Shhh … It's a Secret (Door, Room, Staircase)

Raise your hand if you used to see The Munsters TV series and secretly envied the trendy lifting stairs where Spot the pet dragon, dwelt below. My hands is way up. The Munster mansion was positively riddled with secret rooms and hidden compartments. The laboratory of grandpa was obtained through a trapdoor in the floor. After you were in the lab, if you pushed on a stone in the wall, then part of the stone wall swung away to show a dungeon. When Herman had a call to make, he tugged on a bellpull, the wall slid open, and a coffin glided out and started to show the phone. Pretty slick. And those were only some of the secret doors and hidden rooms. You’ll need to see the reruns and see just how many others you’ll be able to spot.

You may not have a laboratory, a dungeon or dragon, and you probably use a mobile phone that you can just hide in a pocket, but it doesn’t mean concealed rooms, passageways or compartments are not a great idea. Check out how these homeowners generated a little puzzle and fun in their houses. Is there anything you want to hide?

Hidden Door Store

You really can have that lifting stairs on your own house with no creepy Munster décor. This one hides another stairs to a lower level. This is a lot more intriguing than a coat closet. I simply don’t understand how I’d keep it a mystery, because I’d like to reveal it to everyone.

Red Ridge Millwork

This wine cellar has a bounty of storage out in plain view. However …

Red Ridge Millwork

… the very valuable vintages become stashed in another wine cellar revealed when this whole storage tank opens up. Great idea to use a wine cellar to hide your own wine cellar.

Dan Waibel Designer Builder

In the movies, we observe a wall safe hidden by artwork. What about using artwork to hide things that simply are not that pretty to look at? Framed movie posters can be the perfect way to hide AV parts and that collection of DVDs.

Hidden Door Store

I began thinking about this when one of my clients asked a concealed room for guns. The customer wanted to be certain the guns were protected and concealed in case of a burglary. If what you are hiding is dangerous, put it behind a heavy-duty door that can be locked. The lock is significant if a person discovers your secret spot, but the concealed accessibility behind a bookcase keeps people from even thinking there might be some thing back there.

This photograph and the next three show a wall with sliding panels that appear to be as much for aesthetic appeal as they are for concealing storage compartments as well as the entry to a bedroom.

The ladder rolls along the wall to get access to storage. The wall panel on the left has restored back to show storage. The decorative metal panel slides to the right to demonstrate another doorway behind it.

When the whitened wall panel to the left is open to show the storage, it is hiding the workplace.

A bedroom is supporting the decorative metal panel and a white door. A real sense of solitude is generated while the bedroom entry is behind two layers.

The very best way to hide the entry to an area is to keep people from imagining it is there in the first place. This paneling on the entire wall on each side of the fireplace looks like a normal wall treatment in an upscale house.

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design Inc..

Who would even suspect among the panels opens? The hardware that you choose should be completely invisible. For this kind of door take a look at this invisible hinge from Soss.

Compass Wall Door by Lualdi Porte

These doors are not actually hidden, since they’ve handles. But if they were used using the hardware shown in the previous photo rather, people would not assume they aren’t solid walls, since they move floor to ceiling and the wood is continued in paneling around the room.


Rather than hiding a door within a wall, how about making the whole wall the entry? You would think this is the end wall of a market, but the whole wall slides back to reveal a great little living room. It gives a whole new meaning to the thought of a hideaway.

Choice Wood Company

Using bookcases is by far the number-one way a concealed room is hidden. I believe this works best when you have a library or an office with several bookcases lined up so nothing appears out of place or leads people to suspect a concealed door. But how do you make a recessed bookcase swing open? Read on.

Pangaea Interior Design, Portland, OR

Hidden Door

Here is the hardware that you need to earn a recessed bookcase glide forward and then swing to the side.

Witt Construction

A display case is a bit less likely to arouse suspicion. Utilize museum wax to secure objects to the shelves.

