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Why you should build a den underneath your bed

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Coming to Stanford, I felt like I didn’t have a space of my own to call home — I even wrote a Daily article about it! My dorm room, while bigger and nicer than I ever could’ve asked for, isn’t really my space, since I share it with another person. And as a person who really values the occasional moment alone, I set out to make a space that would truly be my own.

That’s where the den comes in! For those of you wondering what I mean by “den,” it’s basically just a converted space under my bed filled with soft things. We’ve got blankets, pillows, carpets, padding, plushies, etc. Of course, to make it the private space I wanted, I draped a curtain around it. Having a den comes in handy all the time. I can take naps in my den when I don’t want to ruin my bedsheets, have a comfortable place to study and work, and Netflix and chill without being scared of my roommate bursting in. 

If this sounds like a perk you want in your room, here’s how to make your own den: 

1. Flooring: I started by putting bed risers under my bed. The bed risers I used were 5.25 inches, which makes the space more than large enough to sit up, move around, whatever. Lofting your bed would work, too. I then placed foam floor tiles directly on the ground, topped by a fluffy rug from Ikea. The foam floor tiles weren’t as soft as expected, so a mattress topper could serve as a decent replacement. 

2. Walls: Two of the walls are provided by Stanford. Unfortunately, you’ll have to make the other two walls, which you can do by draping any large piece of cloth over the side. Short curtains are a more expensive option, but they’ll work a little better for getting in and out of the space. 

3. Lighting: Any string lights or lamp will do here. I opted for some nice paper lantern string lights. 

4. Interior: You can really go wild with what you choose to put in your den. I have three plushies, two pillows, two blankets and a body pillow in mine. Any soft object works! 

And there’s your den! If you do end up adding a den to your room, please send me pics. It would make my day. Also, I’m sorry if you’re in an all-frosh dorm and need the space under your bed for storage in those peanut-sized rooms. Try again next year! 

Contact Henry Shen at shenhen ‘at’ stanford.edu.