The Reveal: A Bedroom is Transformed into a Cozy Den

This week we're moving downstairs for the first of four remaining spaces to unveil from my Roosevelt Craftsman project. Upstairs, we had this one and this one - if you haven’t yet, you should go check out those spaces before skipping ahead. I’ll wait. My clients wanted a cozy spot to curl up and watch television, and because the den that came with the house was in the basement, which was being rented out, they opted to designate a main floor bedroom for that purpose.

 As you can see from the realtor photo, this room definitely looks every bit a bedroom. You'll also see a prominent door for the closet. The closet presented a design challenge since I needed to fit a sofa w/ a chaise into the space. I also didn't want to room to feel like a cave - too much furniture, not enough space. My goal was to make the room feel larger than it was and that it made sense as a den and didn't feel like a bedroom turned TV room. [Side note: see the placement of the curtain rod in the picture? NO, just no. We know better, right? The curtain rod should be hung 2-3” below the ceiling, and definitely NOT on the window trim. I can’t even with that. Don’t be like that guy. Oh,and the width is all wrong too, but that’s another post.]


As with the landing and the teen room, I tackled this challenge with paint. You guys, there's really no end to the magic you can create with those gallon cans of transformation. From the before picture, you can see that the room came with prominent baseboards and trim around the windows and door. With three windows and two doors (entry and closet) in the space breaking up the eye path in the room before you even add any furniture or décor to the equation, I had the walls, all trim and both doors painted the same color, in this case: Behr Blue Grass Field. The result is an elegant treatment that elevates the space while making it feel more expansive. Most importantly, the closet door fades away. It becomes more decorative than functional, as my clients decided that closet could be used for long-term storage rather than a high use space. I was therefore able to create a floor plan that allowed for a sofa on the window wall that blocks the closet door without it looking awkward. Success? I think so!

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Now, I'm not a huge fan of overhead lighting in general - save it for entries, bathrooms and kitchens, not so much for living spaces - of course overhead lighting is great for cleaning, etc., but personally, I don't love sitting in a room lit overhead. That's why it didn't work out for me in the corporate world - they insist on fluorescent lighting and I'm allergic. Kidding, there are so many other reasons I ran from traditional corporate life. You're one of them. I JUST LOVE YOU. And I love lighting. Hence this lil section right here. Anyway, I updated the overhead lighting to a pretty petal wood pendant and basically told my clients not to use it. I think they still might, but they don't tell me about it, so it's all good. Instead of using the overhead light, I offered them a couple of floor lighting solutions- a tripod lamp in the corner next to the media table and a tri-headed lamp in the corner next to the sofa. Without room for side tables, floor lamps were the best option, but really, how much light do you need when you're watching TV or playing video games? The answer? Depends on the user, of course.

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Notice that that there rug is a layer situation? My client LOVED the rug I presented them, but ultimately decide that it would be a budget saver to go with a smaller size on the rug. I'm sharing this, because sometimes that's a GREAT way to piece the rug you love into the space. However, you have to ensure that you then make up for it, by creating a neutral base layer with a foundation rug that is the proper size for the room, otherwise every time you walk into your room you'll spend more time fretting about the too-small rug than enjoying the show you're watching. Okay, that's probably a unique affliction only I have, but on the off chance my clients catch it from me or what of their friends is already afflicted, I like to ensure things are done just right. So we saved a little money by going smaller on the rug and spent a little on a foundation rug and still ended up in the black, which is good! The shaggy pile of the layered rug offers the level of cozy for the space that I was looking for with a good blend of colors to hide the snack crumbs the teenager drops on the floor when he's in there snacking against the rules. Ahem.

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Window treatments are one of the best ways to elevate a room, to make it feel luxe and luscious. However, in this room, with the placement of the sofa in front of the room's three windows, adding drapery panels wasn't the best ideas as it would just be a constant struggle of sofa versus panel and heads versus panels, and adding struggle to a cozy space is not in my love language. So I went with the simple approach with wooden shades. I chose wood because it was a great way to add another natural material to the room and the dark color because it added some depth. They actually work really well, blocking the sunlight from glaring on the TV and just adding a nice decorative tough without being struggle inducing.


When a room only has two purposes (TV viewing and video gaming) and there aren't going to be a lot of guests coming and going, décor isn't necessarily the focus, however, it's still the icing on the cake, the cherry on top. Adding a basket for blankets is a must, because a cozy den MUST have blankets. For real, how else do you get cozy while watching Twilight for the umpteenth time if not with a think knit blanket? It's IMPOSSIBLE, I tell you, IMPOSSIBLE. Also, I'm not judging you for watching Twilight so many times, I promise. On the media table, I placed a smattering of décor items, including my favorite BOOKS & PLANTS combination, because you CANNOT go wrong when there are BOOKS & PLANTS™ involved, I promise you this fact and you can believe me because I am an interior designer who designs interiors.

I'm in LOVE with this painting I sourced for this space at the Seattle Art Source. After I identified the size and colors I needed, Sarah was a gem helping me find the right piece for the space from her vast collection of art from artists near and far. The painting is the perfect greeting to this room. It helps distract from all those crumbs that darn kid leaves everywhere. The weaving on the other wall is the perfect filler for a wall situation that doesn't need a lot of attention, but you want to fill it so it's not all blank and boring. Another thing you'll notice in this room, especially if you've read the reveals of the teen room and the landing in this same house, is the continuation of the blue and orange thread in the décor of this room. It was important to my client that the rooms all feel connected to each other, so I accomplished this by using a palette that continued into all the spaces I designed for them. It's a good thing we all like orange and blue!

 So there you have it, the journey one room took from a place for beds to a cozy den. The paint really helped create a cohesive space while the décor and lighting served to take the room the next level. Remember, when in doubt, you can't go wrong painting your walls, trims and doors the same color. But if you are still in doubt, I'm here to help! It's super simple to book a discovery call with me to discuss your project and kick-start your path to your own dreamy den.

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And now you know where my profile picture was shot! All room photos were shot by Julie Mannell. The picture of me was shot by Maple & Plum.