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Small-Space Ideas to Steal: 7 Clever Twists on Room Dividers

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Small-Space Ideas to Steal: 7 Clever Twists on Room Dividers

February 18, 2019

If you have a roommate, live in a small studio, or want to break up a large open area, you might wish for walls where there are none. But unless you’re doing a big remodel, this isn’t always possible. Enter the clever room divider, which can be opened, closed, or rearranged on a whim—a particularly handy feature in rentals, and in spaces that need to serve more than one purpose. We like these 7 easy-to-replicate twists on the usual screens and curtains.

1. Partitions on Wheels

an inventive solution in a shopkeeper&#8\2\17;s nyc apartment: a diy room d 9
Above: An inventive solution in a shopkeeper’s NYC apartment: A DIY room divider—courtesy of a rolling rack from Ted Steel Industries, a pretty linen sheet, and shower curtain rings—separates a sleeping nook from the main living space. See Shop Owner Makié Yahagi’s Charm-Filled Loft in SoHo, New York for more. Photograph by Matthew Williams and styling by Alexa Hotz for Remodelista.

2. Screens at Right Angles

of course, it&#8\2\17;s possible to buy chic folding dividers, but we parti 10
Above: Of course, it’s possible to buy chic folding dividers, but we particularly like the artful way this wood and rattan screen is positioned—bent at a right angle, rather than zigzagged, to cordon off a bed. Photograph by Pietro Russo; for more, see Pietro Russo’s 538-Square-Foot Apartment in Milan, Glamour Included.

3. Curved Curtains

curtains are among the more flexible options for room dividers. they can be eas 11
Above: Curtains are among the more flexible options for room dividers. They can be easily pulled back or closed, depending on the need or time of day—no folding or heavy lifting required. For an upgrade, hang curtains from a curved rod, as shown here, to wrap around corners or whole spaces. Photograph by Jeff Cate; see A TriBeCa Pied-à-Terre with French Doors and Stealth Storage for more ideas.

4. Bold, Custom Partitions

brooklyn based shop owner kai avant de leon had a screen custom built by a loca 12
Above: Brooklyn-based shop owner Kai Avant De Leon had a screen custom-built by a local builder. Now it divides her bedroom into two sections—sitting area, and private sleeping area—and hides the bed from sight when guests come over. See more in Bed-Stuy Avant-Garde: Inside the Eclectic Apartment of a Brooklyn Shop Owner On the Rise. Photograph by Mel Walbridge for Remodelista.

5. Dual-Purpose Cabinet

a freestanding cabinet serves as coat closet and room divider, creating a separ 13
Above: A freestanding cabinet serves as coat closet and room divider, creating a separate entryway of sorts. See more of this project in Nordic Beauty: A Brooklyn Townhouse Reinvented with Style—and Restraint; photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.

6. See-Through Shelving

here&#8\2\17;s a two in one solution—bookshelves that act as both storage 14
Above: Here’s a two-in-one solution—bookshelves that act as both storage and room divider, offering more or less privacy depending on how the shelves are arranged. Photograph by Brian Ferry; read more in The Unplanned Designers’ Loft in Brooklyn.
another instance of shelves as divider. here, they create a separate bedroom in 15
Above: Another instance of shelves as divider. Here, they create a separate bedroom in a tiny studio apartment—and provide ample space for displaying the tenant’s collections. See A Glamorous Studio Apartment in Auckland that Feels Like a One-Bedroom, Hack Edition for details. Photograph by Matthew Williams.

7. Industrial Curtains

in his new york apartment, designer c. s. valentin opted for yellow strip curt 16
Above: In his New York apartment, designer C. S. Valentin opted for yellow strip curtains (like the ones used in industrial food storage facilities), hung from a hospital drop chain, to create a bright and semi-transparent divider between living room and home office. Photograph by Jonathan Hökklo, from At Home with C. S. Valentin: French Eclecticism in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.

More solutions for small spaces:

N.B.: A version of this post first appeared on The Organized Home; head here to see the story.

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