Family * Travel * Food

Turn your spare room into the ultimate den

Your idea of bliss might involve curling up on a plush, overstuffed sofa with your favorite paperback and a steaming mug of tea. For your partner, heaven might be the thrill of tearing up some virtual tarmac with the latest white knuckle racing game and a mini fridge full of ice-cold craft beers. Everyone likes a little time away from the rest of the family, so it’s only natural to want to dedicate a small portion of the home to the preservation of everyone’s sanity. If this sounds like you, it’s time to transform your spare room into a family den.

If you do have a box room eligible for promotion to living space status, it has probably been used as the household dumping ground. Your first step towards creating your family haven is to banish the bumf and clear out the clutter. Any long lost articles of clothing and literature you are not instantly overjoyed to rediscover in the clear out should be recycled. Hoarders is not an aspirational lifestyle.

Once the room has been completely emptied, you can begin to determine the function and personality of your den with a bit of decor. Need a brooding man cave? Dark maroon or bottle green with wallpaper accents or wood paneling may exude the sophistication you crave. An airy meditation retreat will require lighter colors; duck egg blue will help you reclaim serenity, while light woods and white walls are necessary to make the most of the light in an aspiring artist’s studio.

As for furnishings, comfort trumps style every time. While we all picture ourselves staring into a crackling fire from the embrace of a chunky Chesterfield, the reality is that Chesterfields are a bit slippery, and fires consume as much time as they do fuel. Big, plush sofas scattered with squishy cushions work best. For the pyromaniac seeking a bit of fiery atmosphere, a few candles or fairly lights in a hurricane lamp will work as well as an inferno. In the same vein, exposed mahogany floorboards might sound grand, but toe splinters are no joke. Instead, layer traditional oriental rugs near well-trafficked spots to keep bare feet warm.

If you do have a forlorn little spot in your house, show it some love; not everyone has the fortune of a spare room to play with. Whether you choose to transform it into a home cinema, a billiards room or a crafts haven, you’ll find getting creative with a bit of personal space can do wonders for the soul.

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