The den is not just your space. It really belongs to the whole family, and to some extent to the world; at least that part of the world which you invite into your home. As such, it is important not to be too selfish when creating a decorative atmosphere in this space. You can’t just create a montage to your own tastes. Instead you should strive to create a harmonious balance between your own personal sense of beauty, and a style which will enrich and engage the many other people who will be living in this room.
The first thing that you have to think about in the den is the function of the space. Is it a room for chatting with friends, or a hideaway where the kids can watch a movie? Function should always come before form, especially in such a jumbled and chaotic space. Once you know what you want the room to do, deciding on how to arrange it will be easier, because you will have a logical progression that you can follow, at least to some extent.
Another important factor in a room where a lot of people will be coming and going is the evolution of the space. As family and friends enjoy the space, and then move on, only to be replaced by others, the room will start to change. It won’t be overt, few people will be moving couches around, but, a couch might slide a few inches if someone is too enthusiastic about getting up. Clutter will often accumulate in certain standard spaces in the room, and decorative items will be moved, touched, explored, and played with.
To some extent you can anticipate how the room will change with time. Flat surfaces will tend to collect debris, small décor pieces will be touched and moved, carpets will slide, and even the lighting will vary.
However the best way to judge the evolved nature of a den is simply to observe it over time. As you watch people interacting, living, and moving throughout the space, you will start to notice trends. Maybe there is a spot where shoes are always left, or maybe the light comes through one of the windows in a weird way on a particularly bright day.
These instances of chaos, change, and mess, can actually be used to your advantage, as long as you are willing to accommodate them strategically. Clutter spots can be supplied with bins, lighting can be controlled with shades and fixtures, and moving couches can be butted up against walls.
Once you understand the living nature of the den, then you can safely start to spread décor and decoration throughout. However, there is no real way to halt change completely, so you will always have to be aware of how things change, no matter how subtly, within the space. Being observant will give you the initiative to take control of the den, by strategically decorating with the flow of change throughout the room. Instead of sitting back and letting change happen, you can actually jump into the stream, and determine the path of your own evolution.