How can I make this hidden door more hidden and less hideous?

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I have a hidden door though it doesn't look so hidden at the moment and I like the appeal of a hidden door. We do need to use the door, but not often. This is in a bedroom and the only furniture will be a bed (it needs to be allergy friendly). It leads to a stairwell, which leads to a shelter room. The random pineapple on the wall is how you open the door. It is at ached to a piece of wire that presses the bar on the other side of the door. It is like a door you would seen in a gym with a large bar that goes from one side to the other. I am looking for suggestions to make it look more hidden and less hideous. The door swings into the room. There is also an air conditioning vent at the bottom of the door. (Half of it is in front of the door)

I also have two holes on the other wall that go to the bathroom pipes in case they need fixed. There was a huge panel over them, but wanting something more creative. Anyone have ideas?

I just repainted the room a light green and the trim white. There is a missing piece of trim at the top of the door that they had magnetically attached but it would never stay. I will be adding a matching piece there. I will also be adding thick wood trim to the entire room at the floor.
q hidden door help, doors
q hidden door help, doors
q hidden door help, doors
  62 answers
  • Sharon Sharon on Dec 27, 2016
    Paint the room in vertical stripes. Use two colors just a shade apart. Be sure to line up the stripes starting at the edge of the door and it might just disappear.

  • William William on Dec 27, 2016
    Like Sharon's idea! also add molding at the top and bottom of the door to match the room. Should blend in.

  • Janice S Janice S on Dec 27, 2016
    Both William & Sharon have good ideas.

    The molding being part of the door & ceiling would look good. Help tie together.
    Stripes on the wall you would have to like. Stripes only on that wall and use the lighter color on the other walls.
    Some kind of pattern/wall paper or texture on the wall would help hide it.

    On your wall with the wholes, depending on what the room is used for, do a row of photos or pictures. The whole wall could be done with various sizes and themes. Family, kids, friends, trips, animals. Use your own or purchase prints from a store. Even second hand store for prints & frames.

    Where dose the door lead to?

    Vent, block the potion inside the door with a piece of Styrofoam to stop it from blowing on the other side if you don't need it to. The baseboard on on the door will help keep the air it in the room. How you place furniture will help as well.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Dec 27, 2016
    Sorry to say but putting stipes will only draw attention to the eye sore. My opinion is to paint the room and add molding and thats should be all. They say sometimes less is better.

    • Ced32514944 Ced32514944 on Jan 24, 2018
      I agree. Too much work with the stripes. Trim out the door, paint a nice calming color and add a pretty wreath. Done!

  • Ant11605640 Ant11605640 on Dec 28, 2016
    You didn't say where the door leads to and why its considered hidden. From the pictures its plain to see it isn't hidden

    • Kristy Williams Tillman Kristy Williams Tillman on Dec 28, 2016
      The previous owners made it a "hidden door" by attaching a wooden box to the bottom of the door to make it look more hidden. It leads to a safe room. Not as in as room with a safe, more of a shelter. Also, when you pull on the pineapple, the door opens.

  • Leslie Leslie on Dec 28, 2016
    Add wood slats to the whole wall and make the door the kind you push onto open, it becomes a feature wall and the closet is hidden.

  • Sophia,M.,McConnery Sophia,M.,McConnery on Dec 28, 2016
    Get rid of the heater.Put it somewhere else.Get rid of the pineapple in the middle of the door.Paint the room all the same color.

    • See 3 previous
    • Shannon Shannon on Jan 04, 2017
      Is the duct work flush to the floor? If so, you could get a flat heater vent cover. If it is on the wall, then is it possible to move the door and patch up that part of the wall? If that door were to be a few more inches to the right could you still get into the security room?

  • Angie Hunt Angie Hunt on Dec 28, 2016
    I'd celebrate the door! Put molding around it, add a sparkly door knob, and just go with it. Why not?

  • M-E M-E on Dec 28, 2016
    In a Victorian Mansion near my other house, they had several movable walls (doors) in to various rooms. The walls were all papered with fancy paper & matched design perfectly. No one would guess it was a door except the docents who did the tours and revealed the secret.

