6 Creative Ways
to Divide a Room


Open floor plans that give spaces a more spacious and airy vibe are becoming more and more popular than traditional, segmented approaches to interior design.

How to...
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Cinnamon Janzer
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September 24, 2016

 

However, whether your design tastes have changed over time, you’re just itching to try something new, or you’re considering putting in a permanent wall but aren’t quite ready to commit, a day might come when you’re over the openness you once loved.

Even if you’re excited about the idea, finding the best way to divide a room into two and breaking up an open floor plan can be a little distressing if you’re not into the traditional ways it has been done in the past (think somewhat flimsy and vaguely Japanese-styled paper wall dividers).

The good news is we’re here to save the day! Sometimes all you need is an idea or two (like the ones we’ve got up our sleeves) to get your creative juices flowing and break down traditional decor barriers when it comes to building up temporary ones in your beloved home.

Read on for some alternative and super creative ways to divide a room without building a wall.

 

Plants, plants, plants

Ways to divide a room: Plants
Image via Curbly.

Green thumbs rejoice: Your plants are no longer relegated to the outdoor areas, window sills, or the corners of rooms. If you want to break up an open floor plan and add some greenery at the same time, using plants to reference space divisions is the solution for you.

You can hang terrariums from the ceiling or line up a few big potted plants to create the effect you’re looking for. A great feature of the latter is that they’ll continue to grow closer and closer to the ceiling as time passes, resulting in a subtly growing barrier than can be trimmed back and modified whenever you like.

 

Make a bookshelf barrier

Ways to divide a room: bookshelves
Image via livinator.

If you’ve currently got a bookshelf pushed up against a wall, all you have to do is spin it outwards 90 degree and you’ve got yourself an awesome room divider that simultaneously showcases all the pretty and wonderful reads in your ever growing book collection.

If you don’t have a bookshelf or are just looking for a more subtle but equally bookish divide, try a magazine rack instead – it’ll give the same effect, but in a less intense way.

 

Play with furniture arrangements

Ways to divide a room: Play with alternative arrangements of furniture
Image via Crazy Fish.

Sometimes all it takes is a little rearrangement of the things you already have or a thoughtful furniture purchase with a dual, room dividing purpose in mind while you’re shopping to accomplish you room division goals.

You can set up your entertainment centre in the middle of a big room to break up a big living room or a combined living room and dining room space, or you can do something as simple as rearranging your couch.

Even just bumping your couch up next to another piece of furniture, facing it strategically away from a dining area, or moving it from the sides of a room to a more central location can make an empty-ish room feel full just by manipulating the space around furniture.

 

Repurpose unexpected items

Ways to divide a room: use rope
Image via The Brick House.

If you’ve got left over slats of wood or rope from a DIY project you recently completed for a previous home improvement extravaganza, you don’t have to waste your left over scraps.

If you don’t have leftover building material on hand (hey, we’re not all crafty people!), just swing by IKEA and pick up some bed slats and supply gather for this project is complete. Wooden slats can be strung together and hung from the ceiling or installed vertically on a base that gives them their dividing capabilities from the ground up.

Rope room dividers are slightly more involved only because you’ll likely want to weight the bottom to ensure it looks chic rather than sloppy, but they sure are pretty when they’re done right.

 

Reimagine doors

Ways to divide a room: reimagine doors, barn door
Image via homedit.

Barn doors are super trendy lately which is great news for those who want a rustic approach to dividing their open spaces.

If you’re up for a project, you can totally tackle installing the these pretty things yourself, especially with this guide that spells it all out for you. Just keep in mind that the doors themselves can be pretty heavy, so you might want to enlist some help when it comes to getting the doors on their sliding hinges.

For those that love the sliding door approach but not the repurposed barn-ware trend, there are plenty of modern solutions you can go with as well, like using some IKEA sliding doors that are intended for closets (but work perfectly well in this instance as well) as room dividers instead. 

 

Hang all the things

Ways to divide a room: hanging materials
Image via sfgirlbybay.

If there are any textures, fabrics, or fancy heavyweight papers that you love but just can’t seem to get enough of in your daily life, putting them to work as minimalist room dividers is a great way to feast your eyes on their beauty every day.

All you need is some wire, wooden rods or binder clips, and some screws or nails and you’ll be on your way to crafting a creative room divider in just a couple of hours. Now the hard part: Deciding what you want the textile to be (we’re big fans of posters of things like maps or interestingly textured papers).

 

Hero image: Bloomingville, available at Nyde

Cinnamon Janzer

Cinnamon Janzer

Cinnamon hails from the prairie lands of North Dakota, has been told that she thinks too much, and loves using oxford commas. She's a writer and editor whose work has been featured in FastCo.Exist, GOOD.is, and more. Cinnamon currently lives in Nicaragua with her dog, Gus.