Secret Doors: A modern take on the jib door

Hinged doors without a surrounding architrave may not be a new idea, but advances in concealed frame design has meant that it is trend that is gathering momentum across the continent and also here in the UK.

There are many examples throughout history of doors without architrave being incorporated into a room design and these were often referred to as secret or ‘jib’ doors. Typically, the door would be hidden with wallpaper or painted and also have matching skirting at the base of the door. Sometimes there would be a framed painting or a mirror hung from the door to further disguise its existence.

The use of jib doors in the Georgian period was a popular interior design trick employed to maintain the ‘balance’ of interiors. A visit to an old country house or town house will often reveal examples of jib doors. The mansion at Wimpole Estate, Cambridgeshire is a prime example and of course the Queen has her own jib door, in the White Drawing Room, that allows her access to official rooms from her own private quarters.

The interior design concept of the secret or jib door still has merit today providing a practical way to disguise storage rooms, an under stairs cupboard, an ensuite, or even doors to adjoining rooms and so maintaining the ‘balance’ of the room and its layout.

For a more contemporary take on the jib door you can use wallpaper with a more modern print, paint the door the same colour as the wall, add a mural to the wall which continues over the door, or continue panelling or boarding across the wall and the door so that it blends into the background.

The Eclisse Concealed Frame

Our Syntesis Flush Hinged System is different from many other concealed frame systems because the frame is installed as a complete unit and it has innovative edge profile that allows for a crisp plaster finish right up to the edge. The frame is made from aluminium that is given a phosphate treatment for protection against oxidisation, and then primed so it’s easy to paint. The high strength frame with its 2Kg/m profile is designed to avoid strains that could cause plaster cracks.

It comes with a hardware kit that comprises of door seals, a magnetic latch, three concealed hinges adjustable in three axes, hinge covers, strike plate and fixings. The magnetic latch is designed to close softly and discretely, and the bolt remains flush with the panel when the door is open. The bolt is only attracted to the magnetic strike plate when closing, without pressing the handle.

Supplied with or without door, the doors we supply are fully primed and ready to paint or lacquer. The door has double thickness stiles and rails for rigidity and doors over 2000 m high come with a tensioning rod to preserve the flatness of the door further guaranteeing a perfect closure. The single and double flush hinged systems are available in a push or pull version.

Ceiling height doors open up an interior and give the perception of a taller, more expansive space which is why the Eclisse Syntesis Flush hinged door systems can both be supplied up to height 2.7m on request.

The photograph above is of a newly built villa in Milan where the owners’ classical and contemporary tastes are combined with a dash of humour. The tailor-made wallpaper depicting Italian architectural features and statues wearing sunglasses hides an Eclisse Syntesis Flush hinged door leading to a side room; a perfect example of a modern jib door. Have you spotted it yet?