Hidden Gems

When you were a child, did you ever wish there was a secret room or passageway in your house? Perhaps a place where you could sneak away from your parents telling you to clean your room or walk the dog? Or maybe you envisioned a special place where you could spend time with your friends or curl up read a book. The concept of a “hidden gem” space is quite appealing.  

In all of our custom home designs, we seek to create a residence that is not only functional, but also includes beautiful spaces – or hidden gems – that create an “ah ha!” moment, spaces that take your breath away. Here are a few examples of our hidden gems.

In our Aqua Terra residence, built by Pyramid Builders, the Owner’s office is beautifully appointed with a raised fireplace, glass top conference table, brilliantly backlit built-ins, and miraculous views of Harness Creek.  While the built-in cabinet may look like simple shelving, it is actually a hidden door leading to a secret room. Pyramid Builders, who engineered and hand fabricated the door in their woodshop, gave us further insight into its creation: “As with any hidden door, the key to success is minimizing the size of the reveals and utilizing proper hardware. In order to achieve the seamless design, the door was constructed of a 2 ¼” flush flat panel door with Rixon pivot hinges that was then clad with wood panels that match the size, proportions and detailing of the adjoining built-ins. Behind the hidden door is another door with a lock for security.” Truly a space where beauty meets function.⁠⁠

In our Eastern Shore Grandeur estate, built by GYC Group, the secret might be a little more noticeable, but just as fun nonetheless. The residence’s two-story custom bar, complete with Douglas fir trusses, white horizontal nickel gap, and Denison Lanterns from Currey and Company, includes a secret passageway accessible only from behind the bar. The passageway leads to a two-foot-wide brick staircase that descends quickly, creating drama as it takes you to a basement containing an extraordinary 20’ by 40’ brick barrel-vaulted wine room and wine cellar. A hidden gem, indeed.

Incorporating these whimsical details – or “surprise and delight” moments – into our custom home designs is something that we take great joy in. We’d love to hear what your vision is for your own hidden gem!

Written by Ashley Babaian, Associate
A graduate of The Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning, Ashley concentrated her studies on Sacred Architecture. In addition to her love for residential architecture work, she also focuses on Purposeful Architecture, Purple Cherry’s non-profit division, where she specializes in designing environments for individuals with special needs. Passionate and energetic, Ashley is also committed to her community, serving as a board member of the Hospice of the Chesapeake’s Chesapeake Kids program. She actively volunteers with Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Habitat for Humanity Choptank, and the Anne Arundel County SPCA.

Architecture & Interiors