Top 50 Best Hidden Door Ideas – Secret Room Entrance Designs
Secret doors aren’t just the stuff of royals and spies; the modern man is just as deserving of a little privacy, albeit with a dash of mischief.
Hidden doors have been in use for centuries, acting as private passageways otherwise unknown to the wider household and potential prying eyes.
These secret entryways were capable of guarding riches, as well as simply providing a bit of security for the room’s occupant, and continue to promise the same today.
A secret door is your chance to get a little creative with your secrecy, regardless of what lies on the other side. Clever bookshelves with a “trick” latch, wall paneling, and even built-in household implements can all conceal a sacred chamber, providing endless entertainment and intrigue for guests and owners alike. Many hidden door designs are deceptively easy to install, featuring a number of additional components to suit your space and needs. One thing is certain: your home will be the winking embodiment of the phrase “more than meets the eye.”
From Batman’s lair to the tombs of the ancient Egyptians, there are a number of inspirations behind a secret door. Whether you’re looking to add a bit of fun and mystery to your abode or are keen on some old world seclusion, these hidden door ideas are your escape from the obvious–and an endlessly fun approach at that.
1. Bookshelf Hidden Door Ideas
This is one of the traditional methods for creating a hidden doorway. You’ve probably seen a large bookcase that takes up an entire wall. Then there’s one section that magically hinges open to reveal a hidden space. Another option is to have a door-sized bookshelf built into the wall but this bookshelf is actually a door that you can open and walk behind.
One thing that you’ll notice about all of these bookshelves is that they are flush with the rest of the wall. This makes it easier to attach the concealed hinges on the backside so that the door opens inward towards the hidden room.
When creating this style of door, you’ll want to think about the depth of your bookcase. You can buy a pre-built Murphy door or construct your own from scratch. The bookcase door needs to sit flush with the wall but also have enough room to swing open.
You can get creative in how your door opens by installing a latch on the backside that’s connected to a cable. Thread the cable through the bookshelf and attach it to a woodblock. Cover the woodblock with a book cover and mount it to the shelf on a hinge. Then when you tilt that “book” forward, it pulls the cable, which opens the latch.
2. Hidden Door Ideas for Paneled Walls
The brilliance behind a hidden paneled door is that you could be staring right at it and not know it’s even there. To the unknowing observer, the wall looks like a continuous wall with no breaks. This type of secret entrance is a bit easier since you can use a standard door that you’ll then cover with panels.
Your first step is to choose the wall that you want to cover in panels. Remove any trim that’s currently around the door. You want to create a smooth canvas across the entire wall and door. Then choose your paneling material. This look works well in modern styled homes since it blends in with the sleek and minimalist look.
You have a lot of freedom with this choice. You could use repeating square panels, horizontal wooden shiplap, floor to ceiling panels, or vertical wood paneling. If you choose a panel pattern that has vertical seams, then it will be easier to hide the door seams in the panel pattern.
To make your door a success, you’ll need to buy a spring-loaded latch that’s more powerful than the standard. A spring-loaded latch will eliminate the need for a traditional door handle. Your hidden door is more substantial and weighs more than a typical door, so standard spring-loaded latches won’t have the pressure or power to thrust your hidden door open. Look for a latch that has more than the standard 2-3 pounds of pressure.
3. Hidden Door Ideas for Coffered and Wainscot Walls
While having smooth panels looks nice, they may not completely camouflage the door. This is where wainscoting becomes useful. Traditionally, wainscoting was used on the lower half of walls to hide the evidence of rising dampness. These days, it’s purely decorative.
There are five types of wainscoting; beadboard, overlay, raised panel, flat panel, batten, and board. If you want to easily apply wainscoting to your wall and hidden door, you can buy pre-fabricated panels and other trim pieces. This will make installation faster.
Raised-panel is the most traditional and respected form of wainscoting. It requires close attention to detail as each piece of trim is cut, routered, and beveled to exacting measurements. It features a variety of raised trim and panels to create a pattern of squares and rectangles. This style looks best in Queen Anne or Colonial style homes.
Flat-panel wainscoting is similar to the raised panel, but there are no raised center or decorative trim pieces. There’s a flat panel as the base and then trim pieces are places over it called stiles. The raised stiles will create a square pattern. This style looks best in Mission-style homes that embrace simple lines, exposed rafters, and an emphasis on craftsmanship.
