will be too distracted by their own appearance to notice they’re looking at a hidden door.

You can conceal a mirrored door even more by designing it to be flush with the wall with concealed hinges. If you use a pivot door, you could use a slight push to open it rather than using a door handle or slot, which would be more noticeable.

6. Wardrobe Doors

If you were a fan of The Chronicles of Narnia as a kid, then you’ll love the concept of wardrobe doors. However, instead using a wardrobe that appears historic and traditional, you can use a modern wardrobe door looks like any other contemporary wardrobe you would have in your home, making it the perfect disguise for a hidden room. That said, you can also custom built a wardrobe door that meets your exact taste and decor preference.

These hidden doors are very popular for children’s rooms, leading to a secret playroom for children to read and play with toys.  

The best part about a hidden wardrobe door is that it’s still fully functional as a wardrobe and storage space, so you get the best of both worlds: a novelty door and a beautiful wardrobe.

7. Staircase Doors

Many people who live in a home with a large staircase find that the space under the stairs isn’t fully utilized. If you have a similar problem, consider converting the unused space into an extra storage area or a fun room for kids to play in.

To create a seamless design, you can design the area to match the surrounding walls. You do this by incorporating a hidden door into the overall home design, ensuring the door matches the wall and surrounded architectural details.  

8. Floor Doors

To truly conceal a secret room that is below the house, you can create an entrance from the floor. This floor entrance would reveal stairs leading down into the space below. If you don’t need to conceal the area for privacy or security reasons, it can be a perfect way to incorporate a speakeasy or elaborate wine cellar in your home.

The door itself would be designed to match the rest of the floor—it just need to perfectly match the hardwood floors or tile, so it would need to be painted or wainscoted to match the texture of the floor. For extra privacy, you can add a decorative rug on top of it.  

As you might imagine, designing and building a floor door is an extensive project. Both the door and the floor entrance need to be custom designed, as most homes (unfortunately) don’t have a trap door entrance to the basement.

Custom Design a Hidden Door with Rustica Today!

Hidden doors are a truly unique design piece that very few homes have. Because of their rarity, you can create a novelty door that has a mysterious and sophisticated aesthetic. As they are designed to conceal a secret room, you can use hidden doors to create privacy and security. But you don’t have to keep it secret! You can impress your guests with a beautiful custom door that is hidden in plain sight.

If you would like to include a hidden door in your next home renovation project, contact Rustica’s design team today to create a door for your secret sanctuary.

Rustica is the world’s most trusted source for designer doors and hardware. Check out our full selection of barn doors, wine room doors, interior doors, and more! You’ll be sure to find the perfect door for your next design project with our extensive selection of high-quality, custom-built doors.

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