How to Build Secret Areas in Your House

The freedom you feel as a homeowner is unlike any other feeling. After scooping up that piece of Knoxville real estate, you finally have the ability to create a space of your own and make your vision of the perfect abode come to life. While we all have some practical aspirations when designing our ideal home, we always have that one fantastical plan held onto since childhood, and for many of us, that’s the “secret room behind the bookshelf.” You know, the Scooby-Doo-esque fantasy room where you pull out the right book and the shelf swings open?

Unfortunately, that’s a difficult endeavor that most of us will never have in our own homes, but the good news is there are some neat ways to convert areas of your home into secret spaces that will not only impress your guests, but satisfy your childhood craving for that unique, mysterious space.

Behind the Shelf

So, getting the shelf to swing open by removing a specific book is a pretty costly endeavor, but you can still get that “behind the shelf” feel on a budget. Start with a display case or bookshelf that fits over your doorway. Install simple hinges and secure the shelf over the doorway, leaving it slightly raised off the ground, so the swinging shelf does not scratch the floor or get caught up on carpeting. Then, simply install a small handle on the shelf to swing the “shelf-door” open, and voila! You finally have the secret room behind the shelf you’ve always wanted. This is also a great way to hide a small laundry room or pantry behind a useful kitchen shelf.

Murphy Beds

A Murphy bed is an easy way to transform a room instantly from an office, finished basement, or living room into a guest room. This secret sleeping area is a convenient way to make the most out of a small space. Many Murphy beds, when folded up, can be made to look like a desk, shelf, or decorative art piece, but when you pull it down, your guests will discover a comfy, cozy place to lay their head for the night.


Splurge for a full-length mirror that’s custom built to cover the entire door to your secret room, and no one will know it’s there! To everyone else, it will look like an interesting visual piece, but only you will know there’s a secret hideaway behind the glass. This is a great option to use with doors that snap in place with a magnetic door catch. Use this method to turn your walk-in closet into a secret space, as well as a convenient way to check your outfit in the morning.

Converted Crawl Space

Many people have an awkward crawl space in their home, where boxes of holiday decorations or old clothes are stored throughout the year. Convert this space into a secret room by finishing the walls, if that hasn’t already been done. Then, throw a few comfy floor pillows and blankets inside, and you have the perfect little reading cove. This is a great space for kids to have a quiet place to read! A crawl space will not likely have any electrical outlets, but you can use a battery-powered lantern as a reading light, or string battery-powered twinkle lights along the ceiling and walls for a magical aesthetic.