John Lum Architecture, Inc.. AIA

Back again to the idea of that usable space beneath the stairs. You do not need to hide an whole room; drawers beneath the risers are a great idea. And if you only eliminate the noticeable manage …

… and use a little piece of almost-hidden pull or push hardware, then you have a convenient secret compartment — a great idea, even if it’s only for hiding sneakers.

Lipa Woodwork

The compartments beneath this stairway could be wholly secret with no pulls. Again, push latch hardware would do the trick.

Lipa Woodwork

And look at just how handy it is to access all that storage as it slides right out instead of you having to crawl into that deep, dark closet.

So let’s : What could you put in a secret compartment?

Secret Passages and Hidden Areas

Blended Doors for Standout Style

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Wall Treatments

Expand Your Horizons Using Map Wallpaper and Decals

Who is not fascinated by a world map? It indicates faraway places and new adventures. Decorating with map wallpaper allows your mind wander to a big scale. A map is an proper addition to a lot of rooms, from a kid’s bedroom (where it could double as a learning device) into a grownup office.

Wall-size maps come in a variety of styles, from a classic blue, green and brownish relief look to colorful, graphic designs. Patient DIYers can also try wallpapering a room in real maps, but that requires time and skill to get right. Nautical maps are also a wall.

Listed below are eight rooms and four papers and stickers which chart a new class in decorating.

Cara Woodhouse Interiors LLC

An orange Jennifer Delonghe couch pops facing a classic map wall in this area by Feathered Nest Interiors.

Dufner Heighes Inc

Dufner Heighes created the most of a little child’s bedroom with space-efficient built in furniture and map wallpaper.

Dufner Heighes Inc

In another bedroom by Dufner Heights, a map wall takes centre stage. The easy, wooden furnishings don’t distract from the global view.

Grace Home Design

Grace Home Designs also opted to use a map mural in this boy’s bedroom. Here a couple of interlocking accents add to the room’s sense of experience.

World Maps Online

World Map Wall Mural – $134.95

To find the look of the map walls in the previous rooms, you can opt for this offering from World Maps Online.


Brewster Wallcovering World Map Mural – $87.29

Measuring approximately 6 feet by 9 feet, this map mural from Lowe’s is just another choice to make a big impact in any area. Countries are colour coded for additional educational value.

Lisa Tharp Design

A handsome workplace by Kauffman Tharpe Design includes nautical accents, including walls papered in nautical charts. The charts are trapped with apparent thumbtacks.

Pottery Barn

Map Wall Decal – $129

If you don’t need to commit to a permanent map installment, Pottery Barn offers a 5-foot-by-8-foot map decal which lifts off the wall without leaving a mark.

Benedict August

Discuss eclectic. This contemporary nursery Includes a picture map wall in Addition to an Acapulco rocker from Innit, a DIY faux hide from Flor and the iconic Eames Walnut Stool from Design Within Reach.

Christine Tuttle Interior Design

Christine Tuttle Interior Design created this completely nautical bathroom using a nautical chart wallpaper by Ralph Lauren and shipworthy nickel hardware.

Echelon Custom Homes

Echelon Custom Homes took a nautical motif to another level in this powder area. The porthole mirror, a marine-style sconce and map wallpaper are complemented by a life-preserver red vanity and towel.

Fabrics & Papers

Out to Sea Map Wallpaper – EUR 85

To find the look of the nautical bathroom on your home, try this Out to Sea Map Wallpaper from Ralph Lauren, featuring islands, boats, submarines and fish.

Inside this area the homeowner has covered the walls in tiny maps using painter’s tape. You can create a similar look by colour copying maps and implementing them into the walls using either tape or wallpaper paste.

CWB Architects

Blue sheets and storage bins are a perfect foil for the ocean blue of this room’s map mural. Main colors are always a wise choice to set up with a classic map.

