Dividing a space doesn’t always require an actual wall. Partitions and dividers of different types can provide more value by saving space, time, effort and money, while also serving a number of aesthetic, functional and flexibility needs. They’re well-suited for home, office as well as business settings.
Open floor plans seem to be the architectural fashion these days and for good reason – who doesn’t like the light and airy spaciousness? But the problem with open floor plans is that they often compromise on privacy. A single space serving too many functions or too many people can feel disorganized, distracting and even unproductive. We’ve all been there – living and working out of that same studio through the pandemic!
‘Divide and conquer’ isn’t just a way to win wars but it is also an effective strategy to win over a space and get the most out of it. Unfortunately, ‘building a wall’ isn’t always easy or even possible. Think about all the hassles of a renovation project – cost, permissions, dealing with contractors and whatnot.
And it’s not just about the hassles. A real wall may not make sense where a light, visual and auditory divide can do the job without breaking the flow of light and air. In some cases, you may also need a flexible option if the space layout needs to change every now and then.
We've broken down some of our favorite ways to divide a space without actually building walls.
Open up a multifold partition to enclose a space
Spaces that need quick and easy transformations periodically can really benefit with multifold partitions. These are usually modular screens of a fixed height and width, that are connected with hinges so that they open up to form a divide of any flexible shape you need, and fall flat into a stack when you don’t need them.
Yes, those old, zigzag rattan partitions are an example of multifold partitions but they do come in more attractive and modern designs as well these days. In fact, you can even opt for those with noise absorbing materials to also add a bit of auditory privacy apart from the visual divide!
The SoundSorb 360 Folding Acoustical Partition comes with 360 degree hinges and dual casters that provide for any flexible arrangement you require. The light, aluminum frames carry sound-dampening acoustical panels that not only look sleek and modern but also absorb noise up to 60%! Plus, they have a tackable surface which means you can decorate your ‘walls’ with art or put up notes and signages.
Looking for a semi-private divider that doesn’t block the flow of light in your space? Check out the Polycarbonate 360 Folding Portable Partition instead, which even comes in different colors and customized prints.
Put up curtains for style and privacy
Curtains are a great option if you’re looking for a light, hassle-free visual divide that you can open and close at will. As a renter, you can install and uninstall curtains easily (although you should probably check with your landlord about drill holes on the wall) and take them with you when you move. Plus they can be cheap or fancy and luxurious if you want them to be. If you’re not fond of the traditional fabric curtains, you can even get quirky with ropes or beads to make a semi-transparent divider.
Place a decorative screen for a visual and physical barrier
Some boundaries just need to be established. This is especially the case with spaces because otherwise, they overflow into one another! Are your thoughts straying back to those lockdown days when your work and living spaces just ate into each other? Shared spaces also need boundaries to separate ‘your land’ from ‘my land’.
Decorative screens do a great job of working as those boundaries. They’re movable dividers that are technically pieces of furniture (and hence also renter friendly!) that can be put up to partition a space physically and visually. Plus, they can also add an element of style and personality to your décor.
At Diyversify, we have several chic designs for decorative dividers that can provide you that space division while also adding a modern flair to your interiors. Take our Abstract Modern Room Divider for instance. It has a striking design that’s sure to make a statement! Its aluminum frame is not only light and sleek but also structurally sound. Put it together in no time to complement your modern office or home interior and see the difference it makes.
Arrange your storage units to section off spaces
Storage units like cabinets, book shelves or show cases don’t necessarily have to be up against walls all the time. Instead, you can rethink their arrangement to make them double up as partitions too! Open shelves with artifacts and books can also give you that semi-transparent effect that allows light and air to flow through while also dividing the space. They can be free-standing, ceiling-suspended or wall-hung.
Put up a DIY half/pony wall to demarcate zones
Spaces don’t always need a full floor-to-ceiling divide; a low wall can do the job of demarcating areas for different activities without closing them off completely. Think about needs like creating work and living zones in studios, organizing basements, hiding storage or even creating a play area for kids. A low-height physical barrier suffices while maintaining that openness of space.
Our Pony Wall Room Divider is a perfect choice for those looking for a clean, sturdy and easy-to-install low wall. Standing 4’ high, it comes with anchors at the end for full stabilization. The modular panels are made of moisture and impact resistant fiberglass that makes the divider robust while maintaining that modern aesthetic. Just because your pony wall is DIY, doesn’t mean you need to worry about kids and pets knocking it over!
Use plants as dynamic dividers
Plants are an excellent way to liven up any interiors, to fill up corners, add color and even serve as unobtrusive partitioning elements to divide and enclose spaces. Yes, you’ll have to pay the price of regular maintenance but think about all the benefits of cleaner air, improved morale and increased productivity that you'll be getting in return! Plus, plants also provide some amount of auditory divide by absorbing noise.
You can use plants as dividers by using rectangular planters with tall-foliage plants that form a screen. You can also line up a number of column planters of different heights with small trees to create a barrier. Make a mesh frame and let some climbers take over or suspend pots from the ceiling with foliage falling off to create that visual divide – there’s tons of ways to create that dynamic effect with live plant dividers!
Assemble a modular DIY temporary wall
If you’re looking for a room partition that looks and feels just like a ‘real wall’, then consider temporary walls. These are anchored onto the adjoining walls or ceiling with a few screws and are strong and sturdy. DIY temporary walls come with modular panels that connect into one another and are held in position with their own weight and wall mounting brackets or anchor panels depending on if the wall is freestanding or mounted.
Our Mounted Straight Partition Wall with Door is an ideal candidate when you want to make two rooms out of one. It comes with wall brackets that easily attach to your existing walls. These brackets nest the lightweight, modular, fiberglass panels that snap together to create the divider. And let’s not forget about the cute accordion door that folds to one end and connects the two spaces! Assembly’s a breeze and also offers you 1-2 hours of DIY fun.
Partitioning a space- whether it’s for added privacy, functionality or organization- doesn’t always need building real walls. When you think out of that box and give your creativity a slight nudge, you’ll find a ton of other options that are far simpler, cheaper and even more attractive!