‘Where to put a secret room in house?’
‘How to DIY a secret room in house?’
‘What to put in a secret room?’
While the pandemic by itself is scary enough, it might trigger more unemployment and social unease in the coming few years. The concept of a secret room is getting more and more popular these days as everyone is feeling insecure.
Calm down, we are about to show your a number of house plans with secret rooms and secret room decor ideas. Want a comfy place completely for yourself? Start jotting notes!
What is a secret room?
Secret rooms are also known as “panic rooms”, “safe rooms” or “hideout rooms”. They are hidden secure locations designed to allow the inhabitant to stay alive and safe for a while in the case of any danger or home invasion.
What are the reasons to have a secret room?
If you are wondering about any of the follow then probably you need a secret room.
- How to hide a large safe?
- How to hide from invaders in case that will happen one day?
- How to survive and sty protected for a long while in case there is a war, more crisis, or the pandemic continues for years?
- How to have a comfortable private area away from it all?
- How to enjoy a secret bathroom that you’ll never have to share?
- How to protect my collectibles in a controlled conditions?
- How to store many things safely away?
- How to give the best Harry Potter childhood memory to my kids?
- How to make my house as cool as those good castles with secret servants passageways?
- How to give my airbnb a secret passage for privacy?
Where to put a secret room inside?
This is probably how everyone starts – where to put a secret room in my house? Ideally you want an area that is not too hot, not too humid, and have enough headroom. Consider the following areas for inspiration.
- hidden room in your bedroom,
- hidden room in your kitchen,
- hidden room in your bathroom,
- hidden room in basement,
- hidden room in attic(find a house with a very low attic space so others do not notice it from the street view),
- hidden room in big shelves,
- hidden room under the stairs,
- hidden room between walls,
- hidden room between levels,
- hidden room between rooms,
- hidden room in backyards
How to hide secret rooms in plain sight?
How do you make the entrance of the hideout room more secret?
The main challenge is to hide cracks in the doorframe.
You want to hide your entrance in the natural setting at an unexpected location. Consider also how the entrance open up, there are many secret door unlocking mechanism that are based upon a user defined sequence.
Decide whether only thin person or kids can get in and out easily through your secret entrance. You want to build the secret door in non-standard dimensions, as that will be less obvious as the entrance for secret room. Also if someone wants to break in, he or she needs to first get into an uncomfortable vulnerable position and that will give you buffer time for self protection.
- entered through false ceiling in the kitchen or bathroom,
- have the staircase rotate as a hidden door,
- entered through a long florescent tube light fixture in the ceiling,
- hidden door on the floor under a carpet, bed or sofa,
- hidden door behind or inside closets,
- hidden door behind a painting,
- hide a door in a wall,
- panel the entire wall as a hidden door,
- hidden door behind bookcase,
- hidden door behind refrigerator,
- hidden door behind the back of a kitchen cabinet or a bathroom vanity,
- hidden door behind the bathroom mirror
If you’re looking for a room that will remain secret to a serious investigation, not just to an unsuspecting houseguest or a smash-n-grab burglar, you’ll need to build the house around it or find an old house with lots of additions, mismatched floor levels, and odd angles.
You want something that will be nice and confusing to anyone who tries measuring the outside of the house and then adds up the measurements of the rooms inside to see how they compare. This is overkill for a private reading room, but something to consider if you really don’t want the room to be found.
How to build a secret room in your house?
For very complicated secret room design you should go for secret room builders as a lot of knowledge and skill will be required to excel the work on acoustic control, safety locking system, humid and lighting design.
However, many people actually prefer DIY work as they want nobody including the builder to know the location of the secret room. If you are one of them, here is the overview of how to build a secret room indoor.
- Make a list of functionalities wanted in the secret room, and set priority base on limitations(such as budget, area available, build time & construction difficulties). For example, a secret room with bathroom will need very different drainage and acoustic system comparing to a secret reading nook.
- Decide on the secret room location base on the size and quality of the space needed.
- Decide whether there will be multiple accesses for the secret room for easy escape.
- Design the secret entryway to help authenticate the illusion. You will need to do a lot of research on different secret door mechanics base on the amount of safety you want. They will not be cheap, also not every model you see in online forums is available in your country or can work for the weight of your door. The easiest way is to go to a local ironmongery store and ask the experts there. If you have the budget for it, a custom secret entryway can be created specifically for your secret room. The custom door is actually a high-tech machine that can be controlled by a wireless transmitter hidden inside a book, sculpture or other object that opens the door when tilted or moved, just like you would see in your favorite movie. The entryway is shipped to the location in its own frame that is designed to fit precisely in the space for which it was created.
- Plan for a coordinated secret room design to balance building services, budget, comfort and safety. Proper electrical work on wiring, lighting, independent backup power supply will be necessary for a safe living. If a bathtub, WC or water pipe will be installed, that will complicate the project as you do not want any potential leakage or flood issue. Some people also want to install excellent acoustic system or Radioactive protection shields for the secret room. Consult a licensed contractor or structural engineer for the best coordinated result.
