Tips for Turning a Dark Den into an Enjoyable Space

A den is normally a place where relaxation in many forms occurs. It can be used by the family to watch TV or movies and play board games, or it can be a quiet escape to read a book or do a crossword puzzle. Dens are also commonly used to entertain a few guests or have private meetings.

However, despite a den’s diverse selection of activities, it can often be a dark, dingy place with only a couple of table lamps and sometimes a fireplace to provide light. Another factor in a den’s notorious reputation for being like a bear cave is that they quite often contain dark paneling and dark wood furniture, book cases and floors.

What most people don’t realize when decorating a den is that dark colors absorb light. Therefore, small sources of light are even less adequate because a percentage of their illumination is being absorbed by the surrounding dark paints, stains, materials and woods.

The trick with decorating a den with light is to find that balance between having enough light to participate in various activities while still maintaining that relaxed atmosphere which is not too bright. Luckily, we have some tips to help you achieve that tricky balance.

Where to Start

Before you can effectively plan proper den lighting, it must first be determined what activities actually take place in the space. Normally, little consideration is given to activities when a den is supplied with light fixtures. Usually, a couple of table and floor lamps are added for reading, but little else.

As with decorating any room, light layering is the key to providing a warm, inviting and attractive atmosphere. Therefore, try to add various light sources which complement each other and can be turned on or off to achieve the right mood for each activity. Focus especially on an ambient source and task lighting.

Lighting Ideas

A good option for den lighting is to use a track light system. Since these have individual units which can be added or removed, the right amount of light can be achieved for your den. Also, track lights are movable and can be tilted so they are excellent sources for providing task lighting to work, play and reading areas as well as being used to illuminate wall art, statues, house plants, etc.

Table and floor lamps are always good choices for a den, however, consider placing a Torchiere lamp in a corner to splash a white ceiling with light. This will help to brighten up a den that contains a lot of dark colors. Another idea along these lines is to place a set of wall sconces on either side of a large mirror to reflect light into the room.

Recessed puck lights are also nice additions to a den. These shine small beams of light onto specific areas while maintaining a softer mood in the rest of the room. Tilting units can be installed providing diverse options.

The den is another room which benefits greatly from placing several lighting fixtures on a dimmer switch. This makes controlling the amount of light wanted or needed for specific activities a breeze.

Consider these and other lighting options when creating or redecorating your den and turn that bear cave into an enjoyable space to relax and play.

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