A World View: Decorating With Maps

How to Travel the Globe Without Leaving Your Living Room

Locate map decor in the Item section

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Eclectic Homes


The spotlight is on Hollywood, as awards season comes to an end. This made me consider movies in which the architecture is integral to the storyline, where a home becomes an important personality. This listing of 10 is certainly not all inclusive. I have resisted including movies just because the set design is perfection, like A Single Person or Something’s GotId Offer. Additionally, I have never seen The Fountainhead, because it’s my favourite book. Please chime in under in the Remarks section about any I have overlooked.


Grey Gardens (The Criterion Collection): Edith Bouvier Beale, Edith – $21.99

Some call it a gorgeous love story. Some call it a chilling story of residing in a raccoon- and – flea-infested, cat urine–filled home. Most soil somewhere in between the two. In case you haven’t seen Grey Gardens, you are passing up a ton of cultural references and you do not even know it.

Watch the first teaser first, let it marinate and then rent the HBO movie that stars Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore as the two Edies. The latter will answer a whole lot of questions, and also the set designers did an amazing job of imagining and representing the home in its entire glory.


The Money Pit – $5.49

Long before Tom Hanks was stuck on a deserted island he was stuck with this dreadful house and went through a renovation nightmare. I get sucked into this home every time it airs. Tom Hanks is completely hilarious, but the home itself steals the show. Watch it during the frustrating elements of a renovation to observe how things could be much worse.


Home Alone – $11.71

A large, empty brick home plays a big role in this blockbuster. These parents figure out how to leave their son Kevin home alone, and he has to not just take care of himself, but also shield the home by a couple of inept burglars.


Beetlejuice (20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) – $5.19

Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! This movie brought about a new method to describe a particular style of interior décor. “It was a complete Beetlejuice living area” immediately conjures up odd proportions, a dash of bravura modern and extreme use of color. You have to see the movie.


Housesitter – $8.99

Housesitter opens with Steve Martin, playing an architect, suggesting to his girlfriend in front of a gorgeous white home he is designed with a red bow wrapped about it. She says no. Input Goldie Hawn, who’s always dreamed of living in this home.

Another movie with a fantastic home (such as all Nancy Meyers movies) is It is Complicated, where once more Martin plays an architect. Architect is the job screenwriters often give characters.


The Lake House (Widescreen Edition) – $4.99

This movie is so boring I fell dead in the midst of it, however, the glass house to the lake as well as how it joins the two main characters is of the utmost significance to the storyline. It’s also a really neat-looking home; along with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, it’s easy on the eyes. However, if you just wish to watch both of these celebrities and you wish to remain alert, I recommend leasing Speed instead.


House of Sand and Fog – $9.59

This is only one of the most depressing movies I have ever seen in my life, but I can’t think of another movie where the home is as central to the storyline. Additionally, Jennifer Connelley Ben Kingsley and Shohreh Aghdashloo provide performances.


The Notebook – $6.99

If any of you have not seen The Notebook (you’ve seen it at least 10 times or not at all), I do not wish to ruin any surprises, but also the unbelievable renovation of a home as well as the reasons for doing this are very significant.


In The Holiday, the whole plot is made by the two main characters’ swapping of homes. One is a cozy little cabin in the U.K., the other is a big and sleek Hollywood home. As this is a Nancy Meyers movie (such as It is Complicated and Something’s GotId Offer), both are dreamy. Due to the temporary new digs, life changes to the two main characters ensue.


Marie Antoinette – $6.23

In Sofia Coppolla’s Marie Antoinette, the palace in Versailles plays a significant part, from initially imprisoning Marie Antoinette, to later representing so many of the excesses that drove the French Revolution. Another important set is Antoinette’s special escape, the Petit Trianon, a smaller chateau on the home.

I know I am missing movies where a home steals the show. Please share your favorites in the Remarks section.

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So Your Design Is: Japanese

What it is: Japanese interior decorating is rooted in traditions that have been around for millennia. Guided by a longstanding canon of symbols and beliefs, it upholds the ideals of harmony, balance and order, and puts a high value on the beauty of the natural world.

