Here we share our murphy door ideas including what it is, the different types & designs, building tips, hardware, hinges, and murphy door installation process.
Innovative ideas and mechanisms have come and gone through the years and some have even become part of the world’s way of life. One of these mechanisms that have become part of people’s homes and life is a murphy bed.
A bed that comes as a surprise and you can fold out-of-sight when not in use. But do you know that “murphy” is not just limited to beds? There are also murphy doors that can definitely fascinate anyone.
If you’re into mystery novels and crime-solving shows, you’ve probably come across secret rooms and passageways opened by secret doors. And these doors can either be an invisible door that you won’t notice or the door hidden in plain sight camouflaged as another thing entirely.
This is how murphy doors work in the first place. Much similar to how murphy bed works, a murphy door can be hidden when not in use. Having hidden surprises in your home is both interesting and fun, and these types of doors can help you make those rooms even more unexpected.
If you’re interested in installing secret passages in your home and having your murphy doors in, you need to learn more about them and the possible options you have.
What Is A Murphy Door?
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A murphy door, following the same concept as a murphy bed, prioritizes saving space and making the room appear to be more spacious. It is way more exciting though in its construction since the door is basically disguised as something else and seems to be hiding a secret world behind it.
A murphy door is an exciting way to transform a boring door and passageway into something unexpected and interesting. And the more difficult and near-to-impossible to spot the door is, the better it is.
Since the primary purpose of a murphy door is to inconspicuously hide another room or space in the home, making it as creatively hidden as possible is the best thing you can do with it. And there are many things you can do in this extra space, whether you want to turn it into an entirely new bedroom or a study/work room in your home that only you know.
Besides the thrill of a secret in your home and hidden space, the added privacy it provides is also something desirable. Oftentimes, rooms and spaces with a murphy door have thick walls and this adds to that feeling of privacy.
One of the most important parts of a murphy door is a reliable hinge for the murphy door to effectively swing open as a passageway. And the effectiveness of these hinges will highly rely on the weight of the murphy door and their ability to support the door.
Types Of Murphy Doors
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Murphy doors work a bit similar to murphy beds that are hidden in closets or walls. While some murphy beds are recognizable immediate at first sight, murphy doors need to be hidden either out of sight or in plain sight. And this is the reason why there are different kinds of murphy doors you can expect and some you may never thought they’re actually doors (which is the point in the first place!).
The most common type of murphy door is disguised as a built-in bookshelf or bookcase. It’s basically in every mystery movie you’ve watched! Other Murphy types of interior doors are disguised as closet doors (which is what happened in the movie Narnia) and in many other action movies where weapons are kept safe. Some of the functions of these hidden areas can be one of the following:
• Invisible storage (pantry and walk-in closet)
• Room (spare bedroom, study, workroom)
Whatever you may be concealing in this hidden space, the Murphy door you can choose to install varies in size and style. You can purchase a ready-made Murphy door or you can build your own and be more creative with how you want to disguise the door. And check out these options you can consider.
Murphy Door Bookcase
A murphy door bookcase is a classic option for many homeowners and the style that many ready-made Murphy doors are offered in the market. They appear to be bookcases embedded on the wall but the major difference is the hinges on the bookcases that allow them to function as doors and be able to swing open.
From a built-in bookcase to a freestanding one, you can use whichever style fits and matches your home better to look innocently ordinary. The bookcase/door needs to be conveniently placed in a room you’d normally see one in like a study/work room or the living room and then conveniently installed on the wall of the secret space/room you’re trying to hide.
There are different types of bookcases and doors to consider and match when it comes to a murphy door bookcase. You can go for standard freestanding types of bookcases and simply convert it into a multi-functional piece of furniture that acts as a door too.
You need to make sure though that the weight of the books will not affect how functional the bookcase will act as a door. It will also be better if you add other bookcases in the room and even cover an entire wall where only one part of it is a door. You should also use an ordinary-looking bookcase that will make it appear less suspicious.
When it comes to the structure of the door though, the limit is endless. You can choose a bookcase french door or even a triple revolving bookcase, whichever style can be more convenient for you.
Murphy Closet Door
See this murphy assembled door at Home Depot [sponsored link]
Besides a bookcase, you can also choose a murphy closet door. This option is an incredible idea if you’re positioning the entryway from your bedroom. It will be a bit suspicious if you put a closet in the dining area or the living room. Positioning it in a bedroom is the most convenient and smart thing to do.
Murphy closet doors most often lead to walk-in types of closets, where your more expensive stuff is stored for safekeeping. It can also lead to a secret study where you want to enjoy some peaceful time when working or studying something or you can have the door lead to another smaller bedroom where you can have some alone time in private.
Double Murphy Door
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When it comes to the structure of the door, a double or French Murphy door is an option you can explore. A double door consists of side-by-side vertical doors that connect and disassembles from each other in the middle, which is where the entry will be.
Also referred to as a French door, the standard type is made from glass panes in light construction and oozing with rustic and welcoming ambiance. The double murphy door is quite different though.