You’ll see board-and-batten used more often as exterior siding, but it can also appear indoors. This type of wainscoting has alternating boards that have wider planks of wood placed first and then more narrow strips, or battens, placed over the edges of two neighboring boards. This type of paneling is more informal and considered “classic Americana”. It first became popular during the Victorian Era because of its durability and affordability.
4. Bathroom Hidden Door Ideas
One of the more popular hidden doors ideas is to hide away a bathroom. Hiding the bathroom door can create a cleaner look to your home by hiding the entrance to this secret room. This may not be the best choice for your main bathroom in the home, though. It can work well for your master or rarely used guest bathroom.
The one downside is that your bathroom location won’t be readily distinguishable to guests. This can lead to that awkward conversation of them asking and you having to show the way. But if you enjoy the theatrics and mystery, then this won’t be a big deal.
While you can use a bookshelf for your bathroom door, consider how often the door will get used. This door will get moved more often than a regular door, so you want anything on the shelves to be stable. A more practical choice is to use paneling or wainscoting.
5. Cabinetry Hidden Door Ideas
A cabinet hidden door can blend beautifully into your kitchen or dining room. You already have cabinetry in these rooms, so creating a false cabinet that’s actually a door will be relatively easy. To make this look work, you’ll make the door look like another cabinet door complete with matching hardware.
If you have custom cabinets, then you can ask the carpenter to make you a cabinet door in the dimensions you need. If your cabinets aren’t custom, you can recreate the look by covering a standard door to look like your cabinets. Be sure to use cabinet hardware instead of a doorknob.
If your door is a part of a wall of cabinetry, you can make it blend in by repeating a pattern found elsewhere. You could have a fireplace or bookshelf in the center of the wall, and then cabinets or bookshelves framing the central feature. One side is actual cabinets or shelving, the other matches in looks, but is hiding the door. This symmetry is appealing to the eye and will trick people into not noticing that one side is a door.
6. Hidden Door Ideas for Floor Hatches
Staircases can take up a lot of room. Instead of building out a set of stairs going down to your basement, why not create a secret hatch in your floor? This lets you use the square footage above the stairs as floor space when you aren’t using the stairs.
When creating your floor hatch, keep in mind that it will be bigger than you think it needs to be. The floor needs to open up large enough that you won’t hit your head while going up or down the stairs. Most end up being a long rectangle. You’ll also want to consider installing hydraulic arms. This will help you lift the concealed doors easily and close it smoothly. For increased safety, consider installing a handrail on the underside of your hatch door.
7. Under Stair Hidden Door Ideas
The space under your stairs is the most unused and wasted space in the home. Depending on the construction of your stairs, you could turn this space into a child’s playroom, storage room, guest bathroom, or mini home office. All of these ideas need a door. But having a door to the under the stairs space may look odd and out of place. Hiding the door allows you to utilize the space while not compromising the architectural design of your stairs.
To create this look in your home, skip the door handle, and opt for a spring-loaded hinge. This will give you a seamless appearance. You should also consider following the lines of your trim that are already in place. This may mean that your door is a unique shape, such as having an angled top to follow the angle of the stairs.
Consider having this hidden door swing outward. There may not be enough room under your stairs to have the door swing inward and still leave enough space for you to comfortably walk through the doorway.
8. Hidden Door Ideas for Behind Artwork, Murals, and Wallpaper
So far, every idea we’ve discussed has you blending the door into the surrounding furniture and architecture of your house. But sometimes, you can hide the door in plain sight. One bold idea is to remove the door and instead mount a floor to ceiling piece of artwork on hinges. The picture will sit on the wall instead of being flush like other hiding strategies. Guests will walk by and admire your impressive and large display of artwork but you’ll know that it hides the entrance to a hidden room.
Another option is to disguise the door with wallpaper or paint. For the most effective camouflage, choose wallpaper or a painted mural that has a lot of detail and design. The eye will get distracted by the pattern and image. You can choose a plain color, but you will still be able to see the seams around the door when it’s closed.
