An Homage to the Urban Den
I have a tough time explaining my home. Do I call it a 3-bedroom plus den or a 4-bedroom? I usually just call it a 4-bedroom and leave it at that since it’s easier than explaining that a den is a room without a window or closet.
From a real estate standpoint, a den is at a disadvantage to a bedroom. But in reality? The den is my favorite room in the house.
What do I love so much about my den? Naptime. Winter or summer, night or day, the temperature and setting of the den is exactly the same. It can be a stormy winter afternoon or a bright summer evening but as soon as I lower the lights on the dimmer, my toddler son climbs onto the futon clutching his sippy cup of milk, clutches his bear, and goes to sleep. All while I work six feet away on one of the two computer workstations in the room. Many evenings, my husband and I work side by side at our desks while the kids sack out in sleeping bags.
Urban living means cramped spaces, so my den serves multiple purposes. A two-level armoire houses office supplies in the top half and toddler toys and arts & crafts in the bottom. On cold afternoons when I am working, the kids haul out the toys from “their” cabinet and happily play on the beat-up Oriental carpet behind me. They are right where I can keep an eye on them, but all of us are engaged and productive.
When Hurricane Irene hit the east coast back in August, our command center was the den. Windowless, it was the perfect place to stockpile supplies and hole up to ride out the storm. With a bathroom next door, we had everything we needed.
I never would have chosen our apartment for the den, but it turned out to be one of the hidden surprises of our home.