Why it works: Japanese style conveys a sense of purity and integrity that’s like a balm to our frazzled lives. It’s ever so slightly exotic and mysterious, yet comforting at precisely the exact same time.

You will enjoy it if… You would rather have a plate of soba noodles than a bowl of fettuccine. Your shampoo smells like cherry flowers. You rely on the sound of trickling water to soothe you to sleep. Your choice for movie night is Lost in Translation — again. You have exchanged your hefty German cleavers for lightweight santoku knives.

Mark Brand Architecture

Style Secret: Serenity
If there’s one phrase which sums up Japanese style, it’s Zen — a Japanese sect focused on meditation. Interiors which reflect this influence whisper of contemplation, balance, peace. Lines are simple, vistas unobstructed, light abundant and the general feel calm.

East meets West: Even if the bones of the area aren’t rigorously Japanese, you can approximate the look by peeling down. Strip your distance to the essentials: Pack away clutter, undress walls, get rid of superfluous furnishings. Arrange what’s left in a way that keeps an open, flowing sensibility.

Tracy Murdock Allied ASID

Design Secret: Shoji Screens
Shoji screens, a conventional element of Japanese architecture, are constructed of translucent paper (or in the modern world, plastic or glass ) anchored by a grid of pure wood. Because distance in Asian homes tends to be at a premium, shoji screens frequently slide open and shut instead of swinging out.

East meets West: you’re able to translate shoji screens for all sorts of different applications: windows, kitchen cabinets, room dividers and more. The key: Do not obscure them with accessories or furniture — you’ll block the light which filters and mar their austere beauty.

Feinmann, Inc..

Style Secret: Natural Colors
Nature has an immense influence on Japanese style, and the palette is pulled in the world around usinspired by earth, wood and stone. Use neutral, subtle colors which don’t fall at extreme ends of the spectrum. Think creamy whites instead of stark ones, espresso browns rather than dark, pale and midtone forests, and subdued greens and grays.

East meets West: If you long for a daring stroke of color in a Japanese inside, you can pull it off — carefully. Limit yourself to one or two hues, in very limited focal points, or else you risk upsetting the balance that’s so vital to Japanese layout. As an example, you might group a few sculptural red vases on a mantel or strew deep blue floor pillows in the living area.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

Design Secret: Water Features
Japanese style emphasizes strong connections with nature, and water — from bubbling fountains to rushing streams — helps create a tranquil atmosphere. Whether they’re in an inside room or an exterior living space, water features bring a subtly dramatic note that can’t help but catch attention.

East meets West: A fountain isn’t the only means to bring flowing water inside. Try out a freestanding or built-in water wall, a trough which recirculates an indoor-outdoor rain shower. Or get creative and select artwork that depicts flowing waves or water — it’s the next best thing to the actual wet material.

Tracy Stone AIA

Design Secret: Plants
Introducing a touch of living greenery infuses a Japanese-style inside with energy. Pick traditional plants such as bonsai and bamboo, potted in sleek, minimalist containers made of wood, rock or another organic material. Keep the palette focused — green foliage is much more suitable than the usual bounty of colorful blooms.

East meets West: Want to venture outside classic Japanese plants? Bring in specimens which match the character’s sleek, minimalist look: horsetail, ornamental grasses and much more. Or research ikebana, the time-honored art of flower arranging (and there’s no shame in getting the gentleman pinch-hit if you’re all thumbs when it comes to floral design).

cathy Chilton

Style Secret: Rocks and Stones
There’s that link with nature again. Rocks are central to Japanese style, and they’re most commonly found in conventional rock gardens. Smooth, polished stones, such as river stones, best match the serene and fluid feel of a Japanese distance.

East meets West: By all means put in a rock garden to your landscape, but expand the use of stones to your inside also. Use them to accent tile in a bathroom, as a flooring surface or even as a wall covering.

BiglarKinyan Design Planning Inc..

