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Dens Done Right: DIY a Home Library for an Ultra-Cozy Autumn

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Condo suites with dens can command a higher price-point than those without… But if you’ve been keeping up with how to do your den right, you already knew that.

This is according to Baker Real Estate Incorporated’s Baker Insights Group (B.I.G.), and — despite the last year certainly intensifying the truth of it — such has actually been the case for several years now.

“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.

What’s more, dens are reported to add value to a condo, even when they don’t actually provide extra square-footage.

READ: Dens Done Right: A Home Theatre for Thunderstorm Season (and Beyond)

“Baker recognized that buyers were willing to pay more for a unit with a den, even if the square footage was the same,” says Baker CEO Barbara Lawlor.

If you’re living (or investing) in a condo, it’s high-time to ensure you’re making the most out of those extra walls. And though they may be 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.

Or, we might add, a home library.

While summer is currently in full swing, autumn is fast approaching; if there’s ever been a time to prep for chilly evenings hunkered down with a good read, it’s now. And luckily, transforming your condo’s extra room into a reading nook is a relatively easy feat.

Read on to learn some simple ways that (in addition to lining the walls with your favourite reads) your den can be transformed into a little home library:

GET THE LIGHT RIGHT

If your downtown condo is a “1-bed plus den,” there’s a good chance your den is divided from the main living space via translucent sliding doors. To make your home library as inviting (and cozy) as possible, adorn the space with warm lighting in the form of lamps, a dimmable overhead fixture, or candles. The resulting glow — paired with a cozy chair or couch and an overflowing bookshelf — will have guests begging to have a peek at your collection. With enough fixtures, you’ll ensure the room is bright enough for reading in, but can be mellowed out when the space is serving as a more decorative feature.

Tip: You should avoid leaving candles lit in an empty room. When lighting up your space for the aesthetic alone, flameless (battery-operated) candles provide the exact same vibe, without the fire hazard.

SQUARE FOOTAGE IS BUT A NUMBER

In some circumstances, a den is a supremely small space. While these extra pockets of the home do tend to be larger than the above image would show, sometimes it’s honestly not by much. If you’re working with a tiny square-footage, don’t fight it: Lean in. Swap the “floor” for a base-layer of cozy cushion, while the walls are taken over by built-in shelving. Some pillows and blankets thrown into the mix will only add to the comfy-factor; ultimately, you’ll have a fort-like space within which to channel childhood, and get completely pulled into a work of fiction.

Tip: While the setup above is ultra cozy, your den doesn’t need to be minuscule to channel the same vibe. A mattress can replace the cushion on a larger floor space, while a glowing lamp or two will add even more warmth.

LOVE A GOOD LADDER

Nothing says “reading nook” like a library ladder. (Okay, except for the actual shelves of books, themselves). This funky fixture is an easy add to your home library, especially if you benefit from high ceilings in your condo. Whether you opt to purchase a rolling ladder kit or DIY the build yourself, a few screws and some elbow grease will take your space from basic to Belle in no time. Just be sure the steps are sturdy, and the angle of the ladder doesn’t interfere with your preferred library seating selection.

Tip: While the image above shows this library ladder alongside a desk and sturdy chair, we recommend leaning into the aforementioned recommendations of lighting and cozy seating to fully round out the library feel.


This article was produced in partnership with STOREYS Custom Studio.

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