  • Inetia Inetia on Dec 28, 2016
    If aesthetics are your concern put a door mural on it. There are many to choose from and some are very reasonably priced. Google 'garden door murals.' Put pieces of your wood trim on the top and bottom of the door then hang curtains on the sides to hide evidence of the door and that the wood trim is not solid. This means you must find a different way to open the door. Good luck

  • Dsy15821493 Dsy15821493 on Dec 28, 2016
    bookcase around it and swinging bookcase on door. Or you could mirror the wall or a mirror panel on each side and one on door.

  • Sherrie Koehler Miller Sherrie Koehler Miller on Dec 28, 2016
    If you do not plan to use the panic room, maybe cover the door with a large tufted headboard and put the bed on that wall. Or a standard bed with a large piece of artwork might cover it.

  • Shannon Shannon on Dec 29, 2016
    Two ideas: 1) hire a contractor to make this a picket door and let it look like a door. 2) search pinterest for a bookshelf door. In the interest of allergies you could use paint to have a "portrait" as an art piece on one shelf, and place any other items on the other shelves. This would be a project worth spending a little money on. Will add a lot of aesthetic to the room. Good luck with your choices!!

  • RichandTammy Whiteside RichandTammy Whiteside on Dec 29, 2016
    I like Shannon's idea but don't think that you'll need to hire a contractor if you're a handy diy'er. You definitely want to get rid of that pineapple and depending on how the door locks on the inside of the panic room, you could switch to this type of door opener.

    Whatever you decide to do, remember that it's a door to a panic room. In a panic situation, the blood will rush to protect your organs and dull the use of your extremities and will also cause tunnel vision so whatever opening method you choose, make sure that it's easy enough to operate in a panic situation and practice opening and closing so that you get some muscle memory that will also aid in a panic situation.

    Just sayin'...

  • Linda Linda on Dec 29, 2016
    Why not pain stripes on that wall and make sure the stripes cover both sides of the door. If the stripes are dark, the opening sides should be less visible and recede in to the wall. Take the pineapple off and fix the door with sprigs so it opens when pushed.

  • Gjulieb Gjulieb on Dec 29, 2016
    a quick simple way is to chalkboard paint it. if u r more industrious u could also build a movable wall ( a bit larger than the door ) on rollers - and slide it anywhere in room and out of way in order to open door. u could mirror the movable wall, plaster it with photos, or hang artwork on it. good luck.

  • Chris Chris on Dec 29, 2016
    how about a barn door on a track. It looks great, and people don't need to know where it leads. Just find an alternative to the pineapple thingy.

  • Steve Woodward Steve Woodward on Dec 29, 2016
    First off the trim at the ceiling and the floor need to match, finish carpentry is alot about hiding imperfections. then either make it less noticeable by getting the lines narrower and the paint a color that hides the lines. A few easy tasks that will make a world of difference for a few dollars and some labor. another option is a curtain rod and something decorative like a curtain , rug or panel.

  • B. Enne B. Enne on Dec 29, 2016
    My idea is similar to Dsynrboots'; however, I would put a framed mirror on the door only. I would place the frame so it is just inside the door frame.

  • CecileH CecileH on Dec 29, 2016
    I would make panels covered in fabric that velcro to the wall so you can remove them if you need to get to the pipes. You would have to measure out the wall to make even strips IMO. You would have to remove the pineapple and reattach it through the panel since that one would be permanent.

  • Diane Basile Diane Basile on Dec 30, 2016
    You could try a stencil on the entire wall. Something that would camouflage the door.

  • Stacy Davis Stacy Davis on Dec 30, 2016
    Have you seen this? A faux bookshelf... https://www.pinterest.com/pin/22869910585145279/

  • Stacy Davis Stacy Davis on Dec 30, 2016
    And this idea of a super large painting/poster/picture and there is even molding on the door to match the wall... https://www.pinterest.com/pin/133911788894764865/

    • RichandTammy Whiteside RichandTammy Whiteside on Jan 02, 2017
      That's cool too! I think that I'd put a couple big frames all along the wall to not direct attention to just the one but that's just me looking for conformity, lol!

  • Barbara Barbara on Dec 30, 2016
    Since it is a bedroom you could make a frame around it like a picture frame to hide the seams and paint the inside then hang a long mirror on it. You always need a dressing mirror and that would be the perfect spot.

