You might be the best equipped, most decked-out prepper on the planet, but you definitely don’t want to let on that that is the case. Especially when it comes to valuables, weapons and other critical items, a conspicuous display of security in the form of a big, beefy safe, a lockbox or vault might only incentivize thieves and “honest” snoopers like family members or guests to investigate further.
No, a better strategy is to keep your valuables out of sight and completely out of mind by hiding them in plain sight. But traditional DIY hiding spots are either ineffective or major projects- thieves already know all the best ones and cutting open walls and floors in your own home for a glorified stash box can get challenging. There is a better way, though…
Enter concealment furnishings. These super sneaky safe storage solutions might be just the ticket for your discreet storage needs. In this article, we’ll be investigating this increasingly popular hiding place for prepper’s valuable and show you 10 that can work for you.
Table of Contents
What is a Concealment Furniture?
A concealment furnishing is simply a household item designed to conceal an item in a hidden compartment, out of sight from casual observation and in some cases inspection.
Concealment furnishings can take the form of almost anything, from pieces of furniture- tables, beds, chairs- to decoration and other innocuous items- books, fixtures and shelving or trim.
Concealment furnishings can often be purchased complete with features like locking systems or specialized fittings to hold items secure without rattling or some other undesirable effect, but they can also be improvised or made pretty handily from the things you already own, usually with a lot less effort, resources and time than installing a similar concealment as part of the house.
If you stop and look around the room you are in right now, you will see all kinds of opportunities to take something in the room and either replace it with a concealment version of itself or modify it so that it is a concealment furnishing.
How Do You Utilize a Concealment Furnishing?
A concealment furnishing’s success depends on two things: how well it fits the environment and how much handling or inspection it is expected to undergo.
For instance, a concealment mantle clock sitting in your bathroom will certainly look odd, and there is a chance that anything odd will attract attention. A fake can of shaving cream from a popular brand in the same location will draw nary a glance.
Consider also how often a book is picked up and handled versus a couch, let’s say. A booksafe concealment will be discovered immediately in almost all cases when it is handled for the first time; many simply fall open when not laid flat on their covers or supported by books on either side.
A couch with a compartment or fixture on the bottom will rarely if ever be flipped over unless someone is deliberately tearing the house apart or a game of Saturday morning wrestling gets out of hand. While the concealment itself may but rarely be discerned other mishaps could occur.
A shoddily built or improperly secured compartment could fail and pop open at an inopportune time when someone sits on the couch, jostling it. A noisy thump or clatter could certainly draw attention to itself and lead to your stash being discovered.
So long as you take care and plan your placement, you will avoid most issues unless someone is deliberately combing the house looking for all possible hiding places.
One Important Thing…
Concealment furnishings are popular places to hide guns since they allow a homeowner to pre-emplace firearms in multiple rooms in a relatively easy to access way while keeping them out of the way of inquisitive fingers roaming through drawers and cabinets and boxes.
While they do a good job at this task, they are not foolproof and you must not rely on them for keeping guns out of the hands of children who are not trained.
There have been too many tragedies occur when children who have not been acclimatized to guns have run across one in their wanderings and explorations.
Though your gun might be hidden inside an extraordinarily convincing potted plant, you cannot be certain that alone means the child will not come across it.
If you do have children moving throughout the house, yours or someone else’s, take care that any concealment furnishing you buy has a locking system in the form of magnetic or standardized key.
Eccentric opening mechanisms and hidden controls might afford a small degree of protection against a curious child, but few will stand for long.
Don’t risk it! Always keep guns positively out of the reach of untrained children.
10 Concealment Furnishings to Hide Your Preps and Valuables
The Sneaky Sofa
Almost everyone owns a sofa, so that makes it the perfect concealment furnishing for first time DIY preppers. While you can opt to utilize the arms, back or cushions of a sofa to make your compartment, the best bet is to flip the sofa on its backside and make use of the structure underneath.
Most sofas have some thin, black upholstery covering underneath to hide the otherwise unsightly innards of the piece, and with care this can be unfastened and peeled back.
Once that is done you should notice that there is more than enough room on the inside to construct and attach a container or build hooks, straps or whatever you need to in order to stash your goods.
You major concern should be making sure it is sturdy and not apt to shift or rattle when someone sits on the sofa; as mentioned above anything that jars or spills the contents will be an obvious and potentially embarrassing no-go.
A little vigorous testing and trial-and-error won’t take long and will ensure you have a hiding place that no one will ever suspect!
Floating Shelf or Mantelpiece
An excellent and increasingly popular piece of concealment décor is the floating shelf or mantelpiece. While you can DIY one of these to serve your purposes or provide an out of sight cubbyhole, it is really the new generation of commercially offered units that combine excellent aesthetics with clever concealment features.
