I’m not over-exaggerating when I tell you that building a den on Saturday night, and then spending the entire evening hiding out in it whilst drinking wine and eating pizza, was one of the best date nights I’ve ever had.
Helped along by the fact, y’know, it was dirt cheap and I could wear my pyjamas to the party.
And well, wine. And pizza. The best combo in the date night world EVER EVER.
So I thought I’d share some tips about how you nail an indoor den, because you’re not eight anymore and you can’t badger your parents to build it for you, sob.
Start off by attempting to build it around your boyfriend. They can be stubborn and lazy and HEY WE COULD JUST HANG OUT ON THE SOFA INSTEAD and the answer to that is no, and once you start building, chances are, they’ll eventually get involved.
For the roof of your den, use the biggest sheet you have.
A sheet is better than a blanket because it’s lighter and less likely to cave in, which is obviously the ultimate den building sin. We used a cheap Tesco king size bed sheet without fitted edges.
You need to work with what you’ve got and utilise your furniture to act as things to hang your sheet on. The back of a sofa or armchair is fan-bloomin-tastic, as is a radiator.
Chris had the amazeballs idea of tying a piece of string between the window latch and a hook on our fireplace, which created a place to hang our sheet on – we then used clothes pegs to secure it in place.
We used a second sheet to make the den extra roomy, and clipped that to the string with the pegs and let the other end hang over the back of the sofa.
(We clipped the sheet up on the side to take this photo so that you could see into the den, but then rolled it down to make it more private and cosy once we were settled – we also pegged together the curtains to make it darker!).
Now for the inside: You want it to basically feel like a bed, so the dream situ is to pull all your sofa cushions onto the floor and create a fake mattress – a bit like you used to do when you had pals stay over as a kid.
Throw in every single blanket and cushion you can find in your house. The more you have, the more it feels like a nook of dreams that you’ll probably just never take down.
Oh, and top tip? Don’t let pets near it. They will try and climb on the roof and your nostrils will flare with anger.
Once in your den, deck it out with a tray which will act as a good, stable place to keep your wine so that it doesn’t fall over.
Bring in your laptop and prop it up on a couple of cushions – important because a) you can Netflix the night away and b) you can order pizza.
Another option is to pre-plan your den and make sure you have your hands on some Gameboy Colours and Pokemon games. (I just checked eBay and turns out you’re better asking around on Facebook because sweet lord they’re not cheap).
And then voila, heaven.
OH, and if you have any battery-operated fairy lights, maybe pin those up with some pegs too. Just don’t like tag me in your Instagram pic because I couldn’t find mine and it made me sad.
I realise this is basically just you making a mess with some bedding in your lounge and it sounds like a little smidge of effort when you could just sit on the sofa instead, but it honestly felt like something else. It felt like we were escaping into our own little world. And it meant we weren’t distracted by chores and just walking about the house because getting out of the den was such a hooha, it was the loveliest little way to turn a Saturday night in into something so much more.
I demand you give it a go.
P.S. Soz about the meh photo, I was too busy attempting to dive face first into the den and the wine.