  • Ajc Ajc on Dec 30, 2016
    I wonder about making the whole wall into a closet, with lovered doors, whlves, handing clothes... Shorten the door so it can be swung open under the clothes pole. Open the door swing into the hidden room so that you can pull the clthes into place and they will obscure the opening.... the bottom of the door can be obscured with shoe boxes . You'll love all the storage and oscure your secret from view! If you already have a closet in the room, you might decide to remove it or turn this room into ca walk-in closet.
    I think I saw this in an old movie.

  • Mbm7480474 Mbm7480474 on Dec 30, 2016
    I like the mirror idea. Place the molding just outside the opening so you can open the door and paint the molding and bit of wall between the molding and edge of wall a contrasting color to the wall. Take off the pineapple, yuk. Put some mechanism on so you can push the door and it will come forward. Your local Home Depot or hardware store can help with that.

  • Sandra Lee Sandra Lee on Dec 30, 2016
    Remove the door and have a carpenter attach wide picture frame moulding TO the door itself, with the edges protuding over the door. Then paint the door or decopague tissue paper in the panel. Then attach a mirror slightly smaller in the center of the door panel. Voila, a piece of artwork, a mirror, and the moulding is firmly attached to the door so you can get your fingers behind the moulding to open the door. You would be making it the 'focal point of the room, while keeping it fully hidden! It would depend on whose room it is what colors tissue paper to use. I would go someplace like Hobby Lobby and buy 'designer tissue paper, more than one color or design, preferably three co-ordinating ones. This idea would be easy to test out on a piece of foam core board to see the effect, and decide on colors, with a fairly minimum investment.


  • Imaboomertoo Imaboomertoo on Dec 30, 2016
    I would find a print (maybe a geometric pattern) wall paper and cover just that wall. I think it was be a rather easy fix and do a good job of hiding the "secret" door.

  • Mitchmom Mitchmom on Dec 30, 2016
    You could add casters to the bottom of a kit bookshelf, then screw it to the door pull the pineapple through the back of the bookshelf. If the caster show then you can cover read by using one by four's and painted the same color as the bookshelf. If you have additional height to cover the top, mount a cheapie two cube cubby obviously painted in the same color as your bookshelf then decorate if necessary to cover remaining height, or finish with additional 1 x 4,s. Added trim done in this manner doesn't have to be mtiered you could always use a butt joint.

    Whatever you do enjoy the process. Just measure carefully and you will be fine. Maybe you could use several of these ideas togethe.

  • Carol Carol on Dec 30, 2016
    Hi, I would frame it out like a picture frame and paint that frame black, then paint the door a different color from the wall. Add different kind of pictures and objects inside the frame. That way the pineapple won't look so silly all by itself and the different pictures add some interest in the room. I hope this helps.

  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Dec 30, 2016
    First,how does door open to room with that vent? Is the air come from a hole in floor or wall? This is why I ask,if you could remove it and replace with something less eye catching? I do love the idea of application of a geometric wall paper because you don't follow every line with your eye it becomes a piece of artwork. The holes on the other wall can be covered with artwork that's easy. Now if you don't want wallpaper then use that tape that I keep reading about I can't remember name,but someone did a very cool wall. Since the wall may be settled slightly off wall paper on entire wall would show off every flaw. Why didn't you use the trim on top and adhere with nails and then paint? Maybe they did it that way because door won't open with trim actually couldn't adhered to door? Can you add a pull for door to change that one out and add same to all three pieces so they look initially placed? If the door opens into room where are the hinges of door? This is a very interesting puzzle, I love solving or at least offering my ideas. Before you add a mirror make sure door is square or it will show that flaw. Do you want to use this room everyday or is it a guest room? If someone is going to sleep there get their I put unless it's a very young child. If guest room are you trying to hide it so as to not have snooping? I ask because of shelter space. Is the shelter space for tornadoes or for canned goods and produce? If for shelter out Ned to have people know but if for personal goods then you don't want snoops. Oh boy I feel your pain this is tuff. Good luck.

    • See 1 previous
    • RichandTammy Whiteside RichandTammy Whiteside on Jan 02, 2017
      If it's for the purposes that you just said then you've got possibilities out the wazoo and there's been a TON of great suggestions so far by this wonderful hometalk community.

