For centuries, people have been locking up their most precious possessions in a variety of secret rooms and compartments. Whether it’s hidden chambers in Egyptian pyramids, mysterious passages in medieval castles or speakeasies during the Prohibition era, it seems that we’ve gotten pretty good at it over the years.
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It seems that secret spaces have a wide appeal since people are intrigued by the cunning that goes into creating such spots and things. We reached out to Jill Herro, owner of Secret Compartment Furniture, a company that focuses on creating handmade furniture that is not only beautiful on the outside, but also hides your possessions “in plain sight”.
She was kind enough to talk a little bit more about secret compartments and the reasons why people decide to have them. The idea behind starting her own business came from a personal need since Herro wanted to have a nice piece of furniture to store her valuables in. However, when she started looking, all that she found “looked like some guy’s garage project—hardly anything I would want in my home.”
“Then, 6 months later, I got laid off from my pharmaceutical sales job and figured if I was looking for nice furniture for that reason, there must be others doing the same,” she told Bored Panda. “Since I live one hour north of the largest Amish community in the world with over 450 furniture makers, I figured I would give furniture design a try!”
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According to her, people want to have discreet hiding spaces in their furniture simply because it’s fun and it “instantly turns everyone into a 12-year-old”. But on a more serious note, it just seemed logical to her that hiding your precious belongings in plain view is the way to go.
“Burglars know to grab the jewelry box, check the bedside drawer, check the dresser drawers, etc.,” the furniture designer explained. Just imagine the confusion when your fine jewelry or money is not hidden there: “Their goal is to get in and out in less than 4 minutes. Hide those items in an unexpected place, and they will walk right past it.”
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The solutions people come up with to “outsmart” others are also entertaining to see. “I think people enjoy looking at those things because it is creative and surprising. It is unexpected. It shows time and effort,” Jill Herro explained. “I take pride in the fact that my designs look totally ‘normal’. Some of the other stuff available out there looks ‘unbalanced’ or out of proportion.”