The Lost Art and Beauty of the Den
It may seem a bit strange hearing us talk about dens because it really is not a term that we hear very often anymore. You know, dens are supposed to be these awkward dimly lit rooms with mismatched furniture like the fiercely loved sofa that lives at the focal point of our more prevalent childhood memories. Although the den has always been known as a hub for the entire family, over time, it has been traded in for playrooms, multipurpose spaces and family rooms where anything goes behind closed doors and where carefully crafted messes can be contained. It is where decor styles fold into melting pots and blend in, sending creatively deprived shrapnel flying in an attempt to land on something remotely referred to as an eclectic room. Even though big feelings and memories come to us when we think of the beloved den, It deserves our respect, and an update if we are being honest.
Today, we are paying homage to the den. Let’s take The den and all of its time capsule glory and elevate the experience we get from it. We are going to get into some den ideas that pack a lot of character and are nothing short of charm and versatility. They just need a little push to get them there. Luckily we have the push they need.
When most people think of a den they think 50 shades of brown, low ceilings, smelly, lacking natural light. It’s like the “junk drawer” of the home, a purgatory before the final resting place if you will. It’s not pretty to think about, but honestly, neither were those rooms. If you would allow us, we would like to challenge your views and opinions surrounding the den (the word and the room) because only then will you be able to envision the grand possibilities they hold.
There are staple pieces that rule the den, like sofas, end tables, bookshelves, accent chairs and coffee tables just to name a few but the possibilities are endless when it comes to creating a space that you can be proud to settle into and call your very own.
Let’s round up a few pieces that will surely elevate your den space and completely disassociate it from what we once knew and desperately wanted no parts of. It will become a room where you actually want to spend your time without feeling like you’ve been excommunicated from society. That might be a little harsh but if memory serves me correctly, it just was what it was. But anyway, shall we?
First, let’s change the trajectory of the den because I personally believe they get a bit of a harsh rap. I may joke, but they really are not that bad. Not to say that they are completely innocent because it seems as though they have done very little to vindicate themselves from being quite loudly and publicly ostracized.
Boosting Personality Blending the Old With the New
You should not have to compromise your personal style at all in fact a den would be the perfect place to let it shine. Rooms should be treated as environmental conduits that usher us into a space that conveys the message that you want. Sometimes that means vintage furniture so never be scared to blend the old and new. Upcycling furniture and decor for a den is not a bad thing, just be sure to make it intentional. That should speak to your personality and either be an extension of you or a story that you want to tell. Check out these pieces below that will help boost personality and add character as you build your den into your space.
If we are talking about small den ideas, you cannot go wrong with the Mineta Lounge Chair. Boucle is in right now and It does not look like that it is going to change any time soon. It may seem off to highlight a very neutral chair when talking about personality, but starting with a neutral piece can help and inspire you to layer around it. If neutral is your thing, that is also okay and this lounger represents well by softening hard lines and contrasting with its walnut stained legs to make it look like cloud surfing is just a thing you do. No biggie.
Stepping away from neutral to talk about something a little more bold. The Napa Velvet Lounge Chair in Green is what dreams are made of, truly. Swapping out a sofa or a loveseat for lounge chairs when space is a challenge, having something comfortable and worth lounging on is a must. They can be paired for a dark and moody room or a light and airy one. Neither one will drown out the intensity in the richness of this buttery green velvet. Have you ever heard of a better duo? Opening up the possibilities for lounge chairs preps the space for memories to be made over conversational storytelling and basking in perfect silence as you take in a good book with a light throw blanket.
Go bold with color
You can make smart (or safe) choices with color. Brighter does not always mean bigger. Bold colors are going to add drama and honestly even if you did paint a room a rich Navy blue, painting the ceiling white or adding white trim will give the illusion of ao bigger space. Color is dramatic in the best way. Who doesn’t love a dramatic room?
A den that converts into a guest space
As people have made the switch from a preference for wide open spaces to enclosed but multifunctional ones, we have seen an emergence of hide away accommodations. With the Napa Convertible Pull Out Sleeper Sofa you can be bold in your color choices and get the most out of our space by offering accommodation options to guests and family. The fact that it is sleek and beaming with character are the cherries on top of the milkshake with bonus points for it not looking like a bed, I mean how did you get so lucky?
