For those of us who have enjoyed the intrigue of secret passages in mystery books and movies, it may be a pleasant surprise to discover that they needn’t be confined to our imaginations. Nowadays, homeowners can actually buy precut kits that allow them to disguise access to another part of their home without a typical visible door or archway. Often called “murphy” doors, in reference to the hideaway beds of the same name, these doors use undetectable hinges and latches to completely hide passageways.

Some of these kits are designed to blend in with a continuous wall covering material, such as wood panels. Others take the form of a bookshelf, thereby creating added functionality to a space that would be expected to simply provide access to another part of the home. They can hide a closet or even an entrance to a bathroom or private den, while creating useable wall space. In fact, these hidden door kits are given credit for changing the way designers approach the use of interior spaces.