While it’s true that dens are traditionally “man caves” there are of course ways to also make them “family friendly” so that they can be enjoyed by every member of the house. One of the first ways to do this is to make the space gender neutral by using a mix of bold and soft colors. Some examples of gender neutral color palettes include mixing deep chocolate browns or black with softer colors such as lime green or powder blue or even lavender. The reality is that one of the reasons why dens tend to have a heavy “man cave” feel is because they tend to be filled with dark overstuffed furniture that comes across and feels very masculine. When designing a den to appeal to women as well as the whole family the best compromise is a mix of soft and heavy materials. I always suggest incorporating texture into a den by using elements such as nubby pillows or soft thick area rugs such as shag. Also when decorating a den, don’t just make it all about the electronics, design it to feel more like a “retreat”, and one of the best ways to do this is to incorporate “soft” colors as well as bold colors especially on the walls. I also like to incorporate accent walls into den spaces. As an ASID interior designer I use “accent colors” for a specific purpose, to incorporate a bold color into a space without “over doing it” by painting every wall. Accent colors not only add interest but can also help to define a space architecturally. Some of my favorite colors for accent walls are Green flight 047-3, Southwest Magic 101-6 and Green Scene 070-6, all by Eco-friendly paint company Mythic Paint. A den can be a space to read, a quiet office, an alternative playroom for the kids, in addition to a place to watch movies and the big game!