Posted on June 13, 2014

Seven Novel Ideas to Make the Most of your Den

Most condos today include what is widely referred to as a "den", yet many homeowners are unsure of how to best utilize this area and it is often left as a storage space for bikes, skis, unpacked boxes, and whatnot. However, with a little creativity, this bonus room can actually provide a lot of valuable, functional and unexpected space in your home.

Here are seven novel ideas to consider:

1. Home Office

The most common use for a den, besides storage, is definitely to make it a home office - and it's a great choice. There is usually more than enough room for a desk and filing cabinets if needed, and ensures that your paperwork doesn't hinder the rest of your home. If you do choose this option, think about how you can incorporate storage, such as a wall of shelving, to maximize the area. Also, when choosing your desk and chair, opt for sleek and simple pieces that will not take up a lot of space.

2. Walk-In Kitchen Pantry

If your den is located close to your kitchen, a walk-in pantry can be a great addition to your space. This solution is relatively simply to execute, as floor-to-ceiling shelving is all you really need. You may, however, like to consider building a counter along one wall on which you can keep some of your kitchen appliances out of sight, such as a bread maker, blender, or espresso machine.

3. Gym or Yoga Room

More often than not, condominiums today include on-site gym facilities for residents. That said, perhaps you have a small child you cannot bring with you to the gym or you just prefer a little privacy when you are working out, thus an exercise space directly in your home is ideal. For a yoga room, paint the walls a relaxing colour, add in some decorative bamboo and candles, and enjoy an unexpected retreat from the rest of your life. If strength training is more your passion, incorporate storage for your weights, medicine ball, and bosu. For either option, consider installing mirrors so that you can keep an eye on your form.

4. Kids' Playroom

If you have a young child, your house in most likely filled with children's books, toys, and crafts. To help keep the living room as an adult or family space, give your child his or her own place to play in. Since the den is often quite separate from the rest of the house, you can decorate it top-to-bottom the way your child would like: pink and sparkly, bold and filled with fantasy, or bright and blue featuring the most intricate train set imaginable.

5. Library

Perhaps you don't need a home office, but you could use a place to store your collection of books and a quiet place to delve into your latest read; the den is a perfect spot for a little library. Depending on the size of the space, install bookshelves on two or three of the walls, choose a simple armchair or sofa - preferably with a low back as to not be overbearing in the space, add a reading lamp, and finish the space off with some interesting artwork on the remaining wall(s). In no time you'll have the library you probably never thought you could have in your condo.

6. Craft or Sewing Room

If you have an artistic hobby, such as sewing, painting, or scrapbooking, your den can be a great place for a work table and chair so you can keep your projects on-the-go at all times and not worry about cluttering up the rest of your living space. Also, by adding storage solutions, everything you need will be tucked away yet still close at hand.

7. Storage Room

Using the den as a traditional storage room is perhaps not exactly a novel idea, but it still holds weight and can be very helpful in keeping clutter out of the rest of your home. However, it is imperative that the space is still thoughtfully designed for storage purposes. Consider installing a wardrobe along one wall in which to store out-of-season jackets and clothing. For the remaining space, think wide shelving and labeled containers. 

For any of the above ideas, decorate your den as you would any other room in your home - paint it, add proper lighting, or even throw in an area rug. You will be amazed how much use you can get out of this extra space.

If you have any other interesting ideas that were not mentioned here, we'd love to hear them. Tweet to us at @BeedieLiving and let us know.