The Art of Escape Rooms: Furniture, Props, & Set Dressing

 Escape theeeee-uhh... CONFERENCE ROOM!

Escape theeeee-uhh... CONFERENCE ROOM!

Have you ever done an escape room that was clearly an office conference room, and they conveniently decided to keep that aesthetic and throw in a few locked boxes? How about puzzles that looked out-of-place? Or large empty walls?

A little bit of set dressing can go a long way and a great piece of furniture or art can truly make the room.


 Intricate set dressing in our "RIPPER" escape room shows the blood and candle wax stains on an antique dresser

Intricate set dressing in our "RIPPER" escape room shows the blood and candle wax stains on an antique dresser

Fill the Space

Building a room to accommodate the given space doesn't mean a big empty box with a few things around the perimeter. Hit up Goodwill, Flea Markets, and Antique Stores (use sparingly as they are expensive!) to find unique stuff that will make your room.

Use furniture to create separate spaces even within a single room; a well placed desk in a corner can make its own little world. Also, don't be afraid to dirty up furniture or repaint it to make it work for your room.

Little Boxes on a Hillside

A plain box with a lock on it is a sad little smudge of blah in what is supposed to be the cutting edge of experiential entertainment. Dress up boxes! Make them fit the theme or even make the boxes a clue itself. Modge podge on paper to most boxes to create a unique look or to place clue directly on the surface. Look at wooden accent pieces that are normally used for trim or mantles. You can glue them to a box and then repaint it for a great new look! Find for buttons, drawer knobs, and felt linings for other ways to up the ante on your lock boxes.

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"I kNoW wHaT i LiKe"

Don't let any preconceived notions of what art is keep you from putting unique props and set dressing into your room. SO many things can be found on the cheap and refinished for a totally different look.

Put a base coat of black and then use a metallic rub-and-buff wax product to make it look old and weathered. Use gel stains for quick color change on wooden items. Add in a few LEDs running off a battery pack to make a piece of wall art pop. Get heavy duty foam insulation and carve your own pieces to make big wall art. Don't be afraid to experiment!


Don't let your rooms be boring! Do things that your guest will talk about and call out in their reviews. If you want to turn your puzzles into art that is next level, visit our escape rooms product website, Red Cog Rooms, to get a custom prop that sets your room apart!

Marc Simmons