How To Decorate A Den? [4 Room Options]

Decorating your bonus room is an exciting endeavor, but with so many options, how do you know where to begin?

Should you decorate it warmly or keep it cool and fresh? What furniture goes in a den, and what should it be used for? We’ve researched this topic and have answers to help you get started.

Spacious contemporary themed living room with a laminated flooring, gray sofa, with throw pillows, and a small ottoman near the coffee table, How To Decorate A Den? [4 Room Options]

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Before you decorate your den, determine how you’ll use the room. Here are the most popular options:

  • Family room
  • Office
  • Library
  • Hobby room

The style of the decor will depend on the den’s purpose. In general, comfort should be the primary goal when decorating the den.

We’re confident that this guide will help you decorate your den. Keep reading for a description of a den and decorating examples for the above room formats. Here we go!

What is a den in a house used for?

The term “den” can refer to a variety of rooms in a home without a set definition or purpose, generally serving as a bonus room. It can be used as an office, family room, entertainment room, library, or hobby room.

The way a den is used will change from region to region, so your definition of a home’s den will likely be different than someone from a different area of the country.

Most often, dens don’t meet the necessary requirements to be called a bedroom (two means of exit, a closing door, a certain amount of square footage, and others, depending on location). 

In general, a den should be a comfortable room used for informal purposes, whatever that may be for your situation. But don’t let the ambiguity of the room take away from its value!

A den’s flexibility can complete your home and give you a calm, comfortable space. Here are some ideas for decorating your den for some of the most popular uses.

Family room

Family rooms — which could also include living rooms or TV rooms used interchangeably — are great for hosting guests, interacting with family, and relaxing in general.

Because of this, you might want to make the room feel warm and comfortable. Consider painting the walls a warm color, such as pale yellow, light orange, or beige. See how warm the following room is?

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A rustic themed living room with three hanging cabinets, red sleeper sofa, orange painted walls, and wooden flooring

Or do you want to increase the effects of natural light in your windowed den? Consider painting the walls a light gray or blue to brighten things up.

Gorgeous contemporary themed den with a gray sofa, gray cabinet, and a gray rug with small metal end tables

These colors are also easy to pair with furniture. Since your den is likely smaller than an average living room, use smaller yet comfortable furniture.

These rooms often contain comfortable loveseats, a TV, a small coffee table, and other living room-like furniture. Here are some loveseats that will be comfortable without taking up too much space.

Add an unassuming coffee table to the loveseat to give you a place to set your beverage or snack. These flexible nesting tables can be easily stored when not in use.

If you’re treating your den like a small living room, you should read this article for more ideas on how to decorate it: 35 Very Small Living Room Ideas.

Office

More people are working from home than ever before. If you’re one of these people, a functional and comfortable office space is a valuable investment.

The best offices increase productivity, and what’s more productive than a bright, clean space? Off-white or cool-colored walls will keep you alert. 

A modern home office with brown cabinet, three walls clocks, and a light blue painted wall

The desk is an important part of your home office. A trendy choice for a desk right now is to use a simple table with a few desk-like features.

Or, if you’re looking for a classic appearance, a stately cherry desk like this one will do the trick.

You have the same two options in desk chairs: simple and clean or classy and elegant. Here’s an example of each.

Want to decorate your office in a modern style? Check out this article first for some great ideas: 25 Modern Home Office Ideas.

Library

A home library is a great excuse to decorate luxuriously. A library should feel cozy and quiet, enabling you to curl up with a good book.

Though deep red walls aren’t practical in every room of the home, they would be perfect for an elegant library. 

A small rustic library of a home with a bookshelf on the background, and small leather seats

Match the red walls with a comfortable armchair. Want to be able to read with a friend or loved one? Put two chairs in the room!

Of course, you’ll need some bookcases to hold your collection! You can go with a modern shelf like this one.

Or, choose a classic bookcase like this one.

Hobby Room

Do you enjoy scrapbooking? Are you looking for a place to do your paintings? Do you want a space dedicated to playing billiards and watching sports?

Then turn your den into a hobby room! In a hobby room, functionality is more important than style. Use this space for whatever will help you feel relaxed and productive.

For instance, you can put up a bulletin board to hang your work and storyboard ideas. The one below has a corkboard and a whiteboard section, so you can use whichever method you prefer.

A wide table with plenty of legroom is important. This one is super adjustable: change its height to sit or stand and put panels down for ease of use.

If your hobby room will be for watching sports, hang up some pennants from your favorite team. This customized scoreboard would be the perfect way to show where your priorities are.

And what sports-viewing area is complete without a comfortable recliner? 

What is the best lighting for a den?

The best lighting for your den depends on how you plan on using it and how you want the room to feel.

Are you looking for warm, inviting lighting? Then, find fixtures that aim the light upward and deflect harsh brightness.

This yellowish light would be great for your library, family room, or sitting room den. These rooms should feel welcoming, and the lights below will make them feel that way.

A popular type of warm lighting right now is a classic bulb known as an Edison bulb. These are stylish and give off a retro feel. They’re popular as hanging lights or in glass or translucent fixtures. 

Or, will you use your den as an office or hobby room and need plenty of brightness?

Then, you’ll want a type of fixture that illuminates your work and keeps you alert. This means a lamp with a white or translucent shade or a bare bulb.

Pair it with a type of bulb that offers a bright tone like the ones below.

In Closing

You have so much freedom when choosing how to decorate your den. Decide if you’re going to use it as a family room, office, library,  hobby room, or for some other purpose.

Once you do, decorate it with that in mind. Choose colors, furniture, and lighting that will make it feel most comfortable. Hopefully, this article has gotten you started on all your options. Good luck!

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