The advantage of this method is that you can have a standard door handle on the door, and most people won’t notice it. It also works well for doors that you want to hide, but can’t turn into cabinetry, wainscoting, or bookshelves. Try using this method in a hallway where space is limited, but a bold wallpaper will make a beautiful interior design statement.
Hidden Door FAQs
Can I create a hidden door in my already built home?
Yes, you can! Look for a door that you want to hide. This could be a door to your under staircase area, in a hallway, off the living room, or in your kitchen. Once you choose the door you want to hide, choose from these ideas on how you want to hide it. Then build out your camouflage to conceal the door.
Do I have to put a handle on my hidden door?
No, depending on the hinge system you choose, you may be able to skip the door handle completely. But keep in mind that some hiding strategies benefit from a handle. Consider using a handle that blends in with the surrounding cabinetry and not a traditional doorknob. If you don’t want any handle at all, then look for a spring-loaded device. You operate the door by activating the secret switch.
Would I benefit from having a secret door?
Anyone who wants to hide something will benefit from a secret door. This style of door lets you create a secret place where you can hide your most valuable belongings. Hidden doorways and secret passageways can also add a level of whimsy and fun to your home. Instead of using your secret door to guard your prized possessions, use it to create a special entrance to your game room or children’s playroom.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
With cellphones so ubiquitous, your watch choice can be less about telling time and more about personal style. However, a watch is not ‘just’ a watch. For example, the vast majority are made for right-handed people, but a select few cater to the lefties among us. There is a wide range in functionality and size.
The wristwatch is also one of the few socially acceptable accessories for men, so why not have a small selection? If you’re not cashing a CEO’s paycheck just yet, here are the top 28 most handsome watches for men that retail for under $500.
Got a bigger budget? Then check out our guide to the best men’s watches under $1000 instead.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
1. Tommy Hilfiger Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
If you like the feel of a pliable, non-metal band but aren’t comfortable with genuine leather, this watch comes equipped with a handsome synthetic band. At 46mm in diameter, this watch is perfect for men of smaller stature, as it will not overpower your hand or make it look like you’re wearing your father’s watch. With bold Arabic numerals, a stainless steel case, and classic styling, this watch is an outstanding choice for an everyday watch and the man on a budget.
2. Nordgreen Pioneer – Black Dial
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Not everyone has an endless amount of cash to drop on a luxury timepiece. If you’re money-conscious but want something high-end, then why not consider the Nordgreen Pioneer.
An inspired take on a classic Chronograph, Nordgreen celebrates the Danish with what they call a timepiece “that captures the sustainable future.” Available in various dial colors from blue, black, and white. There’s even the choice of three case colors – gunmetal, silver, and rose gold. A perfect addition to the collection of any watch enthusiast.
3. Fossil Grant Brown Leather Watch
This lovely offering by Fossil features slim Roman numeral hour markers and delicate cut-out hands. The casing is stainless steel and is water-resistant to 165 feet, making it a great dive watch. The band is made of supple, soft calfskin leather and uses a buckle closure.
Of course, this timepiece also comes with the generous 11-year warranty and it’s own fun tin. This watch oozes class and is great for nearly every occasion in your life.
4. Citizen Sport Stainless Steel Men’s Watch With Brown Leather Band
If you don’t want to deal with changing out a battery in a digital watch, this watch is powered by either natural or indoor lighting. The mineral crystal face and stainless steel case make this watch water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for swimmers and snorkelers.
Handsome and utilitarian, this is a great watch for everyday wear. It’s one of the best watches for men who are always on the go.
5. Fossil Men’s Machine Chronograph Silicone Watch
This watch was designed with the active man in mind. The knurled silicone band stands up to sweat and oils without issue, and the timepiece itself is water-resistant to 165 feet.
The patterned bezel and quality craftsmanship of the black dial is excellent, as is to be expected from a Fossil watch. It even comes in the iconic and collectible tin!
6. Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Watch
This men’s watch features Japanese quartz movement that charges itself indoors or out when exposed to light, making it a great choice for those who don’t want to change out the battery too often. The stitched canvas strap is soft against your skin and will wick away moisture, while the mineral crystal face stands up to the rigors of your everyday life.
Water-resistant to 330 feet, this dive watch is a classic and simple design you’ll be proud of for years to come.