      Whatever you finally decide upon, you have to post the end result!

  • Inetia Inetia on Dec 31, 2016
    You could build a closet behind the door that has another secret door into the room.

  • C C on Dec 31, 2016
    Look on Pinterest for the bookcase hidden door ideas. They are great!

  • Jackie Bole Jackie Bole on Dec 31, 2016
    Resize the door to fit better then get the kind of closure that uses a magnet and you push to lock and push again to release.

  • Carole Bisby Carole Bisby on Dec 31, 2016
    I would put one of those doors that slide on a track they are very popular now and looks really nice and decorate from there!!!!

  • Violet Violet on Dec 31, 2016
    You could actually take that door down replace it with a built to fit bookshelf which could be opened to gain entrance into the escape hallway. As long as the book shelf is not too thick (deep) it should fit nicely in the space ( you could even leave the door there and just slide the bookshelf over it ) after you take the handle off the door and replace it with a small strap type pull. It could be decorative and used to keep pictures or what not in... just make sure it can be slid to the side that does not have the vent if you would decide to have a moveable bookshelf instead of building the book shelf.



  • LuAnn Sloan LuAnn Sloan on Dec 31, 2016
    Many years ago my parents paneled a wall to hide the door that led from their family room to the laundry room. I know. Paneling ---- yuck! How about beadboard? You panel the door with beadboard lining up the seams with the door edges. Then beadboard the remaining wall. Add your molding at the top and the door should look like part of the wall.

  • Sherry H. Sherry H. on Dec 31, 2016
    Above the top of the door, place two individual small drapery rods where the door opens freely. Make or buy two long (measure your width and length Tab drapes) and hang. Now you a open /close door.

  • Opal Opal on Dec 31, 2016
    This really rather awesome and now I want one. A few ideas: 1. Keep it simple and distract from the obvious with a mirror on the top portion only and hooks below the pineapple for short jackets, scarfs, belts and the like. You could also put up a shelf between the hooks and the pineapple. Use trim to create a panel look across the whole wall. Basically create a dressing area and place dressers on either side of the door. 2. A large mirror to cover most of the door using trim attached to the door or wall to 'hide' the opening lines depending upon how the door opens. You could also attach trim to both to create dimension and interest also known as camoflage. 3. Bookcase the whole wall using a bifold case in the center to cover the door, removing the door entirely and cutting a vent space in the bottom shelf of the bookcase. Or just the bifold and dressers of whatever on each side depending upon your wants and needs.
    Bifold link: http://www.manmadediy.com/users/chris/posts/2982-how-to-make-a-folding-secret-door-bookcase. Search bifold bookcase hidden door for additional options both diy and purchased.

  • Questar Questar on Dec 31, 2016
    Add picture frame woodwork just inside the perameters of the door's edges to encase a mirror (pineapple has to go). A mirror is expected in a bedroom. Another option utilizing the "frame " idea is to go ahead and "frame the instide peremeters of the door as well as creating two more "frames", one to be positioned on either side of the door. They can be same size or narrower. They will be showcasing artwork, the ones of one scene but in three panels. You can use a slightly darker version of your wall color for the backgrounds and white as a silhouette color, a weeping willow across the panels, or irises, or some other theme.... perhaps something you already have on your bedding or drapes. You could even use three colors, a much darker color that would camouflage the vent you mentioned. The art frame on the door should be attached solidly so all you will need to do is pull on the frame to open. Another option, thanks to castles of old, "tapestries" - a colorful rug hung from a decorative rod with brackets to hold it & lift is slightly away from the door. Air could get behind the tapestry (rug or heavy brocade fabric) for air to get to the vent. To really hide the door, attach a lightweight cabinet or shelving unit to hide the vest while allowing air flow. The attached furniture could be made to look like the back is the door with decorative hooks higher up and perhaps a shelf at the top, kind of like a hall tree unit. The hooks or some other feature could be the "handle" to pull the door open.

  • Teresa Diane Camp Teresa Diane Camp on Jan 01, 2017
    spring load door closer

    • Teresa Diane Camp Teresa Diane Camp on Jan 05, 2017
      I still think spring load is best for the door, stencil a pattern you like on the wall and its cheep will hide the door.

