So, What is a Den? 

Sounds like an easy question, but it’s more complex than you think.  Most people call the room that holds the television, where the family gets together to play games or watch a movie the den.  That would actually be a living room or family room.  The den in a home is considered a room that is both comfortable and secluded.  In these days of combined living spaces, there aren’t many real dens around.  Or are there?

You know the corner in the bedroom that’s perfect for a little reading area – it’s usually the corner where you pile the laundry that needs to be folded.  You know, where you can put a comfy chaise lounge with a table next to it for a reading lamp?  That’s actually a combined den/bedroom area. 

What’s now called a home office used to be the den.  You know, that little room off the kitchen or family room that you’re not quite sure how to decorate, so it either turns in to a junk room or where your husband hides to get some work done?  THAT is the den.

So what do you do with it?  How do you keep it from becoming a junk room?  You turn it in to a little sanctuary area.  You don't need to spend a fortune redecorating a room, just make some changes to one where you can hide comfortably from the children, read a book or talk on the phone without constant interruptions.  Try to define your den by making using these budget-friendly ideas.

  • Get an armchair. If you have enough room, make it a recliner. A chair you can really sink into is one of the most important features when decorating a den.
  • Get table lamps with subdued lighting to create a soothing atmosphere for sitting quietly and reading.
  • Decorate your room with soothing colors. Many people find pale blues and greens relaxing, but choose colors that you enjoy.
  • Get rid of the clutter.  Dens tend to be smaller rooms, so too many knicknacks are going to make it look even smaller.
  • Bookcases can not only decorate and ‘anchor’ a den, but they can perform double duty as storage.  Bookcases with closed storage areas at the bottom are perfect for hiding clutter.  Traditional bookcases with elegant details such as crown moldings or custom accents are great for holding books and decor items while classing up the room.
  • Separate cabinets are extremely popular in dens for their versatility.  A curio cabinet works perfectly  for holding small antique items and collectibles, and keeps them out of harm’s way.  Wardrobes can be ideal for holding electronics in smaller spaces because they allow you to hide them away when they aren't being used.

So when you finally figure out which room is actually your den, make sure you define it, decorate it to your taste, use as many hiding techniques for your items as you can, and you can make your den your retreat.