The most common units in this breed feature a swing down panel integrated as the bottom of the shelf itself, sometimes arrested by gas shocks and usually activated by a discreet magnetic key or a hidden switch.
With a quick click, your goods can be loaded or unloaded in seconds. These are especially popular for firearms, especially long guns, since the typical placement of a concealment shelf means the rifle or shotgun will be presented at an optimal height and angle for quick retrieval.
Not for nothing, both types of concealment are available in a variety of styles to suit any taste and décor and can further be customized with appliqués, trim and stain or paint to blend in tastefully and seamlessly.
Perhaps the only drawback of these units is that, due to their popularity, there exists an increasing awareness of them in the public consciousness, including the criminal element we are trying to thwart.
Don’t delude yourself: You had better believe that criminals improve and change their tactics in response to new information just like we do. Take care that any concealment shelf or mantel you choose does not stick out from its surroundings.
Toilet Tank Container
An improved version of the “seal and sink” method from years and years back, you could create a high-quality concealment within any toilet tank that has a lift off lid.
Compared to the well-won method of double-bagging, taping and submerging your valuables in the tank itself, this method relies on a waterproof container, submersible adhesive and a little ingenuity.
Start by coming up with a suitable container, one big enough to fit your items you plan on hiding and also completely waterproof. That part is really important! Next, find your adhesive.
There are many varieties of permanent and semi-permanent epoxy available from your local hardware store and big-box retailer. If you ever plan on removing this concealment, be sure to use semi-permanent!
Double check that your container will fit the underside of the tank lid, within the confines of the tank itself and your items. Now simply follow the use and mounting instruction of your adhesive and affix the container to the tank lid, making sure that your opening mechanism allows you to access the items inside. After the prescribed amount of curing time you are ready to go!
This is an excellent concealment location and one that is almost never found since people go out of their way to avoid interacting with toilets more than they have to.
A can safe is another oldie but goodie and one that continues to get plenty of use today since it is so adaptable. Can safes come in all kinds of varieties, from appears-real shaving cream cans to simple unused Pringles tubes.
You can even make can safes from cans of veggies, soda or beer. The key consideration is placement.
You can purchase off-the-shelf varieties of all of the above, usually featuring a sealed and hidden false bottom or something similarly tricky.
The classic can of Barbasol or Gillette shaving cream is well known and widely available, and though both are somewhat expected there is hardly a bathroom in American within a man’s home that is without either.
The Pringles can version is a cinch to make from an empty tube of the actual product and you can find tutorials and ready to go units for things like veggie or soda cans online.
These concealments have one unique drawback, and that is they might actually get “used” by unknowing but well-meaning guests or family members! Your brother in law may reach for the can of Barbasol when visiting over the holidays.
Your kids, nieces or nephews will certainly get after a Pringles can in the pantry! When you have become accustomed to leaving your concealment containers in position, you must be doubly cautious to remember to remove and secure them when visitors are over.
A clever and nearly indistinguishable concealment furnishing and one that is absolutely omnipresent in nearly every building in America: a light switch panel that conceals a compartment.
There are two ways to pull off this concealment: a DIY version made from common components you can get in the electrical section of your local hardware emporium and a commercial version you simply cut a space for in the wall and then install.
If you are going the route of the DIY’er, you’ll need a compatible wall box, some sacrificial parts of the switch itself and then the faceplate. Obviously a larger wall box will allow you to stash more goods inside but it makes it a little harder to blend the presence of such a large row of switches into the house.
Near front and back doors is a good bet (exterior lighting?), as well as large living rooms (sound system and dimmer lighting?).
The off the shelf versions are definitely more convenient, and their attached compartments usually feature more room, better sealing and convenience features like swing away face plates to allow easy access.
The only major disadvantage with them is occasionally you won’t be able to match their appearance to the existing switches in your home. Don’t underestimate what a “not right” reaction from a thief could mean for your valuables!
A cousin to the false switches above, your home is likely ready to use a vent concealment already if you enjoy heat and air! If your goods are not particularly sensitive to heat or cold, you can simply remove the vent grille, slide your package or whatever inside, and replace.
Do take care that your goods are not visible through the vent opening, and that you keep periodic check on the contents for problems arising from moisture.
The false register concealments are very much like the switches above; sold complete, ready to install in the wall with just a space cut out from it. Like the switch unit above, they most often have sizeable compartments and easy-access swing open faces to enable you to get in whenever you want without removing screws and other fasteners.
Also like the switch units above, you might not find one ready-made that matches your existing hardware. The other trick with these units is placing them correctly; chances are any room and space that could use a vent already has a real one!
This means that doubling up in a room or shoehorning one in somewhere will be conspicuous, and as we already learned, conspicuous is not a good thing when it comes to hiding places and secure storage!
