Dens Done Right: How to Make ‘Work From Home’ Work for You
Condo suites with dens — even when they’re the same size as their den-less counterparts — can command a higher price-point.
Baker Real Estate Incorporated’s Baker Insights Group (B.I.G.) reports this has been the case for several years, according to sales data. But as you might imagine, the truth intensified in 2020, as the collective began spending even more time at home.
“The biggest difference between the unit mix in 2020 versus 2018 and 2019 is the share of suites with one bedroom plus den, which rose from 10% in 2018 and 13% in 2019 to 23% last year,” reads the insight group’s recent market report.
“Baker recognized that buyers were willing to pay more for a unit with a den, even if the square footage was the same.”
As pre-con industry insiders, buyers, and even renters can now affirm their home-base’s value is boosted by an extra division of floorspace, those living in such abodes should ensure they’re making the most of their condo’s hottest commodity. And, really, the challenge isn’t major: Even when small, there’s ample opportunity for a den to make a major impact on your lifestyle.
“Buyers envision using [their den] for a second tenant or roommate, a place for friends and family to stay, as a nursery, and as we all know, a room to have a home office,” B.I.G. reports.
Today, we’re going to focus on the latter of those options, by highlighting optimal ways your den can be transformed into an at-home office. Divide (your space) and conquer (the work day), some might say.
She is Beauty, She is Grace… She is a Floating Desk
When the space you’re working with (and within) is small, there’s much to be said for keeping floorspace clear. Whether you like to swivel in your desk-chair, pace the room during phone calls, or do some light yoga stretches between meetings, optimizing your floorspace is key.
A wall-to-wall floating desk ensures your tabletop needs are met, without impeding on your downward-dog square-footage. Without legs or side-drawers on the desk, your den won’t feel crowded, but you’ll still have all the space you need to get your work done.
Tip: Drill small holes at the back of the floating desk for feeding wires through, so you can plug your computer and phone charger in without cluttering up your workspace.
Bring Forth the Built-Ins
Another floorspace-saving option, built-in shelves aren’t for the faint of heart… But done right, they can serve as the ultimate work-day organizer.
Imagine: Files, folders, and paperwork for each project or day of the week, separated into their own h̶o̶m̶e̶ cubby for your quick, easy access. If you prefer a minimalistic aesthetic, you can work cupboard doors into the shelving design, which will permit you to quite literally bid adieu to projects as you tick them off your to-do list.
Tip: While shelving can, primarily, be used for organization, it can also be a way to spark joy! Consider filling a few shelves with photos or momentos that bring you calm, which can breathe mindfulness into your workday.
Make Space. No, Literally
Even if your den is less a proper room with doors, and more-so a nook tucked into your condo’s layout, you can still make the home office work for you.
Borrowing from the concept of shelving used to define a desk-space, laying a rug over the floor in this corner of your space will help separate it, visually, from the rest of the room. This type of den-turned-office may benefit from a standing desk, as opposed to floating, as the desk’s legs will serve as another separator between the office and the rest of your living space.
Tip: If your nook-den has the wiring for it, an overhead light specific to the space can help define it as its own room even further! If not, a lamp or two would do quite nicely, too.
This article was produced in partnership with STOREYS Custom Studio.