Room Separating

Sometimes, you need to give an area of your apartment or condo the feel of its own room and divide up the space, whether it’s a temporary or permanent room divider. Fortunately, there are many methods to divide a room attractively, depending on the circumstances and your personal preferences.

Temporary room divider solutions

Shutter divider via Hayneedle

Shutter divider via Hayneedle

If you have someone staying over for a few nights in your small home, you might like to try dividing up a space in your home where they can enjoy a little privacy while sleeping or working. Even a small effort at creating privacy will be much appreciated by most people.

You might also benefit from a room divider if you’re working on a project of some sort, whether it be a sewing, craft, or home renovation task that doesn’t look very pretty right now, but can be effectively contained in its own area of your home.

Japanese-style screens in particular are great for this reason – they’re stylish, they fold up easily for storage, and they can cover up a project area and keep the rest of room looking clean and neat. Also, most of the screens allow partial light through, so if you place a light source behind them, they admit a warm, soft glow to the rest of the room, which makes the space appear larger and more airy. With a fan-like shape, they take up very little room when folded up, and can easily be stored flat and upright in the back of a closet.

Long term room separator ideas

Hanging room divider via Hayneedle

Hanging room divider via Hayneedle

Do you have a studio apartment and don’t want to feel like your bed is sitting in the living room? You may have a child whose “room” is part of a larger space, like the living room. We’ve even seen refurbished colonial New England apartments with the shower in the kitchen. In any case, there are some permanent room dividers that do an excellent job of creating the effect of an entirely different space.

  • Curtains on a curtain rod (if the walls are close enough together) or on a sturdy clothes line if they aren’t, can block out lots of light and create a screen of privacy. Apartment Therapy has an article on hanging curtains as room dividers. For dividing up large open spaces without a track, they suggest aircraft cable, which is plastic coated so it won’t snag curtains, plus it won’t droop like a long length of clothes line would. Ikea Hacker also has a post about an extremely cheap curtain divider solution using ceiling mounts and muslin cloth. If you own your home, you can even install a track for the drapes to slide on.
  • Bookshelves and other tall furniture might not completely block out light, but they do a good job of visually “roping off” the space as its own separate room. Big potted plants, cabinets, or a chest of drawers, especially if you’re trying to create a bedroom, can also effectively divide up a room.

If you’re not sure if you’re ready to commit to what might be an expensive room divider, try blocking off the space with sheets hanging from the ceiling, or re-position a bulky piece of furniture temporarily to the appropriate location. If it makes a big difference, it may be worth the time and/or money to install.

Top photo: CC License via xopherlance

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