Adding Mystery to a Home with Secret Spaces

Written By Melisa Wilson
November 15, 2019

Whether you are looking for an escape or a super-secret hideout, d|a has found hidden rooms and passageways a magical addition to several of their recent designs. What better way to add a sense of mystery, wonder or whimsy to a home?

Recently, d|a designed a secret wine room behind a wall in the dining area. It looks like a regular wall with a piece of art on it. But, if you push the right rock on the nearby fireplace, the piece of art and wall split down the middle, opening up to reveal a curated wine collection. It’s a fun way to add surprise and interest to a space.

The wine room, exposed via hidden passageway. Photography by Aaron Kraft – Krafty Photos

Similar to sliding doors one sees at a grocery store, we clad the automated doors in wood, transforming the secret door into a wall. The key to opening the hidden room is as unexpected as the room itself, amplifying the fun and excitement of having a secret space.

There’s a secret entrance that applies to almost every magical fictional world, from Harry Potter’s Platform 9 3⁄4 to Doctor Who’s police box or Narnia’s wardrobe. These are the kinds of stories that kids of all ages love to escape to, and a hidden room makes the dream a reality. With a secret entrance, even the simplest of playrooms is transformed to a magical escape. Best of all, the actual process of creating this type of entrance isn’t much more complicated than designing a door.

Just as Lucy pushed past fur coats through a wardrobe to get to Narnia, one project d|a is in the process of designing right now brings Narnia’s wardrobe to life in the kids’ bunk rooms. In this design, an elevated walkway connects two bunk rooms, but it isn’t obvious how to access the walkway. From each room, one must push through a wardrobe to access the connecting walkway. If one doesn’t know the secret, the walkway, and neighboring bunk room are less accessible.

Chris Lee said requests for secret doors, hidden passageways and covert rooms seem to be increasing in popularity. “The word is out somewhere,” he said. “Our generation is more into kids. We are much more involved in our children. Because of that we are much more like, ‘why not?’ This is such a fun thing we can do. It’s pretty easy to conceal a door. In a big house, it’s so easy to get turned around, and you have no idea.”

Photography by Aaron Kraft – Krafty Photos

Of course, some use the secret spaces for security reasons. A room without an obvious entrance can serve as a panic room or a place for valuables. Lee said that thankfully in our region, there isn’t such a demand for that kind of secret space. Here, the trick is mainly used for fun. It’s a flourish d|a carries off well, adding to the magic of a home.