There’s no debating the fact that room dividers can be a lifesaver when you want to transform your space into a practical and private haven, while keeping up with your décor style. But shopping for one – the right one – can be a really confusing affair. Having a gazillion options out there – room dividers of different functionalities, styles, materials and price points – doesn’t make the task any easier. Even more so if you want to optimize everything (and who doesn’t)!
Since we’ve been working with room dividers a bit (just a tad bit), we thought of gathering some of our niche wisdom and putting it down to your advantage. So, here are some tips to help you make the right decision on which room divider to buy for your home, office or business space.
1. Define your divider’s purpose
We believe that practicality is the best place to start off when making a choice. Why do you need the divider? What are you trying to gain from it? Asking such questions will automatically help filter out many unnecessary options, and help you stay focused. Of course, if you can hit two birds (or more) with one stone, all the better!
If all you’re looking for from your divider is some visual barrier, for example, if you’re simply trying to separate the sleeping and living zones in your studio, a lightweight divider might just do the trick. No need to go all Fort-Knox here.
Visual and noise privacy
Here, you might need to go with a divider made of a sound-absorptive material. For example, if you want a WFH station or a meditation space within your living room, you don’t want your conference call or moment of self-actualization interrupted by a blender or a TV show! While they may not give you 100% sound insulation, temporary room dividers can offer a significant degree of noise reduction.
Space optimization – making 2 rooms out of 1
Whether you’re a student sharing an apartment with friends, or a landlord looking to increase their revenue, a solid divider wall with doors is the best way to split a room into two. Where space is tight, you could opt for an accordion door that collapses when open.
Adding visual interest
You can also use your room dividers to layer your interiors and make them more visually appealing. Choose colors and textures that add style to and complement your existing décor.
Demarcating zones within open plans
Open plans are great, but sometimes, we just need to add a degree of division to define different zones. For example, a light, freestanding divider like this Affluent Flow Divider can help your kitchen and living room maintain a healthy distance.
You can also use space dividers to direct the flow of traffic through your space. For example, at an exhibition, or a home staging, you could place a moveable divider at strategic points so that your visitors automatically move through the space as you wish, without having to explicitly ask them to do so.
Providing storage solutions
Room dividers can also help hide your clutter and organize your storage. If that’s what you’re looking for, you could consider making a dedicated temporary storage room with temporary walls. On the other hand, if you want to hide the mess (like your kids’ toys, electric wires, art supplies, etc.), you could go for a lighter freestanding divider instead.
2. Consider the space available
Consider the width and shape of the divider to make sure it fits well within your space. Be mindful of potential obstructions, like doors or windows, and ensure the divider doesn't impede movement or functionality. After all, a room divider that blocks the only exit will only make for a stylish fire hazard!
The height of your room divider is also a crucial factor to think about. For ease of installation, many dividers may require a few inches of free space between the top and the ceiling.
Looking for a divider of a custom dimension to fit perfectly into your space? At DIYversify, we understand and respect that not all spaces are the same standard size and the one-size-fits-all approach may not work for everyone. Reach out to us and we’ll find the customized solution that works best for your specific needs.
3. Let there be light (and air)!
Natural light and ventilation are crucial not just for the aesthetic quality of a space, but they also provide mental health and productivity benefits. A room divider is a great practical solution, but does it have to be at the expense of the quality of your space? Where you can, consider a divider that helps you maximize the natural light and airflow instead of hindering it. After all, a well-lit and ventilated space is a happy space.
For example, in open offices where dividers are especially necessary for space division and privacy, consider office cubicles like this H-shaped Cubicle or L-shaped Hush Panel Cubicle that provide you effective space division without compromising on the quality of your office space.
4. Consider your décor style
Those 80’s Shoji dividers or some beige curtains might just do the job of dividing your space and giving you the privacy you need, but if you’re like us, you wouldn’t want to be seen dead with one of those in your home! There’s something like style and aesthetic sense, after all.
The room divider you choose shouldn’t just help you use your space better, it should add some aesthetic value to your décor, or at least blend with. Whatever your décor style – modern, rustic, minimalistic or chic, this is not a sacrifice you want to make. If you’re using it to split a room, a divider with a real-wall look that blends seamlessly into your space, and looks like a part of the original architecture, might also be an excellent choice!
5. Don’t ignore flexibility and adaptability
Life comes with its own surprises, and our space should be ready to adapt to our ever-changing needs. While buying your room divider, consider whether you need a flexible and adaptable solution that keeps up with the ebb and flow of your life. If you’re looking to transform your space frequently, or make it a multi-purpose space, then modular, DIY partitions and room dividers should be your go-to option.
For example, if you’re looking to set up a temporary guest room within your living room for the holiday season, a DIY temporary wall like this L-Shaped Divider might be your best bet. When it’s time for a friends-and-family visit, simply assemble the modular units together, set up the accordion door and you’ll have your temporary guest room ready in less than an hour! When they leave, take apart the units and store them for the next visit.
If you’re a nomadic renter who moves around every couple of years, a portable, easy-to-install divider could be your trusty sidekick, helping you create the perfect living space wherever you go.
You may also need flexibility in workspaces. For example, if you’d like to set up a temporary, but discreet meeting room, a foldable acoustic room divider like this SoundSorb 360 Foldable Acoustic Divider could be just the divider you need. Just open up the panels to a desired shape and set up your meeting room in seconds. When you want the same space to transform into an open, event space, simply fold the panels and stack them in a corner. The 360 caster wheels also add significant portability to this divider.
6. Consider the value for money
No shopping should happen without a budget, and naturally, this rule also applies to room dividers. But, while you don’t want to break the bank, it might also not be the wisest choice to compromise quality for price! For a divider that satisfies your practical and aesthetic needs, and also gives you the flexibility you need, it might be worth investing some decent dollars and getting what you pay for.
On the other hand, if you’re on a tight budget, think out of the box and repurpose existing furniture to use them like dividers. For example, use a bookshelf to divide your living from the dining room, or rearrange your bed such that the headboard gives you some privacy.
7. Don’t overlook renting regulations!
Many renting regulations restrict renters from making any changes to the walls of the rented unit, so it’s important to consider them while buying your room divider. This is especially so when it comes to fixed or mounted partitions as they require some amount of drilling and anchoring onto the existing walls for support. If that’s acceptable, they’re great not just for more stability, but also for blending seamlessly with your walls.
Where you face renter’s restrictions, it might be a better option to go with freestanding partitions and dividers instead. Since they’re not anchored onto the existing structure, they’re technically just furniture, right? Our expert advice though, is to check with your landlord anyway - it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to dealing with the mighty landlord!
Divide, decorate and dominate your space with the right divider!
In a world where our spaces need to be as versatile as we are, room dividers are essential tools for optimizing, personalizing and enhancing our environments. Even with the countless options that can make the task daunting, we hope the above tips and tricks make the quest for finding the perfect room divider a whole lot simpler. By carefully considering your needs, space, aesthetics and budget, you’ll be able to find a partition that not only optimizes your space but also elevates its style and adapts to your dynamic lifestyle!
Need help figuring out the right room divider for your needs? Reach out to us! Our expert space designers will help find just the right one for you. You could also head over to our shop to explore a wide range of modular DIY room dividers and partitions.