Simple steps to build a room divider

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When you're looking for smart home ideas, one of the key things to take into account is space planning. You may have a sprawling, open living room or a really small space that is serving multiple requirements. In either case, you’ll need to work around the dimensions you have and think of ideas to make it better.

Room dividers are created for different reasons. It is not easy to make or break walls around the house, so a lot of creativity goes into dividing a space. From wallpapers to shelves to curtains, you can use a variety of materials depending on your requirement. While pony walls are a more permanent solution, flexible freestanding panels can adapt to your daily requirement.

One of the coolest trends to recently emerge is to use building blocks to reconfigure rooms and create a room partition and accent wall. These can be built to look like a wall or spaced out for a visual break and ventilation. And the best part is they come in so many colours that you are bound to find a creative room screen that you like!

Here is a quick take on different types of room dividers and what you’ll need to build one.

Why a room divider?

Room dividers are added for a whole variety of reasons. Sometimes the kitchen is exposed from the living room making it open for anyone to see what’s cooking, and you simply want to avoid that. Sometimes the bedroom is exposed from the living room in an open set up and you want to add some privacy. The children’s room can often do well with dividers separating the study from the play area.

A divider can double-up as a headboard to a bed, a mirror to give a visual illusion of space, an interesting way to add wall lights or simply as a feature in itself.

Draw up a workable plan

The first thing you need to keep in mind when planning to divide a space is if you want it to be temporary or permanent. It is always good to start with temporary options to see how well you can adapt to the new arrangement and once you fully love it, convert it into a more permanent option.

Next, think of the type of divider you want – should it be slightly see through, have some visual barriers or fully block views on one or either side. The simplest of room dividers is a curtain, the most permanent one is a wall and there is a multitude of options in between that swing between hard and soft.

You also want to think about how much money you want to spend. Some high-quality wooden room dividers are extremely ornate with intricate carving costing quite a bit. Others can come almost for free with repurposed things from your home.

Consider if you will have the time, energy, tools and expertise to take this up as a DIY project or if you’ll need help from professionals which can add to the cost.

Last but not the least, measure the height and width your room divider will take up once ready so that you can source your raw materials.

Source your materials

 Artwork by Lee Borthwick
Lee Borthwick

Branching out- Room divider

Lee Borthwick

The type of building materials you’ll need for your room divider will depend on what you’ve decided in the above step.

Wood: Wooden room partitions are quite the classic. Often gaining a seductive reputation in the movies as a makeshift changing room, these often feature intricate designs. Good quality wooden room separators can cost quite a bit but it is great to have one as you can easily move it around or tuck it away.

Curtains: You can easily shift from transparent, semi-transparent to opaque depending on your changing privacy needs.

Glass: One-way or decorative glass is great to add privacy without blocking the flow of light

Repurposed doors: Standard bi-folding doors work similarly to wood partitions but these are non-transparent and can be painted to match the rest of the décor

Art panels: Consider hanging a large tapestry or a lightweight painting. You need some DIY knowledge to securely suspend the panel to the ceiling or seek expert help

Plants: Line up a bunch of tall bamboos in attractive pots to finish this look

Bookcases: Fully fill the bookcase to block views or intersperse with negative space for a partial divider

Building blocks: Use colorful building blocks to create a temporary or permanent ‘wall’

Pony walls: Divide a living room and kitchen with a pony wall that allows the flow of aroma and laughter to flow between rooms without hindrance.

Acoustic room dividers: Soundproof an area in your home with this interesting option

Ready your tools

 Household by Pode Ser!
Pode Ser!

Aplicação de Painel em MDF forrado a papel de parede.

Pode Ser!

Other than the base material you choose for the divider, you’ll need to start with a measuring tape to know how long, tall and wide your divider should be. After this you’ll need tools to hand to make your divider secure. For curtains and panels, you’ll need support installed in the ceiling. For doors, you’ll need the hinges attached to a side panel.

Isolating a room

 Household by Lace Furniture
Lace Furniture

Modern black room dividers in ZIGZAG Chevrons geometric pattern

Lace Furniture

You can also create an isolation room with the help of dividers. This is done using a ‘metal’ curtain. Metal coil drapery can be installed on the ceilings with an aluminum alloy track and a pulley and chain. The track can be fixed on the ceiling wall, the pulley can make the metal drapery move easily and the chain can control the pulley. 

This gorgeous divider was created by Harlaxton-based Lace Furniture.

Special designs

Room separators can take modern artistic forms to make an unexpected creative room screen. You can paint your glass room divider with interesting patterns to make it one of a kind. You can use a fish tank above a pony wall, a glass waterfall screen or custom fiber-made shapes. There is really no limit to good room divider ideas! All you need to do is get started.

For further ideas on how to structure your home, take a look at How to divide your kitchen and living room.

Which of these room dividers do you like best? How do you maximise space at home? Let us know in the comments!
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