Tiny studios and large, open-floor-plan homes don’t have a ton in common, but they do present one basic conundrum: the desperate need for dividers. It’s wonderful to be able to keep an eye on the kids watching TV while you’re cooking dinner—but without any separation, the space might feel like a confusing mess. So use these room divider ideas to divvy up any open space.
Any slim, wide, freestanding piece of artwork can double as a room divider, especially if you don’t need to entirely separate the two spaces. A tall ironwork piece with lots of visual interest, like twigs and leaves or an intricate pattern, can make your living room feel cozy and secluded—and doesn’t have to involve hammering drywall. Or create an intimate dining room with a series of slim statues.
IKEA’s white, five-by-five Kallaxis the classic choice for this simple, unobtrusive divider. If you want a slightly see-through option to let in more light, use bookshelves without a back panel—a particularly elegant option for dividing a large room into a bedroom and an office.
Need some serious privacy? Hang hospital track curtains across a room to create two entirely separate spaces. Hide your messy, open-concept kitchen during a fancy dinner with your boss and her husband, or create a separate playroom for the kids when your closest pals come to watch the big game. Thick, opaque curtains are perfect for subdividing a studio, and thinner, sheer fabric can create a subtle effect.
Add visual interest to a loftlike space by installing antique windows between two rooms. Flea markets and thrift stores are a goldmine for vintage glass, which often goes unnoticed by homeowners who are more concerned about their energy bills. If the windows are only dividing a room, there’s no need to worry about single or double panes—you’re shopping just for looks, and can pick anything that strikes your fancy and fits your decor.
Elegant folding or accordion doors are a perfect solution for small spaces. Entertainers can host large soirees without snooping guests peering into their cluttered bedroom, and freelancers who need to host clients can block off a pristine, professional space. Just make sure to pick a color that matches your apartment.
We should all be looking for more opportunities to bring nature into our homes. Twigs, indoor shrubs, or hanging plants create an eco-friendly room divider—and may even purify the air. No, they won’t completely block your view of the dining room, but plant-based solutions are perfect for open-concept homes that can benefit from a little separation.