Today, our homes perform more functions in our day-to-day life than ever before.
When your open living space is part office, home theater, mess hall, and Zen space, sometimes enough is enough. Enter the trusty room divider.
Here are a few ideas to help you divide and conquer.
1. It’s a Frame Job, Pa!
Using window and picture frames suspended together is a classic look, and more flexible than you think.
Finding salvaged frames isn’t as easy, or cheap, as it once was, but if you luck out, there are a lot of options, starting with the frame itself. Keep them as-is, or paint them to match (or to contrast), or try any number of creative finishes.
When it comes to what’s inside the frame, it’s just as flexible. You can use different photographs, or pieces of one massive blow-up for a triptych style approach. Or mirrors, colored glass, fabric, or fine rice paper in the frames can give a rustic, quaint feel when suspended in a space. Even nothing in the frame looks fantastic.
For attaching the pieces to each other and mounting them, lots of great hardware options can speak to your style. Whether you use toned-down modern brushed steel hardware, clunky-but-tough old-school industrial bolts, subtle cable attachments, you can bring a lot of personalization to every level of this project.
Yard sales are a great place to find fascinating frames, and thrift shops, for that quirky mismatched look, but you can’t go wrong with using a similar group of modern frames either, which you can likely buy bulk at a discount. It’s really about the shapes, layout, spacing, and hardware.
2. Modern bead curtains: still hanging on
Since the ‘60s, beaded curtains have come a long way, baby, but they’re still a fave for good reason.
If you don’t get a lot of light and blocking any sun at all seems like a terrible plan, that’s when beaded curtains are a perfect solution. They’re easy to hang with some hooks, and 10 minutes later the law’s laid down and kingdoms are divided.
In fact, wooden beaded curtains are my living room/workspace solution. $30, a few hooks, and the deed was done.
These days, you can get metal, wood, bamboo, glass, crystal, and more beads. Or how about making your own, by way of suspending chain links ceiling-to-floor instead? It looks edgy and cool, but the chain reflects a lot of light and makes the space seem bigger while offering needed division.
The internets offer an endless variety, and ideas, if you’re willing to do the searching.
3. Creatively reinvent products for a new purpose
Whether it’s bamboo garden stakes, the above-mentioned “chain curtain,” floor slats installed as spaces between rooms, or even fish netting, there are a lot of creative ways to reuse things around you to do the job.
As an example, take this great idea from HGTV for a homemade PVC pipe room divider that smacks of ‘60s retro styling, but costs about $60 and an afternoon to install. It lets light through, has a clean, cool look, and offers endless customizing options for unique spaces, and can even be simplified for a sleeker look.
4. Be a recycling genius
Reuse of shipping pallets is a brilliant way to go. Made of durable hardwood, this is a DIY project that’ll be built to last.
While the raw wood look is rustic awesomeness, especially with the old-school hardware, one can imagine how stunning this could look in white, red, black, or any color you imagine. Painted in white, it’d make a great photo gallery divider, with lots of black and white photos hanging on the front.
Maybe you have an old baby crib with great dowled sides that can be removed, attached together, and hung, or an old tabletop, or retro wood or glass-center doors you can mount.
If wall space is limited and you need a place for photos, old doors and similarly solid dividers provide a perfect gallery spot.
Beyond these, there are all the classic options, like simple curtains, or bamboo blinds that can be raised/lowered. There are custom divider solutions you can order, on rollers or tracks.
Consider your space, your budget, and find a solution that fits for you, because they’re out there, waiting to help you create spaces within spaces.
Whether mounted and suspended, or freestanding, room dividers can get more creative, provided you’re willing to think outside of the Shoji-screen box.