Introduction: Ceiling Secret Compartments

Project For Storing Jewels Or Things Seldom Used.

Step 1: Finding Storage Room

When expanding our summer apartment's pentry to a small kitchen in this

century old, former hotel building, some electric cables above the ceiling

had to be changed.

From the hole I made in the plasterboard, the old ceiling appeared more than a foot above,

and when the wires were taken care of, I started storing things in between.

Step 2: How to Make Use of It

As we have limited storage areas, I decided to make use of this spare room,

so I made a full scale model of a part of the ceiling and one folding-down lid

to check the details and geometry before tearing down the ceiling.

Step 3: Decisions

The end parts of the ceiling will remain because of installations,

but the middle part can contain up to 10 separate "drawers".

Instead of removing it completely, I think I will just make holes in the boards,

trim the edges along the joists, and make a wooden grid resembling a cassette ceiling.

Step 4: Hinges

I will use bolts as hinges, so to obtain proper alignment,

I have to make a jig for drilling holes in the joists.

Make a simple sketch to decide the position of the pivot bolt,

depending of the dimensions of joists, board and band.

Step 5: "Drawers"

Cut the drywall boards slightly smaller than the holes in the ceiling,

cut and drill the side bars for hinges, (I.E. bolts), screw and paint.

Step 6: Test the Fit

The band along the wall will cover the gap needed for the pivoting movement,

but the remaining sides should have a nice fit.

Step 7: Mount the "drawer"

Use the jig to drill holes for the bolts and mount the lid/drawer to the joists.

If you have more than one, use longer bolts as they share hinges with their neighbours.

Step 8: Latch

I will use push-release latches to keep the undisturbed clean look of the ceiling.

Like those on Amazon :

That will make them almost invisible too, like hidden compartments.

Of course you can use any catch you have at hand, recessed or protruding if you like.

Step 9: Complete the Grid.

With all the "drawers" mounted, put the remaining bands of wood in between

and check the fit again.

Step 10: Complements

Depending on what you want to store, attach hooks, rubber straps, baskets or shelves

to hold your things in place while closing and opening.

Step 11: Close

And then the ceiling is flat again, but with a chest of drawers out of sight,

only you have to use a chair to reach it.

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