Creating a Cozy Den

When we toured our new house, one of the rooms that excited me the most was the den. I loved the wall of built-ins around the fireplace, the tray ceiling and the wall of windows around the back. It had such good bones and great potential!

I did not, however, love the wood finish on those shelves. I thought the wooden wall made the room feel dated and dark. We knew painting those shelves would immediately brighten up the space, so we asked our painters to slap on a coat of Sherwin Williams Pure White on the shelves. That sounds so casual, as if painting those shelves was a simple process– it was not. They worked really hard and put a lot of hours into those built-ins. I'll be honest, I'm glad we didn't tackle it ourselves! It was so nice to move into a house that was freshly painted instead of spending months doing it ourselves. Their prices were so affordable that we knew it was a good investment for us.

Once the shelves were painted, it was time to choose a wall color. That powder blue had to go! I was planning to use the same color in here as the rest of the living spaces– Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter– but the husband thought it would be nice to have a darker grey in here. He wanted it to feel cozy and thought a slightly darker color would be perfect for this room's primary purpose, watching TV. I thought about it and decided he made some good points, so I let him choose a color that he liked. He went with Benjamin Moore Galveston Grey.

Once painted, the room was ready for us to make ourselves right at home. It was tricky to arrange the furniture in this narrow room, but we figured out a configuration that works. Then I shopped all my boxes of home accessories to find all sorts of fun things to display on the shelves. This house totally feeds my thrifting addiction– so many great places to display fun thrift store finds.

Now our den is feeling very cozy and warm, just liked I hoped it would!

Looks quite a bit brighter than before, right? Am I converting any of you who thought we shouldn't paint the wood?

We haven't bought anything new for this room yet– everything in the above photos came from our first house. I can't wait to reupholster that funky chair, but we haven't had a chance to shop for fabric yet. Those roman shades were left from the previous owner, but we took them from the office and moved them into this room to help with the glare of the windows on the TV.

So there you have it– another room ready to be lived in! And just for kicks, let's compare the before/after shots!

I think it's just another demonstration of the amazing difference you can make with just a can of paint! And now that the cabinets are white, that brick fireplace is growing on me a little bit. We planned to resurface it eventually, but now I'm wondering if we should keep it. That brick might add more character to the room. What do you think?

And now that we've seen the dark grey paint on the walls, we're thinking it would look even better if we took it all the way up to the crown moulding in the trey ceiling. I wish we thought about that when the painters were still working!

* Movie time! *

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