  • VENA SILLIPHANT VENA SILLIPHANT on Jan 01, 2017
    I agree, change the door for a spring open one. But if you want to keep the cost low, why not just paint the wall in stripes? You don't have to have a lot of colour contrast in the stripes, but if the lines fall along the cracks of the door, then it should make them less obvious. Heck if you don't want to add another colour jus change the finish of the colour you are currently using, going from matte to semi gloss should do the trick.

  • Patricia Patricia on Jan 01, 2017
    I think having a secret door is fun. A less expensive option is to add white trim moulding to the walls to give it a paneled look. It won't completely hide the door, but it will distract the eye. Then perhaps switch out the door handle to something smaller and paint it to match the wall color. Best of luck with your project!

  • Jcraw Jcraw on Jan 01, 2017
    Simple finger pull, comes in assorted lengths. Since the door pushes out, I would cut back the crown molding about 3" on either side and then put a new piece across whole top of door, attaching to wall (the 3" trimmed!) on either side for a finished look. Make sure, too that sides of soon and door jamb are same color as your room.

  • Dj Dj on Jan 01, 2017
    You could insert a pocket door. That way the door would just slide into the wall. My house is full of amateur projects that turned out not-so-good, so I'm fixing them as I can afford it. My ugly bathroom door is only inches (4) from the ugly closet door and it's awkward as heck, so I'm getting a pocket door.

    • Tina Tina on Jan 02, 2017
      I forgot about pocket doors, thanks for the reminder!

  • Jlp16623674 Jlp16623674 on Jan 01, 2017
    I would paint stripes on the wall............very wide stripes of a lighter color alternating with narrower stripes of a darker color on the same paint sample chip. So like there would be an 18" light stripe, then a 3" dark stripe, for example. Measure the whole wall and design the stripes to fall in line with the door, so the door frame isn't noticed. For the two holes to the bathroom, I'd hang a long, tall mirror or picture over the whole thing.

    To open the door hidden door, I'd secure some kind of handle lower on the door, maybe in a horizontal direction, and then place a console table or tv stand, or bookshelf in front of the door so the door handle is under the table, for example. To open the door just slide the table away and then the handle is visible.

  • Pam Walker Pam Walker on Jan 01, 2017
    Put an oversized mirror on it. I also like that springload opening the above people were talking about too. Combine them. That way, you can just nudge the edge of the mirror & it will open. When closed, it is completely hidden behind the mirror. OR you could put paneling up with the seams that match the doorfacing. That way, it will blend in too (with the springload opening for easy access).

    • See 1 previous
    • Kristy Williams Tillman Kristy Williams Tillman on Jan 02, 2017
      Good point!

  • Pgl Pgl on Jan 01, 2017
    Get a glass door knob less obvious, continue the wall molding on top . then go with the molding in squares idea. you can paint the wall a color you like paint the interior in a slightly lighter color or go bold and paint them a contrasting color.

  • Kathywagner Kathywagner on Jan 01, 2017
    You could also make it a statement using the new barn door slider

  • Nancy Gramm Nancy Gramm on Jan 01, 2017
    The oval office has concealed doors. You'll notice the lower trim skirts the entire room, including the doors. (There's one on each side of the fireplace.) They actually have doorknobs; they're not made to be completely hidden. From the first time I saw them I was fascinated. You could remove your pineapple, add a knob and wainscoting around the room and then replace/secure the molding at the top.

  • Judy Judy on Jan 02, 2017
    I wish I had this problem. I would start by putting a bookcase floor to ceiling over the door and attach it the the door . To camoflauge the fact that it is a door behind it add more bookcases and storage from wall to wall. Put things on the bookcase that is attached to the door that you can attach to the shelve so that it doesn't fall off when you open the door. I have seen web sites where they show you how to accomplish this. The bookcase does not need to be deep , also adds more storage to your room and looks fantastic

  • Sam Sam on Jan 03, 2017
    if you go to pinterest and type in hidden door. they have all kinds of ideas there.
    I put a book case on my door w a faux trim at the bottom. it looks like the book case is standing there but then it just pushes is (have a closer on the other side)
    no one ever expects that and it is so fun to have. our grand children love it! it is in front of the guest room, because our guest room is in our lower level off the fam room and the door seemed so distracting. do it! its fun!
    we built our own book case on to the door (directions on pinterest) but use light books on the actual book case and I have also anchored light objects down onto
    the shelves with the kind of stuff you put posters temporarily up on the way.
    have fun!

