Many listings for homes these days will boast of “an additional living room” where, in generation’s past, this wasn’t the case. Why? Because these weren’t considered living rooms. What were they? Dens! Also sometimes called a “study,” these partially secluded spaces have either been advertised as living rooms instead of dens or studies due to a lack of interest in dens. Well, there has been a resurgent interest in dens, studies, and home libraries. In this piece, we’re going to explore the idea of setting up a den/study in your home.
The Downfall of Solitude
Home designs of the past generation or so have largely advocated for open-concept everything. Whereas homes were once compartmentalized, families are now hyperconnected and in their own worlds. Busy schedules and hyperconnectivity have decreased quality time. This decrease in quality has increased the demand of open-concept layouts to fill the void. While these floorplans foster togetherness, they’ve all but removed the option of solitude outside of our bedrooms.
The Perks of Solitude
“Why would anyone want to seclude themselves?” Most of us have all but forgotten about how nice it can be to be left alone. Whether we have a passion project we’d like to work on, a series of books to get through, or just the ability to listen to an album or music without headphones, the occasional bit of solitude is all but a vintage novelty. The perks of solitude include focused reading, deep work, interrupted enjoyment of media, or quiet entertaining.
The Rise & Fall of the Mancave
As men started spending less time working on projects or reading books and more time watching sports or playing video games, the study quickly became the “man cave.” While it is a place of solitude for men, the environment of most man caves rarely provokes a desire to pursue deep work or time with one’s own thoughts. The layout of the room typically encourages focus on a television screen. The redirected focus reveals how the design of the room lends itself to its function.
The Power of Environmental Design in a Room
Like a man cave’s furniture arrangement encourages watching the game, likewise, can any room’s layout encourage any behavior. A stowed television may provoke just enough viewing friction that one may instead fill a page in their journal. A boxing speed-bag or jump rope on the wall may inspire a quick workout instead of a lounging session. A book on the side table next to an easy chair can encourage reading. The environment can be used to reduce the friction of healthier behaviors and increase the friction towards less desirable behaviors. Dens and studies, like home gyms, can be carefully designed to facilitate moments of productive solitude.
What Should Be in Your Den
Knowing what to place in your den depends on what positive solitary activity we hope to pursue. Would you like to read more? You may want to have your favorite books visible and easily accessible. Would you like to pursue writing or art? Align your desk or a corner where picking up this activity is virtually effortless. Would you like to spend less time watching television? Consider having the TV covered by curtains when not in use or not in the room at all. The options are limitless for optimizing your den for productive solitary endeavors.
Socializing in a Den
Though a den is typically thought of as a place to be alone, it can also be a great place for very small-scale entertainment. A den can be a respite for entertaining guests in an active home or a great alternative to noisy or expensive cocktail bars or coffee shops. There’s a certain friendly intimacy enjoyed by a space free of distractions where one can enjoy the company of a dear friend over a soothing beverage.
Designing Your Den Oasis
If you’re looking to build a new home and feel that you’d enjoy the comfortable solitude of a den, it’s never been easier to include one in your plans. If you’re looking to build your dream home in the Greater Tulsa, OK area, the home construction professionals from Perry Hood Properties can make your plans come to life.