Ideas to Steal: 5 Clever Twists on Room Dividers

Pietro Russo Bedroom Large Cover Image

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 spaces that need to serve more than one purpose. We like these five easy-to-replicate twists on the usual screens and curtains.

1. Partitions on Wheels

Makié Yahagi Soho, New York Loft Photo by Matthew Williams Styling by Alexa Hotz
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

Above: We are particularly taken with 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

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. Displays as Dividers

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.
Karin Montgomery Spath New Zealand Studio Kitchen Open Shelves Divider, Photo by Matthew Williams
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.

5. Industrial Curtains

C.S. Valentin Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Apartment Jonathan Hökklo
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.

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