While studios and open floor plans are on-trend, dividing your spaces can make your home move livable.
Sometimes a room is too big or has an awkward layout, and you just don’t know what to do with it. The solution here isn’t to leave it empty or use it as a miscellaneous catch-all room, but to split it up into zones with specific purposes. Whether you’re separating a room into personal areas or designating different parts of a studio apartment, room dividers are a great tool to break up a space.
Read on for some brilliant room divider ideas to help you make the most of your living space.
1. Bedroom Room Divider Ideas
If you live in a studio apartment, it can be difficult to keep certain areas separate. The whole space can start to feel like one big multi-purpose room, making it difficult to focus or settle into a nightly routine. Separating your bedroom from living areas can help you feel secluded and comfortable when it’s time to go to bed. A room divider can also help in a larger bedroom, separating the bed from a vanity or reading nook.
A lightweight folding screen allows light to pass through, providing separation without making things feel too claustrophobic. This can be useful in smaller spaces or rooms that you don’t want to split completely in two. A built-in glass or otherwise transparent divider could also do the trick.
Using a shelf or bookcase as a room divider has the added benefit of doubling as storage. You could use it as a nightstand, ensuring that your phone, glasses, or whatever else you might need is always within arm’s reach. A basket on the bottom shelf would be a great place to keep toiletries or extra pillows and blankets.
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2. Bookcase Room Divider Ideas
While all the room dividers described here serve as eye-catching pieces of functional decor, using a bookshelf to split up a room adds another layer of function on top of that. You now have somewhere to store books, plants, journals, photos, and whatever else you’ve been struggling to find a home for.
A bookcase is one of the options that lets you decide how much of the other room you want to be able to see. You could use one with sparse shelves and a few items to allow a good view, or you could pack it tightly to enhance that closed-in effect.
If you don’t have quite enough books to fill the bookcase, varying the items on it and how you arrange them can help fill it out and add visual interest. Stack some books vertically and horizontally and add smaller pieces like candles or decorations of varying heights in groups of three. This engages the eye in a way that feels organic and not overly styled.
3. Creative Room Divider Ideas
Room dividers are fun to shop for if you love unique pieces. There are so many offerings in so many shapes, sizes, materials, and colors. Bright ceramic tiles, intricately carved wood, or glass panels stylized to look like they’re dripping from the ceiling all make for head-turning pieces of decor.
Another option is to hang some form of tapestry or woven art from the ceiling. Woven textiles add warmth and interest to any space, and they go well with a boho or indie interior. You could even commission an artisan to make the one of a kind piece you’re looking for. If you can’t find anything that fits exactly what you want, a DIY room divider might be the best solution to get that perfect partition.
4. Curtain Room Divider Ideas
Curtains are a great option for a floor-to-ceiling room separator. Heavier curtains in sophisticated jewel tones or more muted colors add drama and a regal air, perfect for enclosing a sleeping area in a studio apartment. You could also match the curtains to another part of the room, like a burgundy sofa or silver appliances. Make sure the curtains reach all the way from the curtain rod to just above the floor. If they’re too long, they’ll gather dust and pool awkwardly, and if they’re too short, there will be an unsightly gap below.
One great thing about using curtains as room dividers is that they allow you to customize the level of visibility. You can go for opaque drapes to completely block out the other side or put up a translucent, barely-there curtain and allow light to flow through. You could also get fun patterns or 3D designs to add visual interest. Old sheets or tablecloths could easily come out of storage and find a new purpose as chic room dividers.
5. DIY Room Divider Ideas
Youtube and Pinterest are full of ideas for putting together your own DIY room divider. Building from scratch provides a sense of accomplishment that you can’t get from a store-bought item, along with the pleasure of knowing you have a unique piece that no one else has. After all, even if you’re following a tutorial, you can make little design tweaks to make the piece truly one of a kind.
Taking this route means you can give your DIY room divider whatever elements fit your room best. A minimalist wood one would go nicely with mid-century modern decor. You can keep the space cohesive by staining it to match your other furniture exactly. You could hang leafy, trailing plants from a frame to compliment an earthy, boho interior.
For more DIY ideas, click here.
6. Hanging Room Divider Ideas
A hanging room divider doubles as a work of art. Securing it at the top and leaving it untethered at the bottom allows it to sway, adding a soothing element of motion. This allows them to work well in doorways, as they can move aside easily and always return to their place. If you want to go this route, choose light beaded or woven strands to hang, so the door frame doesn’t struggle to support the divider.
