Decorating a Den on a Dime

We love dens, but they’re being replaced all too often by the home office.  Keep your den, it’s the perfect room to slip away and hide in.  Traditionally a men’s retreat, take your den to the next level with a more gender neutral décor.  

But, how do you decorate your den when watching your budget?  

  •  Use furniture you already own in this room – mix it up – don’t be afraid to mix and match.  A matched set can look too, well, matched.  More than likely the whole set won’t fit in their anyway, so avoid the couch, loveseat and matching chair syndrome.  
  • Use deep wall colors for a more intimate room.  They don’t necessarily need to be dark, just not too light and airy.  Try the moss green that’s the hot color for 2009.  We love the faux suede finishes, they’re easy enough for to apply on your own and they give a professionally decorated look to the room.   Since they need to be used in lesser traffic areas, the den may be the answer.
  • Use area rugs to define seating groups that encourage conversation and interaction.  Even if the room is carpeted, an area rug may be used over carpeting, and it makes good use of an accent color.  Use a bold, patterned area rug over more neutral carpet.
  • Make sure there’s adequate task lighting – particularly table lamps and floor lamps for relaxing and reading.  We love brass lamps in a den – but be careful if you’re using a green, particularly the deeper greens, as brasses and greens can neutralize each other.
  • If you’re den is not functioning as a main living room or family room, skip the electronics.  If you just cannot live without a television in your den, make is a smaller, less obtrusive set.  Smaller plasma screens can be found for well under $500.
  • If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace, make it the focal point of the room.  There’s nothing cozier than a fireplace in the den where you can snuggle up and read a good book.
  • Peace and quiet are part of a den’s allure.  Make it a safe haven and adult’s only area.
  • Your den can double as a home office if you don’t have the space for a separate room.  You’ll just want to keep the work area from being the focal point and have the entertaining or relaxing area take precedence in the décor.
  • Express your personality by displaying your collections in this area.  They’re great conversation starters and they’re much safer than in a high traffic room.  Use bookcases, curios or shelves to make attractive groupings for display.

Don’t have a den just for the sake of having one.  Make sure it fits your needs and lifestyle and use it as your safe haven to read, do hobbies and better yet, stretch out and relax.