These Homeowners Created an Extra-Private Office Space With a Secret Bookshelf Entrance
Putting the office behind the built-ins allowed for extra soundproofing as well.
A secret entrance might seem like a show-off move, but for Jillian and Darren Moskovitz, it was a practical solution to a design problem. During a renovation of their Fort Washington Victorian, Jillian wanted statement built-ins for their expanded living room. Darren, who spends long hours on the phone when he’s not traveling for work, needed a private office with a closing door. They’d planned on a corner entertainment unit for the TV to make room for the opening, but then Darren suggested putting the door directly in the shelving.
To her husband’s surprise, Jillian, a design consultant with Down2Earth Interior Design, ran with the idea. She worked with WoodArt in Lancaster County to create built-ins with a hinged cutout set with shallower shelves and cabinets on the left-hand side. (The “door” opens via a hidden hinge from Murphy Door.) The unexpected choice comes with an added benefit: “Because that built-in backs up to the office, there’s an extra layer of soundproofing,” says Jillian.
Inside the space, natural light from French doors and a side window keep the black grasscloth wallpaper from Magnolia Home for York Wallcoverings from feeling sleepy. The file drawers, floating shelves and desk — it wraps around the adjoining wall in an L shape — are also custom-builds, but the rest was sourced at familiar spots: The chair is Pottery Barn, the rug is Ikea, and the lamp is from Target.
If built-ins aren’t in your budget, there are other ways to divide a room. Down2Earth founder Amy Cuker suggests freestanding MIO room dividers, which are easy to construct and have acoustic properties.
Jillian Moscovitz of Down2Earth Interior Design, Elkins Park.
Style philosophy: Function comes first in happy spaces.
Secret Philly resource: (Cuker) Kings Furniture and Peaceful Valley Furniture for handsome custom wood pieces at reasonable prices
Best WFH advice: (Cuker) Don’t position your monitor with a window directly behind you — it will cause glare on the screen — or in front of you, unless you can add a blind.
Published as “If You … Could Use a Little Privacy” in “The Art of the Home Office” in the December 2020 issue of Philadelphia magazine.