- Prepare the space such as start converting a closet, or demolish/building extra walls/levels. You should be careful not to damage any load-bearing wall or floor structure.
- Furnishing and decorating the space. This is the fun part and the part you can do all the work by yourself. This includes painting, paneling, installing flooring, building built-in storage, shelving, cabinets and adding furniture, lamps or light fixtures.
- Enjoy and move in!
How to make a secret hideout outside?
If you have deep pockets, you may actually BUILD a secret room somewhere outside, like how people do in (horror) movies. The secret room can be in your office or a place where no one knows it exists.
The steps to DIY a secret outdoor hideout is similar to how you build one indoor, however, you need to pay extra attention to the following points.
- Decide whether to build the secret hideout above ground, underground or on a tree.
- Decide how far to build the outdoor hideout from the main house and how the two will be connected(or not).
- Invest in good framing design, waterproofing, protection from animals & pest, lightning safety.
Special tips for secret room design
If you are planning to build a secret room from scratch, you definitely need to go though more secret room designs and house plans with secret rooms. Otherwise, you would have to spend a lot to correct a tiny mistake (since it is a construction). Designing a secret room with a safety hideout propose is different from a fun cute kids’ secret playroom.
If you are designing a secret room as safe room or panic room then you need to pay attention to the following tips.
- The secret room door should be solid, open inward, and be secured with a strong lock.
- The safe room should blend in with the rest of the house without standing out and calling attention to itself.
- You should pre-wire your secret safe room for an alarm panel, lights, and power. Have a direct-dial phone in addition to your cell.
- Install either chicken wire or steel sheeting under the drywall for extra protection.
- Install a one-sided dead bolt lock at a different level than the regular lock.
- Hang the door so that the hinges are on the room side rather than the outside, where they could potentially be removed.
- Either install bullet-proof glass in your windows or reinforce your existing glass with shatterproof laminate. Or pick a space without obvious window.
- Hang heavy, lined curtains so that the potential intruder can’t see through them.
- Install a security system—whatever you can afford—from inexpensive door and window “squealers” that screech if they are moved to a complete system with alarms and connection to the security company.
- Make sure your safe room has a vent that can be opened or closed for fresh air.
- Consider investing in a home-monitoring unit with closed-circuit TV that can be patched into a set in the safe room so that the residents can observe what’s happening in and around the house. You can even build up home automation system to control your lighting, AV, security, refrigerator system all from the comfort of your secret room.
How to decorate a secret hideout?
After dealing with your secret room design, you have to explore different secret room decor ideas. It is the time to show your personal preference and match the style with the secondary functions you are assigning to the secret room.
- Home Theater
- Children’s Playroom
- Man (or Woman) Cave
- Reading Nook
- Safe Room
- Collector’s Room
What to put in a secret room?
So when the secret room design and decor are done, you have to start thinking what are the necessary items to put in your secret room in case something bad will happen.
The things you choose to stock in your safe room depend upon the situations you are trying to protect yourself against, who will get into the secret room and how long you expect to be there. Some basics include:
- A first-aid kit,
- A battery-operated or hand-cranked radio (in case there is no more internet),
- A light source that is independent on your main electricity supply,
- A dedicated cell phone that is charged regularly,
- Drinking water and juice drinks (for children),
- Storable food bars, chocolate bars, MREs, small cans of freeze dried fruits and vegetables,
- A portable toilet, toilet paper, sanitary napkin, and moistened wipes,
- Diapers, food, and clothing (for baby),
- Bowl, water, food and folded newspaper or a small litter box (for pets),
- Layers of blankets and pillows for comfort of different seasons,
- A change of clothing and underwear,
- All regularly needed prescriptions or OTC meds, survival vitamins, and Potassium Iodide tablets in case of a radiation threat,
- Duct tape,
- A ladder or rope for escape,
- Defensive weapons,
- Books or an e-reader such as a Kindle or Nook (and a way to charge electronics), loaded with material for whatever ages you have in your family,
- Paper, pen for killing time or communication in silence ,
- Reflective blankets for additional warmth,
- A battery-powered fan for cooling and circulation (you’ll want lots of extra batteries),
- Games for entertainment,
- Safe for valuables(cash, car key, passport, driver license, gold, jewelry),
- Power generator for electricity backup,
- Device to guarantee water safety,
- Plastic bags to seal items of strong smell and trash,
- An alternative way of contacting authorities quickly, such as a safety medallion like those often used by the elderly
Small secret room ideas
Though the secret room is a place completely for yourself, you still want it to look and feel good, otherwise you cannot enjoy quality while staying inside. If you have no idea about secret room design, here we are showing you some simple secret room decor ideas. You may also find more secret room decor ideas from our other blogs.
Secret room door decor ideas
If you really do not want to invest so much time and money on designing the secret room, then at least invest in the door design. Your secret room door is the first thing you see when you head to spend some quality alone time in your secret room. Imagine having a dysfunctional or ragged secret room door, this is probably would be the worst way to start your secret time.
Building or designing a secret room is such a big deal. Make sure you know what kind of secret room decor you want before starting the renovation. It would be very hard to reverse once you change the structure of the house!