Putting Cognac Tan in front of something as rich as a navy blue is bold and demanding but inviting and sure.
Offer Enough Seating Options
When it comes to small spaces, It is always a challenge to get around the seating speed bump but thankfully it is not impossible. The easiest option would be to summon seating in from surrounding rooms so as to not overcrowd the space when they are not needed but for us, it is our poufs! Poufs and benches are perfect options for alternative seating because they can always be utilized. Whether you need a food rest or a place to sit a serving tray during movie night.
For those bigger spaces, sectionals and modular sofas are the go to options for communal seating to encourage conversation and hard to control laughter. Our favorite is the Infina 4pc Modular Sofa. The good thing about it being a modular sofa is its versatility and that means that no matter the size of the room, there is a version that can be used because the Infina Left Lounger Modular Sofa and the Infina Right Lounger Modular Sofa are just too great to pass up.
Make it personal to You
A den is such a personal space on its own just by nature so be bold, reclaim it and make it your own. Design is a process that is always challenging and evolving so it is okay to not know what that looks like right away. Challenging personal style evolution is what is what makes growth so insistent.
Space for Entertainment
Space for entertainment is solely a personal preference. Some people like to have the option for TV entertainment - understandable. Holding the reigning title as the Netflix binge watching authority, it is understood, trust. Be sure to choose something that has plenty of storage for consoles, board games and electronics to be hidden away like the Yark TV Stand or have some fun with the Geo.
With dens, people often like to showcase what they have. Whether that be an art collection, things gathered from travels, family heirlooms or maybe it’s not that serious and you just found a nice piece of furniture or decor and you want to use it as a focal point on which to design the room around. Focus on swoony storytelling and make sure whatever you have your eyes set on past the vibe check like this floor length mirror.
For the Love of a Library
For the book lovers, a library would be the perfect use of space. Creating something comfortable and cozy enough to steal away with a book is a dream. The goal would be to create a place that you just do not want to leave. Books also serve as decor and are great for stirring up conversation. What would a library be without a deep leather chair that means business? It is never too late to start your collection. This Boheme Chair is your sign.
Light the Way
Dens are usually lacking in light and with the shortage it can be testing to say the least. Essentially it will depend on what the room is being used for. For entertainment, it is always a good idea to have a space that is a bit darker to help fight off glares and the distraction of those coming and going. A perfect option for versatile lighting would be a sconce like Sena Marble Wall Sconce or cool task lighting that could be accessed easily so as to not interrupt lounging.
Bar me Baby
A den without a bar? Unheard of! Probably not but if you are of age and you really want to elevate your space, there’s really no way to go wrong with a small bar cart area that can make your den the envy of all your friends.
(add our paxton bars stools?) If you have the space for it, you might even want to consider these Paxton bar stools.
Zones of Course
Earlier we talked about dens being multi functional spaces. Multifunctional spaces can be frustrating and hard to take in but zones can help with that to break up spaces and allow sight lines to softly travel through a room without abrupt disruptions. The most obvious way to consider zones would be walls but that is not always a practical option. Easier to obtain and more functional ideals would include furniture and using it to create blocks. Bookcases are always a great idea. Sofas, accent chairs and rugs like this Malin Leather Rug are also great ideas to contain spaces within spaces to command order, continuity and substance in your personal design style.
Turning a den into a rest and relaxation retreat could mean light and airy or dark and moody or really anything in between. Whatever your preference there are some essentials you will need to make it the perfect place to retreat to. Find rest in out throws like this Olive Throw Blanket.
Making the Space Look Bigger
Making a space feel bigger isn’t as much of a feat as it seems and contrary to popular belief, you don’t always have to brighten up a room to achieve it. Of Course a white room will appear bigger but don’t sleep on how furniture can elongate a room. Painting the ceiling can extend ceiling height and vertical design can give the illusion of stretching walls. Adding floor to ceiling mirrors will also help with elongating a room. You could even designate a corner to the kids with a ballet barre to enjoy for the win. Adding the element of color to the ceiling will give it the illusion that the ceiling is higher than it is.
In a perfect world, a little of all of this would make the perfect mixing of what is needed to make even the dullest of dens flourish. Above all else, trust your process and your ability to serve yourself well in being able to meet your personal and style needs. Remember that things come together over time.