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The Den

When you think of a “den” what comes to mind? For me it is a cozy dimly lit room with high ceilings and bookshelves. Lots of bookshelves. Maybe even a sliding ladder that can access the books on the high shelves. There’s a fireplace, comfortable overstuffed chairs and ottomans, lamps for reading near one of those comfy chairs and a window, with possibly a chair in front of it for more reading light.

For me there would be no tv, but for most a smaller tv would be included. This type of den is basically a classier version of a she-shed or man-cave. (Which we’ll explore in future Blog Bursts).
A place where husband or wife hangs out for quiet and to do their own thing.
Call it what you want – man cave, she shed, meditation hub – but every home will benefit from a room or area designated for maximum calm.

The or den?

den space in lieu of man-cave

A definition online states: “den is a small room in a house where people can pursue activities in private. ... while living rooms tend to be used for entertaining company on formal occasions, dens, like other family rooms, tend toward the more informal. In houses that do not have dedicated family rooms or recreation rooms, a den may fill that niche”.

In other words where you have a family room to hang out in as a family, rather than the more formal or pristine Living Room, you may not need a den. But if you want that quiet cozy space for privacy and quiet a den is the route to go.

For this Refresh ask yourself if you can change a bedroom into a den? Are you able to dedicate some portion of your house for a den? If so, let’s get started.

Using just 3 elements to refresh a space into a den, what would you consider to be the most important items to create a “den feel”?

I would have to say start with the furniture.

Big comfy chairs or sofas? Smaller chairs you can draw your feet up into? Formal? High backs and strong arm rests?

formal straight back den chairchair good for back and posture



perfect den chair

Or oversized, smooshy chair? Or one with an ottoman to stretch out your legs?

smooshy pull your feet up chair


good structured chair with ottoman

oversized comfort and swivels

You decide!

And for that one-off chair by the window or bookshelf for ultimate comfort try an ergonomic chair that contours to your body for ultimate comfort.

ergonomic contour to body chair

ergo chair with foot rest

ultimate squish and comfort for den seating

plush and conformed for perfection

Don't forget your puppy or kitty--they will LOVE to hang out with you when you're quiet and cozy!

chair bed for your pet in the den

There is a lot to choose from—remember this is your own (and maybe your spouse’s) place so you really only need a chair or two. You may find yourselves fighting over this ultimate in perfection Den Chair:

Ultimate perfect den chair

With a great sound system to blow your hair back you'll never leave!

Have fun shopping!


Next up on the refresh I would suggest book shelves—even if you’re not an avid reader.


You can use the shelving to house your favorite knick knacks (collected nostalgia), pictures of the grandkids, collection of movies or your trophy collection. Books bring a warm feel to any room and depending on how you arrange them you can create a quiet and peaceful mood. Shelves make the room more interesting and how interesting depends on what you want to look at while in there.

bookshelves can make it more interesting

cozy feeling den with window and bookshelves

Adding the ladder in with the bookshelves gives it a purposeful look of it being a den or reading and relaxing room.

den with bookshelves and cool ladder

Here is a great "den" space for that certain someone who can't stand the thought of missing out on anything going on in the house! Ha! A den-like area but definitely lacking privacy. I like it that it's a nice space and includes the bookshelf with ladder.

den lacking privacy

I love the rolling ladder-a great bonus element!

rolling ladder in den

And probably the favorite den look is the below with bookshelves with ladder and cozy feel with rugs and throws.

den with elements plus bonus ladder


Next up for one of the 3 elements you should choose for your den is….of course….lighting.

As mentioned before, having one of your most comfy chairs next to a window will give you that cozy spot for reading.

weekend set up with chair by window for reading light

That’s for the weekend….but for every day use you will most likely be in your den in the evenings where you’ll need lighting.

Here is a peaceful den look with bookshelves, chair by the window and light available for evenings.

peaceful den with chair, window and lamp lighting

Shopping for lighting can be one of the most fun reasons to shop as there is so much variety, ingenuity, and uniqueness out there along with practical. Have fun with this and remember it can be only about looks within your den as you don’t necessarily have to turn all lights on.

Incorporate bookshelf lighting into your den as well for a subtle cozy feel adding ambience to your space.  

bookshelve lighting for ambience

Consider main room lighting in the ceiling, tall lamps for behind a chair or sofa to light up what you’re working on, and don’t forget creative lighting for corners and individual seating needs.

creative lighting and for individual needs

Chandelier! woodsy type den with chandelier

"In Ceiling" Lighting:

in ceiling lighting

good den idea with lamps chair shelves

lamp for den

ensure you have lighting behind your seating that you can turn on or off

Here is some creative lighting we found interesting:

cool lighting for den


Creative Industrial lights:

creative industrial lighting for den

great den with lamp, chair and ottoman and shelves

Check this out, below, with the shelves, ladder, window, bench seat in window AND A CHANDELIER. Perfect!

Den to perfection


So to sum it all up...’ll be looking for comfortable and the right furniture for your den, bookshelves to add as point(s) of interest, and lighting. The ladder for your bookshelf is a bonus if you like it and need it. Don’t forget wall art, paintings or other decoration to add to the mood in your den. Pillows and throw rugs will increase the coziness.

When you’re craving a place where you can really curl up and get comfortable—a place to wrap yourself in a blanket, lounge by a roaring fire (or a candle), drink a steaming cup of tea, and get lost in a good book then creating this den space in your house by refreshing a space isn’t such a bad idea, right?

Here are our faves:

wintery cozy den

And as simple as this:

simple and light den space

Favorite for those that like a lot of windows:

den with lots of windows

Simple and cozy:

cozy and simple den

cozy and simple den for all

Let us know what you think about these ideas—do you have other elements that have worked for you? Please comment below! We would love to hear from you.

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