7. Invicta Pro Diver Chronograph Men’s Watch
Another gorgeous offering by Invicta, this watch features a bold design with a slightly nautical feel to it. It will look at home whether you’re wearing a business suit or are going for a dive of less than 660 feet. This piece is also covered by a one-year warranty as a matter of course. The luminosity feature and magnified date window make it a great choice if you work or play in low light.
If you want something that looks like a Tag Heuer but without the luxury watch brand price tag, this is a good option!
8. Casio Edifice Multi-Function Men’s Watch
This watch has three sub-dials for 12 hour, 60 minute and 60-second displays, in addition to the standard time. It also features a fold-over, push-down clasp on the stainless strap, keeping it secure throughout your activities. If you’re looking for a classy timepiece that shrieks sophistication, this is a great choice.
9. Fossil Machine Three Hand Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This quality watch is a chameleon piece. It looks at home as a dress watch riding below the cuff of your best suit, and it also looks great paired with jeans and a t-shirt. Backed by Fossil’s 11-year warranty as a matter of course and beautifully crafted, this smoke-colored piece is guaranteed to become the go-to accessory for nearly every occasion.
10. MVMT Watches Black Face Men’s Watch
If you like the look of a simple watch, this minimalist offering from MVMT is right up your alley. With just a plain black face, tick marks to denote the hours and a single date window, there is nothing overdone or extravagant about this design. The is understated and suited to the simple design. It’s definitely a classy, low-key piece for the budget-conscious.
11. Timex Weekender Watch
If you’re looking for a fun watch to pair with casual outfits, this is a great option. The band is blue and yellow woven nylon, and the face features both civilian and military timekeeping. An Indiglo night light is also included. This watch is water-resistant to 99 feet, meaning it can withstand splashes of water or exposure to rain but you won’t want to submerge it.
12. PUMA Ultrasize Black Sport Men’s Watch
Boasting a 50mm diameter, this piece is perfect for the large-framed man or one who likes to wear his accessories oversized. A true fashion statement, this sports watch comes in eight different colors schemes to match your favorite hues.
Do be aware, however, that the dial knob is configure for left-handed men!
13. Timex Easy Reader Men’s Watch
Another dress watch designed with the older gentleman in mind, this watch features a white dial with generously sized numerals that do not appear comical to the casual observer.
It’s also an excellent choice if you take your contacts out at night and still want to be able to check the time. With classic lines and a simple white face, the watch would not be out of place at any casual gathering. It comes with Timex’s one-year warranty at no additional charge.
14. Fossil Nate Men’s Chronograph Watch
For men who like a more gritty, industrial feel to their accessories, this Fossil watch is right on point. The bezel is gear-edged and the face is utilitarian black and gray. Water-resistant to 165 feet, this watch is a great choice if you like your adornments to be understated yet add visual interest.
It’s definitely a stand-out piece, for those who would take notice!
15. Timex Expedition Field Chronograph Men’s Watch
Featuring an indigo night light, tachymeter, a date window and a buckle closure, this watch is perfect for men who like to work or play outdoors. It is also water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for snorkeling or swimming.
You won’t want to wear it for diving, however. With classic, black styling and a genuine crystal face, this is a timepiece that will stand the test of time in both form and function.
16. Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This Seiko automatic watch has all the bells and whistles you need, but presents it all in a plain and strikingly attractive manner. It features a date window in either English or Spanish, sword-shaped hands, a sweeping second hand and a mineral dial window. This is a great option for the man on the go. The canvas strap can be removed and hand-washed if sweat or other odors become an issue.
This watch is not water-resistant, so you’ll only want to wear it when you won’t be popping by the pool for a swim!
17. Invicta Pro Diver Collection Silver-Tone Men’s Watch
For those who prefer an all-metal timepiece, the stainless steel Invicta fits the bill nicely. It has a similar aesthetic to a Tag Heuer watch, but at a more affordable price. Equipped with a unilateral bezel and removable links, the band can be customized to fit your wrist perfectly. The face is flame fusion crystal and features a magnifier to highlight the date window.
It’s also water-resistant to 660 feet. If you’re looking for a gorgeous watch that stands up to an active lifestyle, this is an excellent choice.