While it uses the same mechanism and structure as a French door, the aesthetics and appearance are very different since you will need to integrate some elements that can successfully disguise this door into something else.
Some options you can have as a disguise for your double Murphy door are the following:
• Wine rack
• Pool cue
Just make sure that whatever you disguise the door with will match the room where you will install it as a passageway.
Mirror Murphy Door
Another option you can disguise your murphy door with is a mirror. Compared to other options, you will need to be more delicate in handling the installation (and even the actual usage) of a mirror murphy door because of how fragile mirrors are.
The good thing about this option though is that compared to other disguises, a mirror murphy door is more flexible to install in any room you want it to be in. You can even install a mirror design in the bathroom that leads to your bedroom or your walk-in closet which will make it more convenient to prepare early in the morning.
Pantry Murphy Door
See this pantry murphy door at Home Depot [sponsored link]
A well-stock pantry is one of the joys of adult life- giving you the security that you won’t run out of supply when worse comes to worst. If you want the supply to be something that only you know so that it won’t run dry and won’t be taken over by your partner or kids, a murphy door leading to a secret pantry is a good consideration.
Depending on where the secret pantry is located, you need to disguise the murphy door based on that particular room. If it’s in the kitchen, you can use a kitchen closet murphy door.
You can even use a wall for the murphy door but disguising will be more difficult since you won’t be able to hand other elements to hide it.
Bi Fold Murphy Door
Another type of murphy door based on its structure is the bi fold murphy door. In general terms, bi fold doors are sliding doors that can also act as room dividers.
A bifold door functions in a space-saving way since they easily open with their panels folded in (internally or externally). Since they don’t swing, you won’t have to worry about accommodating enough space for that purpose.
With bi fold murphy doors, they need to have sections which means that you will be disguising not just one but two doors you can fold for the entryway. One of the most popular options for bi fold murphy doors is bookcases since you can install columns of bookcases that can be arranged to fold and work as an entryway.
DIY Murphy Door
See this cabinet murphy door at Home Depot [sponsored link]
The exciting thing about having your own murphy door is being as creative and inventive as you are in integrating the door into your home and cleverly disguising it to be something ordinary.
While you can buy ready-made murphy doors (through a kit) you can easily install, you also have the option of building your own. Of course, you need to at least have the necessary tools and skills in building a murphy door for it to be effective and functional.
Another exciting part of a DIY murphy door is customizing the door and how you can access the area.
Some of the door hardware accessories you can choose are the following:
• Biometric fingerprint scanner
• Lighting kits
• Keyed locks
• Magnetic locks with remote control
Building A Murphy Door
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In building the actual murphy door, you simply need to design it in the appearance of the element you’re disguising it as. If you’re going for the popular bookcase murphy door, build a bookcase that can carry the weight of the books and swing open without a problem. You only need to add a sturdy and strong hinge to convert it to a door.
Kit Murphy Door Hardware
See this wine rack murphy door at Home Depot [sponsored link]
If you choose to have a bit of help and buy a kit of murphy door hardware, you can do so. Most of these kits are complete and have everything you need to successfully install a murphy door. The good thing about them is that they come in the piece of furniture you want to disguise the murphy door in.
Whether you’re going for a bookcase or a closet, you will have the necessary pieces to build one. Some of which include shelf support, fasteners, moldings, and even lumber. And then you can customize it after that to inject your own personality into the mix. There will also be detailed instructions on how you can build and customize it.
Murphy Door Hinges
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One of the most important elements of a murphy door is its hinges. The hinges need to be strong enough to hold the door and all the elements in it to support its disguise.
They usually come with an entire murphy door kit but there’s also a separate kit you can buy that only has hinges. You can go for a parliament hinge or a pivot hinge, depending on your preference and how heavy your murphy door is.
Murphy Door Installation
When it comes to the installation of a murphy door, you only need to follow the instructions included in the kit you’ve purchased. But if you’re going freestyle and want to DIY the entire project, there are some small instructions to follow.
In this case, suppose you are building a bookcase murphy door. Here’s the steps required.
1. Collect all the necessary tools and materials you will need for a murphy door
• Bookcase parts (sides, back, top, bottom, shelves)
• The frame (casing, top, bottom, and jamb sides)
• Jamb screws and hinges
• Hinge plates and pins
• Dowel pins
2. Build the bookcase
3. Build the jamb frame
4. Secure the door jam into the door’s opening
5. Place the door jam and align the holes of the hinges
6. Insert the hinge pins
7. Add the shelf holders and then your shelves
8. Add the door casing
9. Try it out if it properly opens and closes
Invisidoor Vs Murphy Door
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An invisidoor and a murphy door are the same things. While the term “Murphy” has become popular because of the popularity of murphy beds, the name “invisidoor” pretty much tells you what it is. Both are talking about the same thing though, which are doors disguised as another piece of furniture so that they won’t be noticed.
See more related content in our article about pocket door alternatives on this page.