Style Secret: Tatami Mats
Made of woven rushes, tatami mats would be the most bizarre Japanese floor covering, and they symbolize Japanese style in a way that few other items can. They are minimalist and sleek, helping ground the distance in calmness.

Traditionally, tatami mats have been arranged in very particular sizes and patterns according to the measurements of the area, however there’s no need to adhere to old principles — select the mat which works best for the area.

East meets West: Believe past the Ground. Hung on the wall in precisely the exact same way that you might mount a rug or quilt, tatami mats punctuate a space with quiet tone and feel. You might even use them as table runners or coverings.

Michael Fullen Design Group

Design Secret: Sculptural Lighting
Natural lighting drives Japanese style, but fixtures with clean profiles and minimalist lines stand in following the sun sets. Herea Japanese cricket lamp hangs pendant style over a floating nightstand, rather than a more conventional table lamp. You could also pick iconic fixtures which evoke the soul of Japanese decoration, such as the Nelson necklace lamp.

East meets West: Hanging paper lanterns are quintessentially Japanese, but think beyond garden parties and kids’ rooms. Lots of specialty and chain retailers (think Ikea, Crate & Barrel, West Elm) carry simple paper lamps which combine nicely with the Japanese aesthetic.

Much more’So Your Design Is’:
Conventional | Arts & Crafts | Hollywood Regency | Rustic | Old World | French Country | Transitional | Contemporary | Midcentury Modern | Industrial | Eclectic | Coastal | Cottage | Preppy | Art Deco | Southwestern

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Easy and fun Ways to add White Spaces and Color

Color arouses the eye and makes any space intriguing and personal, but it does not mean you need to paint the walls. There are benefits to having white partitions (if you lease, possibly your landlord has told you this already). White retains a room feeling bright and clean, and is a great background color to make other colors visually stunning. Here are strategies to make a white room sing with colour.

More: Are You Gutsy Enough to Paint Your Floor White?

Emily Ruddo

Play different spaces within an open floor plan. Keep your house light and white, and let colour shine throughout on cloths, wall art and furnishings/decor to divide up your spacious rooms.

Rethink Design Studio

Warm up a kids’ room. Add a spool of a perky colour like yellow, together with a large pattern, to a white space and it will be really cheerful for the small ones. Add DIY bits such as trim around lamp shades.


Bring in a large piece of artwork. To pull the eye into a space and produce a vibrant impact, pick up one enormous piece of artwork and place it onto a focal wall over a sofa, fireplace, bed, dining table or dresser.

Emily A. Clark

Produce a warm master bedroom. Bring in heat through furniture. Against a blue-tinted white wall (a relaxing color of white), dark timber furniture seems divine. Fluffy white bedding looks like a tempting white blur when placed on a chocolate finished bed frame, and the deep blue window treatments aren’t just great for keeping the room dark at night, but the blue is calming to the eye.

Dreamy Whites

Add a little softness. This is excellent for a guest area palette. Keep the room soft and cozy by painting walls a grey white and adding layers of white bedding start with a bed skirt, sheets and comforter or coverlet, put in a blanket or throw at the end of the bed which has lighter quieter tinted colors. Then top the bed(s) with petal pillows.

Jamie Laubhan-Oliver

Show off metal finishes. A crisp white backdrop lets reflective finishes shine. This could be a fantastic opportunity to put in a gallery of gold or silver frames.

Vintage Scout Interiors, Debbie Basnett

Add a large piece of vibrant furniture. Wrap the item of furniture in your room in colour. Forget about a sofa; bring in a joyful vibrant upholstered sofa. Or change your present sofa by reupholstering or including a slipcover.

Add a colored piece of furniture. Red, blue, green or some other color painted onto a desk, buffet, accent table or even a bed frame may turn a white room to an inspired, fun space. I adore the idea of using a piece of painted furniture in an entryway. It will be a “wow” moment for anybody entering your property.

More: How to Select the Ideal White Paint
Are You Gutsy Enough to Paint Your Floor White?
Sexy Ideas for Cool White Spaces

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