Adding A Feminine Touch To My Den

Dear Style Studio Team,

I typically build my homes, but this time I decided to take on a remodel.

Since buying the house five months ago, I’ve scraped popcorn ceilings, stripped wallpaper, refinished the kitchen cabinets and countertops for a French Country look, turned the HUGE 12′ X 25′ paneled upstairs bedroom into two very stylish bedrooms complete with built-ins and wainscoting, updated the master bath to have double vessel sinks instead of one powder blue sink, added double vanities and updated the upstairs bath (so the boys could each have their own sink and wouldn’t have to share one pink sink…and toilet), added crown molding, and painted every room…that is every room EXCEPT the den.

When it comes to the den, I’m stumped.

I’m thinking I need a leather sofa (or maybe two flanking the fireplace?) for durability, but really prefer the casual, comfy look of a slipcovered sofa. Either way, I’m thinking white.

I’m a single mom that is outnumbered by my boys and want my den to be light and airy and a bit feminine to say, “Hey! A chick lives here, too!”

The problem is that between the brick fireplace (that I’m reluctant to paint) and the dark parquet floors (that previous owners put shellac over…so I’m feeling pretty stuck with them) the den feels more like a hunting lodge than a mom’s retreat.

I already removed the electric wood burner fireplace insert and replaced the ceiling fan with the 6-arm Claire chandelier to add some much needed bling, but because the ceilings are only 8′ (my last house had 12′ ceilings, so this is an adjustment) it hangs a little low with only a couple of links in the chain and in a location that does not allow the couch to face the fireplace (or one would hit their head when standing up and/or the chandelier would block the view of the TV that I hope to place over the fireplace mantle).

Another dilemma is finding nice cabinets for both sides of the fireplace (only 2′ 8″ wide).

Finally, I want some soft, feminine colors in the room! I’m really craving some touches of soft pink!

Help! I refuse to move in until I’m finished with renovations and decorating!


Den with ceiling fan

Den with ceiling fan

Den with brick fireplace

Den with brick fireplace

Dear Jennifer,

You have been very busy!  We are thrilled to help you gain a room with a feminine edge.

We think whitewashing the fireplace brick is the best way to set the tone for this feminine room. While working on the brick, go ahead and paint the mantel for a cohesive look. Heading in this direction will lift the feel of the room. Also, consider painting the walls Benjamin Moore Ashwood OC-47 for a refreshing beginning.

You mentioned wanting bookcases to flank your fireplace … we agree that is a great plan. Our Tuscan Cream Bookcases are the perfect size and because there is a left and right, they will fit snugly next to the brick.

Jennifer L Collage

Lavender is a smashing color that is not only soft and feminine but it is also a sharp companion color to orange. Since your parquet floor have an orange tint, it is important to incorporate shades of the color in your plan.

Start by flanking the fireplace with two of our Haralson Settees, in Off-White Quilt, facing each other. Or for a slip covered option, try our Baldwin Loveseat in the same fabric.

Next add pillows in Linen Mandarin, Linen Lavender and Canvas Purple.

Place the Olivia Coffee Table, along with the sofas, on the Cortez Rug in purple.

Pull up our Marrakech Side Table and a couple of Polly Pillowtop Ottomans in Callisto Stripe Purple for occasional extra seating.

Don’t forget artwork like our Orchid Botanique Framed Art. It compliments the style and color.

We are convinced the Claire Chandelier looks flawless as the center of attention in the room. A few, well-placed lamps will finish off your lighting to perfection.

You still have plenty of space for other activities in the room. We realize this area is the last step in your journey for this home and we hope we have provided you the right direction for a perfectly femine room that works.

Happy Decorating!

The Style Studio Team

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.