18. Seiko Men’s Adventure-Solar Classic Casual Watch
This Seiko watch derives its power from either natural or indoor light and can withstand water depths of up to 330 feet. The supple brown leather strap and timeless brushed steel give this piece an attractive look, and the alarm chronograph is easy to set.
If you’re looking for a watch that can serve as a backup for your wake-up call while traveling, stand up to the elements and look awesome, this casual wrist watch is a winner.
19. Nautica Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Blue Resin Band
Featuring a plethora of options and a smart, snappy style, this a great casual watch with a eye-catching blue dial. The hardy resin band is adjustable, and the face is protected by a mineral window. Whether for work or play, this bold blue design is handsome and substantial on the wrist. It comes with Nautica’s five-year warranty at no additional charge.
20. Citizen Sport Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Black Leather Band
The black, red and white face of this piece eschews the traditional two-tone color scheme so often employed in other watches, and the contrasting stitching on the band adds creative flair. It comes backed by Citizen’s five-year warranty and will compliment any casual outfit.
21. Alessi Tic15 Analog Display Analog Quartz Black Men’s Watch
Another not-quite-round offering on our list, the curved square casing of this piece gives it instant visual appeal. Sleek and clean, this unfussy design will be a compliment to almost any occasion. It has quartz movement and is water-resistant to 99 feet, making it a great choice for everyday wear.
22. Invicta 1517 I Force Collection Watch
Another on our list designed for left-handed men, this watch is something special. Water-resistant to 330 feet and featuring oversize stenciled numbers and a sub dial, this watch is great for any casual outfit. The cloth band is extremely durable and stands up to dirt, sweat and grime.
If you lead an active lifestyle, this watch will be right at home in your collection.
23. TRIWA Blue Steel Nevil Canvas Watch
This watch comes in a whopping 14 color variations, all of them beautiful. You may decide to add more than one to your collection!
Designed in Sweden, this watch features Japanese quartz movement, a stainless steel casing and a strap made from Tärnsjö organic leather. TRIWA, which stands for Transforming the Industry of Watches, believes in the artistry of fine jewelry and it shows in their product.
24. Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance Watch
Another fine dress watch from the makers of the Swiss Army knife, this watch is emblazoned with the internally recognized cross and shield emblem. It has no sub-dials, tachymeter or other add-ons to detract from its simple and appealing style.
This watch will be at home with all but the most formal of outfits and carries a two-year warranty.
25. Ingersoll Automatic Stainless Steel Bull Run Watch
Again, Ingersoll remakes the classics and brings them into the present day. With a highly polished stainless steel casing, two sub-dials, a date aperture and arrow-shaped hands, this quartz watch is beautiful.
The band features contrasting stitching on the fine-grain leather, adding depth and detail to the workmanship. This watch will compliment any casual occasion and can be relied upon for years to come.
26. Tissot Quickster Chronograph Black Leather Men’s Watch
Made with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and Swiss automatic movement, this watch is a smart and utilitarian choice. If you’re looking for a solid Swiss watch that isn’t flashy, this is an excellent option. It’s also guaranteed for two years.
27. Seiko Sport Solar Men’s Beige Watch
Are you getting tired of squinting down at your watch or holding it closer and closer to your face? Don’t worry, we all get a bit nearsighted with age, especially over the age of 40.
If you’re not quite ready for reading glasses or a comically huge watch, this is a great choice from Seiko. The numerals, indices and luminous hands stand out in stark white against a black background, and the numerals are generous in size. It’s a perfect casual watch for the older gentleman.
28. Seiko Men’s 5 Watch Blue Canvas Band
This simple and affordable watch has a clean, crisp aesthetic to it and doesn’t bog down its design with a ton of bells and whistles. It’s time and date, end of.
If you want a watch for casual wear, this Seiko is a shoo-in. The band is forgiving and comfortable against your wrist, and it’s blue color will likely compliment your existing wardrobe. The price is also extremely affordable.
29. Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Stainless Steel Watch With Brown Leather Band
Featuring the Hilfiger logo at the three o’clock position, this wrist watch is a statement piece. It is a bright, shiny stainless steel work of art that you’ll be proud to wear at all but the most stuffy of workplaces. The calfskin leather band uses a buckle closure and the date window is beside the logo at three o’clock.
If you’re a fan of Tommy clothing, cologne or luggage, you can complete your look with this stunning accessory.