  • Mcgypsy9 Mcgypsy9 on Jan 03, 2017
    I breezed the statements above but will give you my take. Open the door and paint the sides of it all the way around to match your walls. That way you will barely see the lines. Take a piece of trim molding to match the top trim and one to match the floor trim molding and use velcro and attach them to the bottom of the door and the top of the door but none on the ends so it doesn't stick to the wall, only the door. That way you can take them off when you open the door. Get some 2-3 inch wide wood strips that go floor to ceiling minus the top and bottom trim and run them up and down the wall about 15-? Many inches apart they need to be to look evenly spaced. Paint them the same color. You will have a totally secured door that will not look at all like a door. OH and add more decorative pieces on the door to make it look like a wall with decor on it. You could even put a table in the middle right in front of the door and just move it when you need to. Please give us an update on how you handled this!

  • Judy Judy on Jan 07, 2017
    Why not hide the door in plain sight? You could paint an exaggerated tropical mural on it so that the pineapple "knob" fits right in. For the two holes, I would have a piece of hardboard (like pegboard without holes) cut, paint it with stripes or whatever, and hang it over the holes. Drill holes in the top corners and run wire through them to make it easy to hang. Most paints, after they have dried and cured, shouldn't be an allergen - read the labels. I'm trying to think of ways to add color without adding surfaces to collect dust. I would "seal" the holes by taping heavy plastic over them (use green or blue painter's tape) to prevent musty/dusty air from coming in before hanging something over them to hide them. Leaving those open would be a real concern for me regarding allergies.

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jan 08, 2017
    If you do not need this room to be hidden (which it obviously is not currently obscure) then why not just finish out the space and put in a normal door...adding the strips that seal out drafts in order to keep out dust. If you require a hidden space, then investigate "murphy doors" and build one? They come in various widths.

  • Katherine Katherine on Jan 08, 2017
    There are SO MANY replies to this that I admit I haven't read them all and may be repeating someone else's suggestion. I think picture frame molding all the way around the room would be an excellent way to disguise this door! Crown molding and baseboards would also help to distract from the hidden door. I hope to see your finished project in the future!

  • LDodd LDodd on Jan 09, 2017
    If you can remove the bar and wire and pineapple and cover the holes, add magnets to keep the door closed when you want it closed and add a new door pull -- perhaps in the center; alternately, on the side opposite the hinges or a pair of them equally spaced -- perhaps something artsy from Etsy -- something that is part of whatever decorative piece suites your taste and suits any theme or color scheme that you choose for the rest of the room -- consider interesting clothes hook(s).

    • Carolyn Rapisarda Carolyn Rapisarda on Jan 09, 2017
      Have you considered doing a stenciled design on the whole wall? A lattice or a vine would be simple and easy to do, and it would disguise the door.

  • Carole Bisby Carole Bisby on Jan 11, 2017
    Hi, the hardware goes above the opening of the door and the door slides on it almost like a barn door. It looks like you have room on each side for the door to slide over. Good luck!!

  • Sarah Walker Sarah Walker on Jan 11, 2017
    I would stencil or paper the wall with a large scale design to obscure the edges of the door. Maybe choosing a pattern that incorporates the pineapple or change the knob entirely.

  • Loretta Loretta on Jan 12, 2017
    Wondering if shiplap on the door and walls on each side would do the trick?

  • Carole Bisby Carole Bisby on Jan 12, 2017
    I think maybe 6 in above the top of the opening, When you slide it to the side you have to have enough room for the door to side over. They are pretty cool try lowes or home depot maybe on line if they sell them.

  • Jacob Ayres Jacob Ayres on Mar 26, 2017
    Have you considered making it an accent wall and doing a wainscoting or beadboard? It would take some careful alignment but the vertical groves of the board should take away from the gaps between the door and the jam, which is the biggest giveaway that there's a door there. then treat the door like the rest of the wall and hang objects on and around the door so that it's not just a bare obvious wall.