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 with a temporary or permanent room divider. Fortunately, there are many methods to divide a room attractively, depending on how long-term you want the separation to last and your personal style preferences.

Temporary room dividers

Japanese plum blossom four-panel room divider (source: Amazon)

If you have someone staying over for a few nights in your small home, you might want to create a space where they can enjoy a little privacy while sleeping. 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 room screens are one of the most common temporary dividers: they come in many attractive designs, they fold up easily for storage, and they can keep the rest of room looking organized and stylish. Also, many screens allow some light through, so if you place one in front of a light source it won’t cut off the rest of the room completely. However, fully opaque screens made of wood and other materials are also available if you want complete privacy.

Long-term room dividers

Dark gray room divider curtain (source: Amazon)

Do you have a studio apartment and don’t want to feel like your bed is sitting in the living room? Or you might be trying to separate a “sub” room like a home office or guest room from a larger space. Here are some more permanent room divider options to create the effect of an entirely different space.

  • Hanging curtains on a curtain rod can block out light, create a clear distinction from the rest of the room, and provide privacy. You’ll need to install a heavy-duty curtain rod or a track in the ceiling to support the weight of long, heavy curtains.
  • Decorative hanging panels can provide more visually attractive room dividers than curtains. Lightweight panels can be hung directly on drywall or from the ceiling, meaning that this may be a good solution for renters (as long as they are allowed to drill into the walls), while heavier and thicker panels exist as a more permanent possibility for homeowners.
  • IKEA bookcase as room divider [CC license via nhadatvideo]

    Solid cabinets, bookshelves, and chests of drawers might not completely block out light or visibility for the space above the furniture, but they do a good job of visually “roping off” the space as its own separate room. If you’re concerned about blocking off too much natural light, look at backless bookcases like those that IKEA offers.

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 by re-positioning a bulky piece of furniture temporarily to the location you are considering. If it makes a big difference in how the space feels, it may be worth the time and/or money to install a more permanent divider.