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Room divider ideas: 7 ways to bring structure into your home

If you regularly use a space to hold dance classes or yoga lessons, then it makes perfect sense to have all your furniture lined up along the walls, with a large open space in the middle. But if, like most of us, your home is used solely as a living space, this kind of layout won’t work as well. Room dividers can be used to introduce structure into large, unwelcoming spaces, making them feel warmer and cosier.

And they have their uses in smaller rooms too: If you’re using a single room for multiple purposes, room dividers can help to separate the space into different zones. Read on to discover seven of our favourite room divider ideas.

Understated and practical: Sideboards as room dividers

Want to introduce structure into your space without compromising on aesthetics? Then use a sideboard to subtly separate areas. As sideboards are low pieces of furniture, you won’t be able to create a completely visually separated zone; this kind of open layout is advantageous if natural lighting is poor. A sideboard will not only provide valuable storage space, but can also be repositioned whenever you want to suit your needs. The “Air” sideboard by Design House Stockholm is the perfect choice if you’re looking to divide a room: You’ll be able to see the panels on the rear of the unit, and the light transparency of the Viennese mesh makes the piece appear more ‘airy’ – as its name suggests.


Gira switches made from linoleum-plywood

Two materials in one sustainable design line: Gira Esprit switches with linoleum-plywood frames.

The “Air” sideboard combines traditional handicraft with contemporary design. Source: Design House Stockholm

Open divider inspiration: Shelves with decorative storage

The open structure of shelves makes them ideal for use as room dividers. Shelving units are taller than sideboards, so can be used to separate areas more distinctly while still allowing light to move through the space. They also provide extra storage. In “Rek”, a designer unit by Reinier de Jong, the individual components can be taken apart to increase the shelf surface area.

Choose what you put into your room divider carefully. Decorative objects are the best choice, because you’ll see them from both sides of the room. Think about how you distribute the accessories and leave some space free to give the eyes a break and allow the natural open look of the shelves to shine.

Rek shelving unit room divider

Elegant and flexible: Room divider screens

Screens are the classic room divider. They can be erected quickly as a mobile dividing wall, and simply folded up again when they’re no longer needed. As traditional screens are not particularly wide, they are ideal for separating smaller spaces – perhaps to create your dream dressing area in your bedroom, for example.

The main thing to consider is stability: Screens are flexible, which means they can tip over, so they may not be the best choice if you have kids or pets in the house. However, the Paravan collection by Arper is an exception to this rule: Designed for stability, these modular panels can be combined to create your own unique divider solution.

Room divider ideas: Paravan collection

No longer confined to a corner: Using sofas as room dividers

A humble sofa can also make a great room divider. Corner sofas do the job particularly well: One side of the sofa is positioned along a wall, while the other projects out into the room, creating a cosy seating corner that feels separate from the rest of the room. However, bear in mind that not all sofas are suitable for use as a room divider.

Many traditional upholstered designs will dominate the interior when placed in the centre of the room: Their high backs will obscure light and make the room appear smaller. We recommend a lower model, such as the Bundle sofa by Walter Knoll, which has slimline feet and soft cushions to relax on.

Comfortable sofas room dividers

Open up to even more possibilities: Curtains as room dividers

Curtains or sliding panels also make ideal decorative room dividers, enabling you to not only visually separate different parts of a room, but also to open them up again whenever you need to.

You could, for example, tuck away your kitchen units behind an attractive fabric panel when you’ve finished cooking to create a more homely atmosphere in an open-plan living space.

Curtains are available in countless colours and designs and there’s sure to be something to suit every style. You can for example browse through the amazing collection by Danish textile specialists Kvadrat for inspiration.

Kvadrat curtains separating room divider

One becomes two: Partition walls and doors create new rooms

For most people, room dividers are a flexible solution that can be switched around or removed without huge effort or expense. But sometimes, it might make more sense to install a fixed partition wall: Perhaps turning a large children’s bedroom into two separate smaller rooms if another little one is on the way.

Space-saving sliding doors can also be a great addition to your living room. They look elegant and are an exceptionally practical solution, acting not only to keep cold, draughts and noise out, but also to keep kitchen odours away from the living area when you’re cooking.

Twitter headquarters glass sliding doors room dividers

Unique and environmentally friendly: Plants as a natural room divider

Large plants used to divide rooms can inject a new lease of life into a space. They can be used to define different zones without detracting from the overall perception of the room as a single, unified space.

You can opt to place pots on the floor, or use hanging plants to create a unique room divider: Ivy, for example, will grow down from the ceiling like a mini waterfall, forming a natural separating wall as it reaches the floor. Larger plants help to absorb noise and will noticeably enhance the room climate with their fresh green leaves.

Plants in bedroom room dividers

Whether you opt for practical furniture, a classic dividing wall or one of our more original and unique solutions, we hope that this article has given you plenty of inspiration and ideas for dividing up your living space.

If you do it right, all of these solutions are not only practical, but will enhance the atmosphere of your home, enabling you to give your space a whole new look and feel without huge effort or expense.

Are you feeling inspired by our room divider ideas? Share your favourites in the comments.

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