Easy Divider Ideas for Open Concept Spaces
Concepts, research, and instructions by Zana Dodig
Many modern homes in Toronto are based on the open concept space. However, an open concept does not necessarily imply one large room with no separation. Dividers can stop echoes from forming due to unrestricted sound travel. They can also add some structure and privacy.
Building a wall may end up a messy business and produce very expensive mistakes. Portable or semi-portable dividers are cheaper and easier to install. They require no demolition to be removed should you like to get your open space back.
Create a secluded space behind the curtain.
Some examples can be found at Hemedit.
A simple, tried way to separate your room is to install rods and hang the curtains. With the right choice of materials the space can become cozier, quieter, and a little more private.
You will need to figure out how to install your curtain rods; where it may or may not be possible and if there are challenges like concrete walls which could require drilling. Some rods are made for easy installation, others require a bit more work. Whatever the case is, verify that your curtain rod can support your curtains properly and measure the space to help you pick the right length and strength.
Your pick of curtains will depend on your space, your preferences, and your needs. Some areas call for dark, thick cloth, others may look better with a light, airy design. There are a few shops that offer specialized choices of curtains, Prestige Decor may be a good choice for you to start with.
Make a divider out of a bookshelf.
Some examples can be found at BigDIYIdeas.
Moving a bookshelf to arrange your room could take even less work. As long as you know what goes onto that shelf and where it’ll stand. This is an old and tried method that uses common furniture which is typically shaped like a wall. Not all shelves will look good as dividers; they certainly need to have some height, at least a meter off the ground.
If you had your bookshelf occupying space beside a wall, you may now find that you have some free space to hang art or a TV.
Strategically placing your bookshelf divider may make working from home a lot more efficient. You could have an office space within your open concept room that has immediate access to all necessary literature.
Draw the lines but keep the air flowing with wooden slat partitions.
Wooden slat dividers can help organize the space while keeping you aware of the surroundings beyond. For example, you can make a play corner for your kids that can keep them occupied in a chosen area but not so that they are too far away.
Architectural Digest goes into a little more detail on how wooden slat partitions can be used here.
Folding bamboo screens.
Some examples can be found at OhMeOhMy.
The easiest method of all is a movable bamboo screen. It’s durable enough to be used anywhere from the balcony to kitchen, and living room. Bamboo reflects light in a specific way that could provide an interesting shade in your space.
Consider a few options and see if it fits well within your room. If you are utilizing an ultra-modern design, a bamboo screen could add a stark contrast which could be a good or a bad thing. Your imagination and design finesse should guide you to a better looking space.
The good news is that if it doesn’t work, it can be folded and easily put away.
Of course, your choices aren’t limited by bamboo. A variety of folding screens can be found using cloth, other woods, and metal.
Floor-ceiling rope dividers.
Some examples can be found at FamilyHandyman.
You can introduce a unique, vintage vibe into your vintage space with thick ropes, a wooden frame, and a little bit of work.
Install a wooden frame is two wooden planks (preferably something better-looking than a two by four). You will need to drill holes in the wooden planks to secure your ropes to.
Keep in mind that your ropes will interfere with your planks’ ability to lay flat on a surface. To fix that, you will need to create grooves in the planks to allow the ropes to sink into the wood. That way, if your rope goes into the plank through a hole and out from another, it’s backside can lay flat on the floor or ceiling.
Attaching a wooden plank to the ceiling is tricky and will require knowledge of the type of materials used to make it, as well as location of structural beams. If there are wooden beams underneath, you can use them to fasten your wood screws to. Concrete will require drilling and special fasteners. Drywall is not strong enough to hold your wooden frame and is therefore unsafe.
Attaching wooden plank to a floor is a lot easier, however. A double-sided adhesive tape sold specifically for hanging pictures and hooks will do. However, you have to ensure that it will not damage your floor. For the tape method you will need to have a flat floor surface, no carpets or porous materials like untreated concrete. If you plan on drilling in order to attach the lower frame, consider what you will be drilling into. Some carpets may hide expensive floors, other surprises like heating piping may show up as well.
Your rope choice and layout on the planks should happen before you make the purchase. Consider creating detailed drawings with measurements and sample images.
Posters on rolling racks.
Some examples can be found at Remodelaholic.
Like bamboo room dividers, these types of dividers are easy to install and remove. They are even easier to transport around your space.
You can use this solution like a sliding door or to create “instant” spaces.
Interest and variety can be maintained if you switch the posters around once in awhile. Of course, posters isn’t the only thing that can be a rolling divider. Whiteboards are great for working environment.
Hanging panels for better isolation
Some examples can be found at TheRhythmOfTheHome.
You can get all sorts of panels online. They can either be screen door panels or old panels from massage room dividers.
Adding a panel is a practical choice when you want to separate a small working corner in a larger open-space area.
Once you get your panel, you need to attach two hooks on the ceiling and hang your panel.
Threads with LPs
Some examples can be found at TheSpruce.
The revival of vinyl has brought LPs back into the spotlight.
So, putting together several LPs and handing them from the ceiling makes a visually attractive and functional divider.
Still, bear in mind that records are sensitive. If you want to keep them usable, pass a threat through the hole on each record and fasten them together.
Plants from high above
Some examples can be found at Contemporist.
Plants are another handy hanging solution that can serve as a room divider. First, you’ll need to install one or more swag hooks, depending on the number of plants you’re going to hang. Then you can buy several office-friendly plants in pots and let them hang from hooks. As a result, you’ll have a beautiful ornament and a room divider in the same place.
Rolling doors and windows
If you can get old window frames, shutters, or barn doors, they can add a special touch to your open space.
What you need to do is put them on casters so that they can be easily installed and removed. That way, you can use them in different parts of your home to create an isolated and secluded place.
These dividers can come in handy when you are working on home addition projects. They can be used to separate a new addition from your home until you build a new wall.
Apart from that, they will also bring the breath of vintage look to your open space.
While you’ll need to buy your own materials to create dividers using these times, many of them can be made at home. You just need some time and a bit of inspiration to add a special touch of authenticity to your open-space home.
About the Author: Zana Dodig
This article was written by a guest author, Zana Doing. It has been edited and verified in-house by Bryant Renovations.
Zana is a window treatments consultant with over 20 years of experience.