A few good tips you might try for successful placement include putting one between or opposite existing vents in long or large rooms, or even placing one in a hallway in an older house.
Chances are you might have seen one of several videos floating around on the internet featuring a man lying down in bed who, upon hearing a noise in his home, reaches up and behind him to the headboard.
With a quick movement bordering on sleight of hand, the headboard swivels backwards dropping a shotgun into his waiting palms. The man hops up and goes to confront the lurking threat.
While it certainly makes for an interesting and compelling clip, you might also be surprised to learn that these headboards are very real. Not only that, they are commercially available today in a wide variety of styles, woods and finishes to suit nearly any décor and fashion sense.
Most of these units feature a panel built into the “front” facing of the headboard that will either slide up, slide to one side or swing inward, revealing the contents within.
These items are popular places to store long guns and things like jewelry, since the headboard itself is massive compared to the bed and not likely to be picked up or tipped over even though the mattress is.
Perhaps the only shortcoming of these ingenious concealment furnishings is their cost; at least half of the examples on the market are made to order and somewhat expensive.
The legendary classic, and the apple of many a budding prepper’s eye. The classic booksafe in all its forms and spinoffs has long held a place in popular imagination for its ingenious nature and supreme handiness. Hidden among all the many books on a shelf or, even better, a library is one that contains treasure. What a concept! Hidden in plain sight indeed.
Booksafes are available commercially, but any major model you find is likely to be a very generic book or a strongbox designed to look like a book and hide among them.
A proper booksafe is made by hand, using a book that looks appropriate to the reader’s collection and the age of the books around it for maximum concealment.
Done properly, a booksafe will attract no attention from passersby or browsers, but done poorly it will stick out, and encourage someone to investigate it.
Considering a DIY booksafe will, as a rule, not have any locking system this could be disastrous. Booksafes are very obviously limited in their capacity by the size of the book you are starting with. Also make sure your book’s title is nothing too interesting!
Something that is dry for most readers like “Moby Dick” or “War and Peace” does not look out of place on any shelf, but is not a book that most are likely to pick up.
Something like “10 Bedroom Tricks Guaranteed to Reignite Your Relationship” or “How to Crush Your Enemies” is almost daring someone to investigate. Don’t get cute, and choose carefully!
Another ubiquitous piece of furniture present in nearly any home or office, a coffee table makes a sizeable and convenient stash location for all kinds of goods, and no one will ever know any better, it sitting there under their noses the entire time.
Coffee tables as concealment furnishing are available commercially in all kinds of guises and these remain a viable DIY project, though your average coffee table will need some significant wood working and crafts skills on your part in order to equip it with a properly concealed compartment.
Commercial “ready to hide” models will have hidden drawers, swing off table tops, hollow legs and potentially a multitude of other cleverly hidden functions and features. Magnetic keys, eccentric releases and other neat gadgetry is common as with the shelving and mantel units above.
The DIY approach will vary depending on your level of skill and the design of the table. Not every table is the same, and unless you are a seasoned craftsman you should not attempt something lofty and perhaps ruin an otherwise serviceable table.
You might try installing a hollow leg, making the tabletop flip open on shocks or hinges or even do the same for an inset tile or decorative piece in the surface. Turning side rails on the frame into pull out drawers is another popular upgrade.
Trophy /Framed Document
Modern trophies are almost all universally worthless excepting what they mean to the holder. They are not made from precious metals or even coated in them. Their bases, while pretty, are almost always simply finished, common wood.
This is not to condemn displaying them but rather to reinforce the idea that trophies are known to be worthless. Knowing this, we also know that most thieves will never bother taking them.
You can use that. While larger trophies will often be used to hide things people would rather keep out of sight (like a bottle of scotch!) the bases are altogether too commonly neglected.
With a little effort, the felt lined bottom of the trophy base can be removed and the base hollowed out to make a nice compartment for valuables or documents.
You can do something similar with framed documents like diplomas and certifications. While everyone knows to check behind the paper and backer on a framed print or documents, very few will think to check the framing members themselves.
If one were to patiently hollow out a framing rail from the short- or interior long-end you could make a handy stash for small things that will remain undetected if someone performs the cursory inspection of the frame per usual.
Concealment furnishings offer convenient, hidden storage solutions for all kinds of valuables that preppers need to keep safe, and can do so for a fraction of the cost associated with high-profile safes and strongboxes that just scream “Valuables Inside!”
By making use of these DIY and off-the-shelf options presented in this guide, you can keep all your preps close at hand but out of sight from those who would take them from you!
Tom Marlowe grew up with a gun in his hand, and has held all kinds of jobs in the gun industry: range safety, sales, instruction and consulting, He has the experience in helping civilian shooters figure out what firearms work best for them.