If you like plants, hanging them can be a great way to incorporate them into the decor. Put up a hanging shelf and fill it with greenery, allowing trailing leaves to fill in any blank spaces. Alternatively, you could set it up so a row of vines drapes down from the ceiling or stretches upward with the help of some cords or wire.
It’s a fact that spending time among nature does wonders for the mind, reducing stress and increasing pleasant feelings, so a wall of greenery might be just what your home needs.
7. Living Room Divider Ideas
The living room tends to be the site of a lot of activity. It’s where people congregate, play games, and watch tv. Physically separating it from your working, eating, and sleeping areas can help you focus on whatever’s at hand.
Elaborate wood or metal room dividers help split the room and add a touch of sophistication. They can make a nice backdrop if the adjoining area is the dining room. If the edge of the living room ends with a couch, using a bookshelf to divide the room could be a handy way to keep good reads in reach and eliminate the need for a side table.
If you need to focus on work while keeping an eye on the kids, try setting your desk against a living room wall with pass-throughs. The structured separation that the wall provides communicates the fact that you are in another area, encouraging you to focus fully on the task at hand, but the pass-throughs in the wall provide just enough visibility that you can stay on top of whatever is going on in the next room.
8. Modern Room Divider Ideas
If the rest of the space is in a modern design, you’ll want the room divider to match that. It needs to fit seamlessly into the space it is separating, not stick out awkwardly. Modern room divider design consists of straight lines, geometric patterns, and sturdy materials such as metal and dark wood. Popular colors are white, black, and gold, but you’ll want to go with whatever fits your space best.
This type of room divider is a great way to separate a dining area from a living room without sacrificing your home’s sophisticated atmosphere. Since they are usually floor-to-ceiling and rarely block the view completely, they allow you to focus in one room without completely losing sight of the other.
Modern room dividers often have thin vertical stripes, diamonds, offset squares and rectangles, or intricate geometric designs. If the divider includes shelves, you could decorate with plants, vases, or large books you’d like to display.
9. Partition Room Divider Ideas
If you’ve got just a corner or a small space that you want to set off from the rest of the room, a room divider is just the thing to take it from awkward to intentional. Place an armchair below a window to create the perfect reading nook, or set up a desk and you’ve got a brand new area designated for working from home.
A classic paneled room divider is perfect for this. A lightweight rattan one would be a great option if you want the ability to open and close it quickly, or you could opt for an intricately designed shoji screen to add a little flair and convey a stricter separation.
10. Room Divider Design Ideas
While the phrase “room divider” might conjure images of plain panels standing up in the middle of the room, the truth is that anything that breaks up a space into multiple parts can count as one.
You can stick with an opaque panel or choose a design that doesn’t fully obstruct the view, dividing the room while letting you keep an eye on things. A bookshelf could serve as a functional room divider and provide storage, or you could string up some plants to add a touch of greenery.
11. Sliding Room Divider Room Divider Ideas
When you only want to divide the room part of the time, or if you want to move back and forth between areas easily, a sliding room divider is an ideal solution. It lets you toggle between closed and open floor plans depending on what suits your current needs. This can be helpful if you find yourself going between two rooms frequently, but only at certain times. Maybe you spend equal time in your bedroom and living room early in the day but want to block the world out in the evening. A sliding room divider can help you with that.
This type of room partition works great with farmhouse style decor. Sliding barn doors or shutters are a great way to incorporate a desire for a rustic atmosphere with a need to split up a room. You could paint them to match the wall they’re set in for a subtle effect, go light gray or powder blue to add a shabby chic feel, or stain them a natural brown to keep things down-to-earth.
Screen doors are another option. While traditionally used as front or back doors, a floor-to-ceiling screen is surprisingly chic when used in an interior.
Room Divider Ideas FAQs
What is a room divider good for?
Room dividers are useful for allowing one room to take on multiple purposes. This might mean separating a playroom so that one side is for computer games and the other is for reading or playing board games, or maybe splitting up a studio apartment so it feels like there are multiple rooms.
What can I use as a room divider?
You could use a standard panel made from something lightweight like wicker or bamboo, or you could go for something more creative. Hanging curtains add an air of drama, while a bookshelf stacked with books, plants, and decorations gets the job done while adding storage.
What should my room divider be made out of?
If you want a sense of total separation, go for a material like solid wood or thick drapes that blocks all view of the rest of the room. Otherwise, lighter materials like rattan, bamboo, or sheer curtains will get the job done. If you only want to block sound, glass or wood with glass panels are both great options.