7 Ideas for Room Partitions to Help You Make the Great Divide
August 25, 2014 by Joe Ness
Wide open spaces can be an interior designer’s dream…or they can make what should be a cozy, intimate space feel like a ballroom. You may be trying to figure out how to divide a room that presents a challenge because it’s long and open, or maybe you’re stumped by a small studio that needs to serve as both a bedroom and living room. Here are some of our favorite ideas for room partitions in commercial and residential spaces alike.
Room dividers that draw inspiration from nature are the perfect way to balance bright splashes of color and angular furniture. Actual branches are an option, of course, but you can also achieve a tree-like effect with metal. This custom room divider, for instance, was made by attaching copper plumbing pipes to a wooden base. The result is a gorgeous, natural-looking room divider that evokes branches.
This room divider, on the other hand, uses real willow branches to achieve a rustic, natural look. The folding screen would look at home in an Asian-inspired office setting, complete with river rocks and a small water feature, or on a minimalist patio with paper lanterns, bamboo, and Chinoiserie décor.
Overall, the fluid, gently curved shape of branches is an excellent counterpoint to hard edges, right angles, and sleek lines, as seen in this contemporary kitchen.
Source: Birdseye Design
If you’re a music lover, this is the hippest way to create privacy. This LP room divider contains slots for 30 to 60 albums, so homeowners can show off their extensive record collection while giving guests or family members some space. It’s also perfect to section off the changing area in a vintage clothing boutique, add a mini-wall in a record store, or partition off an area of a funky diner.
For an even simpler way to add a musical touch, hang vinyl records from the ceiling — either painted or left the way they are.
Source: Cristina Freire
Recycling company TerraCycle decked out its New Jersey office entirely with recycled goods, including these fun LP album dividers. It’s stylish, innovative, and sustainable at the same time.
Source: Michelle Peterson
Coiled Wire Fabric Panel
Whether you hang coiled wire fabric as drapery or mount it inside a frame, it hits the sweet spot of translucency and visual boundary. Coiled wire fabric is available in many different weave sizes and finishes to fit any style and can be used vertically as drapery or horizontally for a flat panel look. The fabric works great as a divider with the added benefit of allowing air movement and light to pass through.
Source: Cascade Coil coiled wire fabric panel at the Hyatt
Source: Cascade Coil
Source: The Glove Slap
In the same vein as branches, vertically stretched rope is a minimalist, natural way to delineate space while maintaining light and visibility. Sydney, Australia-based Alwill Studio connected two wooden dowels with rope for an easy, affordable screen in its office.
California-based Brick House Design also found rope to be an economical room divider for a client who needed to parse out sections of an upholstery warehouse. Morgan Satterfield of Brick House build custom wooden boxes with evenly spaced holes for rope. She then tied off the precut rope, hiding the knots in the boxes at the top and bottom.
Source: The Brick House
The finished product is subtle, low-profile, and impressive:
Source: The Brick House
Whether in a tea shop, bookstore, or home, open shelving has the added bonus of not only splitting your space but providing valuable storage.
In a retail setting, open shelving allows the proprietor to create small vignettes with jewelry, fabric, or other small items for sale. At home, an open-backed bookshelf like this one creates room for books, candles, and tchotchkes.
Source: Corynne Pless
One advantage room dividers have over walls is their ability to keep an open feel, especially when semi-transparent. Like branches, rope, and coiled wire fabric, backless shelving creates separation without claustrophobia, as viewers can sneak a glimpse of what’s on the other side.
Simple Wooden Slats
For the client or homeowner on a budget, simple wooden slats artfully arranged in a criss-cross pattern can create a simple divider in an open office space or home. Richard Shed & An Michiels designed this wooden partition for a creative agency in London by layering think pieces of untreated white oak. The finished product sections off the agency’s meeting space from individual employee workstations.
Salvaged Windows or Doors
Another eco-friendly option is recycling old doors and windows as room dividers. You can feel good about keeping salvaged windows out of the landfill while achieving a vintage-infused, transparent effect. Add plants for a greenhouse vibe, or keep things clean and stark.
Source: Apartment Therapy
What’s your favorite way to divide a room? Let us know in the comments.